The Sky’s Courtney Vandersloot’s trajectory pushes toward the GOAT passer conversation
If the only basketball game you’ve ever watched was Monday’s battle between the Chicago Sky vs. Indiana Fever, let me set the record straight for you: Courtney Vandersloot is the greatest basketball player of all time.
Vandersloot broke the WNBA record for most assists in a single game, dishing out 18 dimes to go along with 13 points. Oh yeah, and the one that broke the record went to her WIFE. I mean how can you look at this and not smile:
“Oh, it puts a little cherry on top, it’s really special,” Vandersloot said “I know she was happy for me. She wanted to do that for me. It was initially for Ruthy [Hebard] but the backup plan was always Allie. You can always count on Allie to knock down some late shots so that one was special to see it go in and just to know how happy she was for me, even though she made the shot, that’s special.”
The Connecticut Sun’s defense was stellar on Tuesday and Sunday night, holding their opponents to under 20 field goals in both games — the first time any team has done that in two straight games since 2015.
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On the other side of the ball, their offense struggled, narrowly clinching a 70-65 win over the New York Liberty. The Sun made just 32.9% of their shots from the floor and will take the court tonight (hopefully to better offensive results) against the Las Vegas Aces.
The Atlanta Dream finally broke out. They finally had a comfortable win, taking a 102-90 stress-free victory over the Indiana Fever.
So? They aren’t officially out of the playoff race. And they’ve snapped their ten-game losing streak. So that’s nice.
Possibly the most compelling storyline moving forward is whether Chennedy Carter can snag the Rookie of the Year award from Crystal Dangerfield. Carter certainly has the per-game stats to do so, but she missed about half the season with an injury.
We already know that Carter is going to have a special WNBA career. But can she take home her first piece of hardware?
There is nothing left to be said about Diana Taurasi that hasn’t already been said, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t damn impressive that she put up 24 points in a HALF against the Aces at age [redacted], carrying the team to a 92-85 win without running-mate Brittney Griner.
Without Griner or Bria Hartley, who is out for the year with an ACL injury, Defensive Player of the Year Candidate Brianna Turner has taken her game to the next level. The Mercury are still a sneaky pick to make a postseason run.
The Seattle Storm, meanwhile, are poised to take the league’s top spot with a string of important games coming up: Sep. 4 vs. Los Angeles, Sep. 6 vs. Minnesota, and Sep 13 vs. Las Vegas. To shore up the league’s top spot, Natasha Howard will have to continue her hot streak.
After winning DPOY honors last season while averaging 18 PPG, Howard took a step back at the start of the year, averaging just 4.6 points and 5.1 rebounds on 38% shooting as Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird returned to action. Over her last eight games, though, Howard is averaging 11.4/9.4/1.0 on an absurd 60.7% shooting to go along with 2.3 steals.
Rookie center Ezi Magbegor has also kept Seattle in a position to succeed, scoring efficiently inside the paint and providing the consistency that is, to say the least, rare from a rookie.
Make sure you check out this piece (and every piece) from The Next’s Jackie Powell on how Layshia Clarendon and the New York Liberty plan to continue the fight for social justice after the season ends.
Atlanta Dream vs. New York Liberty, 6:30 PM ET
Las Vegas Aces vs. Connecticut Sun, 8:00 PM ET
Indiana Fever vs. Phoenix Mercury, 10:00 PM ET