On the surface, the Sun’s road victory over the previously unbeaten Minnesota Lynx will go down as another “W” in Connecticut’s win column.
Digging deeper, though, the win is a bold, decisive statement to the rest of the league.
That is to say, the Sun have arrived … and they are legit.
The win is important, obviously, but it’s how the Sun won that speaks volumes as to the trajectory of this young team. Against Minnesota, one of the best defensive teams in the WNBA, Connecticut tallied a season-high 26 assists while also making a season-best 10 three-pointers for the third time this season.
Furthermore, in a game that featured 11 ties and 19 lead changes (10 in the third quarter), the Sun displayed grit and resilience (attributes that are quickly becoming the trademarks of the team) as they exploded for a 16-5 run in the fourth quarter that would, ultimately, seal the game. All the more impressive considering it came on the Lynx’s home floor – one of (if not the) most difficult places to play in the entire league.
For any team in the WNBA, beating the Lynx should be considered a significant victory.
Why? Well, because it just doesn’t happen very often. Over the past six seasons, the Lynx have lost nine regular season games only twice. Indeed, they are a well-oiled machine that boasts remarkable chemistry.
However, based on the way Connecticut has played over the past four games (all wins), that’s exactly how one could describe this Sun team. They’re winning, sure, but they’re winning convincingly.
Now sitting at 5-5 on the season, the Sun have found themselves right back in the thick of the playoff hunt.
Connecticut is third in the league in scoring (85.5 ppg), third in rebounds (36.7), third in three-point field goals made (6.8) and second in field goals made (32.1). Additionally, their net rating (the difference in team points scored and allowed per 100 possessions) is also good for third in the WNBA at 7.2.
Needless to say, these are extraordinary numbers for a team that is 5-5.
Look at it this way: Three of the Sun’s five losses this season have been by two points (six total) in the final seconds of each game. Hindsight is always 20/20, but if those losses go the other way, the Sun could easily be looking at a record of 8-2, good for the second-best record in the league.
The best part about the Sun’s recent surge is that it surprises a total of zero people in their organization. Curt Miller has this team playing with confidence, passion and a unique sense of camaraderie. It sounds tired, but the players genuinely like each other and sacrifice individual stats for the betterment of the collective squad.
When a team instinctively has those qualities, there is nowhere to go but up.
Next home game: Tuesday, June 27th vs. Los Angeles Sparks | GET TICKETS