The Connecticut Sun will attempt to get back on the winning track Sunday afternoon when they travel to play the enigmatic Dallas Wings at Arlington, Texas.
The Sun returned from the Olympic break with a thud Thursday, losing 79-57 to the Seattle Storm in the inaugural Commissioner’s Cup title game at Phoenix. The Commissioner’s Cup is the WNBA’s new midseason trophy in a side competition designed to enhance the first half of the season.
Connecticut trailed by 11 at the half against Seattle and by as many as 30 points in the third quarter as the Storm poured it on with three players who were a part of the gold-medal winning United States team at the Tokyo Olympics.
The Sun (14-6) had two weeks of practice heading up to the Commissioner’s Cup championship but looked the worse for the wear. Seattle players earned $30,000 each for the triumph, while Sun players each earned $10,000 as runners-up.
“I thought (Seattle) had their legs,” Sun coach Curt Miller said. “They looked like three players that were averaging about 30 minutes in the Olympics, and we looked like it was our first game in nearly five weeks.”
Sunday’s contest will be the Wings’ first since the lengthy Olympic break. Dallas (9-12) finished the first half of the season with three consecutive losses, including a 95-79 setback at home against Las Vegas on July 11 in its most recent game.
Dallas is considered one of the best young teams in the league but coach Vickie Johnson said it’s time to put that talent together and start producing.
“I’d say we are ahead of schedule on growth,” Johnson said. “But I would say we are behind schedule on winning.”
The Wings’ Allisha Gray won a gold medal as part of the United States’ 3-on-3 women’s basketball team, but that competition was during the first week of the games in Tokyo so she’s had plenty of time to get back to full-court action.
Dallas begins the second half of the season in ninth place in the league standings, just a game behind New York for the final spot in the postseason with 15 games to play and have one of the league’s softer schedules down the stretch.
–Field Level Media