WNBA

WNBA rundown: Can anyone beat the Sun? Is Caitlin Clark starting to find some chemistry?

WNBA rundown: Can anyone beat the Sun? Is Caitlin Clark starting to find some chemistry?

In Week 2 of WNBA action, the season is starting to take shape. The Sun are the league’s most dominant team, Napheesa Collier looks like an MVP, Caitlin Clark is finding her footing and more.

Here’s everything you need to know:

The Connecticut Sun are the league’s only undefeated team at 6-0, which is the best start in franchise history. After securing three close wins in a row over Indiana 88-84 on May 20, Minnesota 83-82 in overtime on May 23, and Chicago (86-82) on Friday, the Sun enjoyed a 70-47 blowout victory over Phoenix on Tuesday. In her 15th season, 36-year-old DeWanna Bonner continues to improve. She’s leading the Sun with 20.6 points per game, the highest average of her career. Bonner has been the leading scorer for Connecticut in five of its six wins. Alyssa Thomas led in the other game, as the forward continues to do a bit of everything for the Sun. She already has a triple-double this season, adding to her career total of 12.

DiJonai Carrington and Ty Harris have also been key to the Sun’s hot start, playing starting roles for the first time in their careers. Carrington is averaging 15 points per game (up from 8.3 last season), and Harris is averaging 11.8 (up from 5.8 last season).

The Sun have a chance to keep their undefeated streak going, with winnable games against Dallas, Atlanta and Washington next on the schedule. Then comes a test on June 8 against the Liberty.

Last season’s MVP race came down to Breanna Stewart, Thomas and A’ja Wilson, with Napheesa Collier finishing in fourth place. But so far this season, Collier looks like the early leader. In her sixth season in the league, Collier is putting up her best offensive numbers with 23.8 points, 11 rebounds and 3.3 assists — all career bests, while also dominating on the defensive end. Collier is the centerpiece of her team’s attack and defense, posting 3.3 steals and 2 blocks per game — also career highs.

Collier’s MVP case was hurt last season due to the struggles of her team. The Lynx went 19-21 and missed the playoffs. But this season, Minnesota is off to a 4-1 start, and if the Lynx can continue to win, Collier may have a real chance to win MVP. She’s been helped by the play of teammates Alanna Smith and Kayla McBride. Smith, who had a breakout season with the Sky in 2023, is Minnesota’s second-leading scorer with 15.8 points per game. Meanwhile, McBride is averaging three 3-pointers per game and made six in a win over Atlanta on Sunday for a career-high 31 points.

Caitlin Clark is beginning to find some rhythm and chemistry with the Fever. (Photo by Brian Spurlock/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

All eyes have been on Caitlin Clark as the rookie transitions from leading college basketball in scoring to her debut season in the WNBA. But things haven’t been easy for the 1-7 Fever, who are 11th in the league, ahead of only the Mystics. The Fever secured their first win of the season Friday, defeating the Sparks 79-73. Through their first eight games, Indiana has had a clear bright spot in the connection between Clark and Temi Fagbenle. It was on full display in the win over L.A., as Clark found Fagbenle on the fast break multiple times, helping the forward to a season-high 17 points. Throughout her time at Iowa, Clark liked to push the pace and find teammates in transition, and Fagbenle’s style of play is reminiscent of the posts that Clark connected with in college. As the Fever continue to build chemistry, the duo’s connection will be important this season. The pairing is still a work in progress as Clark had 30 points in an 88-82 loss to the Sparks on Tuesday night, while Fagbenle posted 6 points and 7 rebounds.

The Mercury had an eventful offseason that saw the departure of Skylar Diggins-Smith and the addition of new coach Nate Tibbetts and players Kahleah Copper, Natasha Cloud and Rebecca Allen. So far, the moves are paying off for the Mercury, who are second in the league in points per game at 88.2. All three new players are playing starting roles for Phoenix. Copper is off to an impressive start, scoring 29.2 points per game, which is more than 10 points better than her average last season in Chicago. Meanwhile, Cloud takes some pressure off Diana Taurasi in the backcourt, and despite moving to a bench role, Sophie Cunningham is shooting a career-best 45.4% from beyond the arc.

The Mercury are playing as a cohesive unit, despite all the new additions, with a roster that looks like a title contender. Plus, they still await the return of Brittney Griner, who is out with a fractured toe.

Heading into Tuesday’s loss to Connecticut, the Mercury were first in the league in 3-point attempts per contest (32) and makes (12.2). But against the Sun, Phoenix had a dismal performance from long range, making just 1-of-27. The weak performance is likely a fluke, but the Mercury could use a bounce-back win against the Liberty on Wednesday.

Aces point guard Chelsea Gray is still battling a foot injury she sustained in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals against New York in 2023. There is no timetable for Gray’s return, but the guard says she will be back this season. While the Aces wait for their All-Star point guard to recover, the champions have relied on Jackie Young to run the point. She has been a shooting guard throughout her time in the WNBA, but played point guard in college at Notre Dame.

Gray has been a key piece to Las Vegas’ back-to-back WNBA titles, but so far, the Aces have managed well in her absence. They are 3-1, with one loss to the Mercury, and are leading the league in points per game at 91.3. Their potent offense continues to thrive, with A’ja Wilson (25.5 points per game), Young (22.5) and Kelsey Plum (20.8) all taking on bigger scoring roles.

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