How the Sun can finish its West Coast road trip on high note

What the Sun can take away from their Friday night loss to the Los Angeles Sparks

After a 77-70 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks (1-1) on May 31 the Connecticut Sun (2-1) finish up their West Coast road trip at the Las Vegas Aces (1-1) on June 2 at 6 ET/3 PT.

While the Sparks never had total control of the game, the Sun were continuously forced to try to claw their way back. Though they were down by ten a few minutes into the third quarter the Sun kept the game close, coming within two in the last two minutes, however, they couldn’t stop the Sparks from scoring.

Nothing seemed to go right for the Sun, something they will need to remedy to avoid dropping to 2-2.

Alyssa Thomas staying in the game

Early in the first quarter Thomas collided with Nneka Ogwumike and exited the game. Though she later returned, she played only 23 minutes and tallied just four points, four rebounds and two assists.

Thomas plays a key role and contributed in critical ways in the team’s first two games. If she can play her normal number of minutes, something that should be possible the way she looked by the end of the Sparks game, the Sun will have another weapon to try to match the scoring capacity of the Aces.

Rebounding

The Sun average the second-most rebounds per game of any team in the league, something that has the potential to help them when they play the Aces.

Connecticut won the rebounding battle 51-39 against Los Angeles in a game that saw a total of 88 missed field goals. However, Jonquel Jones grabbed 22 rebounds, tying a career high and landing just two shy of a league record. Brionna Jones was the only other player to grab more than 5.

Translating rebounds into points will be key as the Sun continue their season, especially against teams with fast-paced offenses. The Aces are third in pace this season behind the Chicago Sky and the Sparks. The Sun should be able to use what they learned against the Sparks to tweak their game plan for Las Vegas.

If Connecticut can continue to out-rebound their opponents and capitalize on those scoring opportunities, it will be hard to stop them.

With nights in which everyone is on, come nights in which everyone is off

After shooting 44.5 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from behind the arc over the first two games, the Sun struggled to make their shots against the Sparks from everywhere on the floor.

The team shot just 30.8 percent from the floor and 26.1 percent from behind the arc. Though Jonquel Jones, Jasmine Thomas and Courtney Williams combined to score 44 points, they shot a combined 39.0 percent.

Shooting well against the Aces will be key as they are coming into the game shooting 40.7 percent from the floor and 40.0 from behind the arc. Getting out of their shooting slump quickly will be necessary against Las Vegas as it’s unlikely that both teams the Sun face on their road trip will have trouble shooting the ball.

There are many factors to an off-shooting night but the Sun will have to try their best to not let it happen two games in a row or it will be an uphill battle to a win.

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