Coming into the WNBA season, there was a variety of speak about the Chicago Sky, the Las Vegas Aces, and the New York Liberty, however little or no buzz round the Connecticut Sun. 5 video games in, and the Sun are off to a greater begin than every other staff in the league.
The Sun are 5-0 and are the solely undefeated staff left in the W. It’s an unimaginable feat contemplating Vegas gave six teams better odds to win the championship this season. That is night-and-day in comparison with final yr, when the staff began 0-5, and completed beneath .500 at 10-12. However with the Sun returning over half of their roster from 2020, what’s actually modified? Properly, a little bit of all the pieces.
Connecticut is dominating the league on each ends of the ground, led by two stars who mix dimension, taking pictures, and energy. That is how the Sun have gotten off to such a sizzling begin, and why the staff could possibly be a real contender for a championship this season.
DeWanna Bonner is taking pictures higher than ever
DeWanna Bonner has been off to an amazing begin. She is sixth in the league in scoring, averaging 19.4 a sport, and can also be seventh in the league in three-point share. In her twelfth season in the WNBA, the 33-year-old has unlocked new components of her sport that has helped gasoline the Sun’s sizzling begin.
Bonner has by no means been generally known as a shooter. The 6’4 ahead made simply 27 three-pointers final season at a 25.2 p.c clip. Whilst Bonner hit a career-best 55 three-pointers in 2018 with the Phoenix Mercury, she solely made them at a 31.3 p.c clip.
This season, she’s already knocked down 14 triples in 5 video games at a 56 p.c clip.
Bonner performed an enormous function in the Sun’s upset win over a Las Vegas Aces staff predicted by many to win their first championship this season after being runner-ups final yr with out a number of key items, together with star large Liz Cambage. Bonner ended the evening with 22 factors and related on an enormous three that helped to place the sport away.
Total she’s been enjoying nice basketball and stepping up as a veteran chief for the Sun.
Jonquel Jones is again, and he or she’s a double-double machine
Jones missed final season after she opted out resulting from issues over the pandemic. However this season, she is again and enjoying a few of her greatest basketball, averaging a double-double of 18.4 factors and 10.8 rebounds. She is second in the league in rebounds per sport.
Jones has all the time been an amazing inside scorer, however she’s additionally been on fireplace as a shooter this yr. The 6’6 large has hit 50 p.c of her threes to this point, together with going 3-for-3 from deep towards Indiana.
It’s evident the Sun missed their 6’6 middle. Sure, she’s placing up nice numbers, however she’s additionally enjoying the most minutes she’s performed throughout her 5 seasons with the staff by averaging slightly below half-hour per sport.
The Sun are blitzing the league in so many classes
Even with DeWanna Bonner and Jonquel Jones acting at a excessive degree, they are not solely answerable for the Sun’s success. Jasmine Thomas has offered toughness and protection, whereas Brionna Jones has given the staff an additional scoring punch. They need to be even higher when Briann January returns from an ankle harm.
The staff as a complete is performing exceptionally nicely and is main the league in a number of stats.
- The Sun rank No. 1 in the league in offensive ranking at 107.4 factors per 100 possessions.
- The Sun rank No. 2 in defensive ranking at 91.0
- The Sun have a web ranking of +16.4 that’s greater than twice as large as the subsequent greatest staff in the league. The Aces are second in web ranking at +7.8.
- The Sun have a 59.3 rebounding share that’s greatest in the league, and in addition lead the league in offensive rebound share.
It’s early in the season, however you may’t deny that the Sun are on a sizzling streak that could possibly be onerous to cease contemplating how dominant they’ve been up to now. It will likely be fascinating to see how this staff finally stacks as much as the 2019 staff that misplaced to the Washington Mystics in the WNBA Finals.