2024 LA Sparks Season
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2024 10:12 pm    Post subject: Game 12: Nneka's still got it

Another ugly game from the Sparks. They lose to an average Seattle Storm team in a game that was very winnable, but the shooters couldn't make outside shots and no one could slow down Nneka and Lloyd.

Positives:Yueru got a career high of 18 pts off the bench. This was her best game; she also grabbed 7 boards. Hamby was named Western Player of the Week and continued her brilliant play with another double double. McDonald had a decent game of 15 pts and 3 assists. Brink blocked 4 shots.

Negatives: Sparks got blocked 10 times; Hamby and Brink got swatted multiple times at the rim. That and the poor outside shooting was the game. Brown struggled with her shooting and only scored 6 pts; Jackson looked disinterested and sluggish and only scored 3 pts; this was Jackson's worst game of the season. Nurse had her 3rd 0-fer of the season, but I noticed that her right knee was heavily wrapped, so she's probably hurt.

Brink has very limited offensive skills; she has an awkward looking hook shot that she shoots from the side (it looks like a lob more than a hook) but I have yet to see a turn-around jumper or a floater and she's been missing from threes.

This game was the only one of the road trip where the Sparks had a decent chance of willing. They'll probably go 0-7 on this road trip.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2024 10:32 am    Post subject:

Sparks need a PG. It's clear that Clarendon is erratic and as a result getting benched for long stretches. McDonald is getting most minutes and making the most of it.

I'd like to know what their offensive system is. They don't seem to have very good spacing in the half court; nothing that can get Nurse in catch and shoot situations.

If I have one complaint about Hamby is that she forgoes an open three (shooting 48%) and chooses to drive into traffic.

Would love to see this roster run Triangle concepts with the lack of a playmaking PG.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 14, 2024 5:52 pm    Post subject: Game 13: Rickea Jackson emerges

Sparks lose another winnable game - this time to the Minnesota Lynx. They were up by 12 pts in the first quarter but slowly gave up the lead. Once again, turnovers were the primary reason for the loss; Sparks gave it up 21 times. Yikes. The 2nd reason was Cameron Brink not showing up today. She had her first 0-fer of the season, got in foul trouble, and didn't block any shots. The silver lining is the emergence of Rickea Jackson; she brought it today with 19 pts and 10 boards, her first double double and her highest scoring game of the season.

Negatives: Nurse and Clarendon look washed; they're playing at a slower pace than everyone else. For some reason, Brink was standing around the perimeter when she should be hanging around the rim like Angel Reese. This one's on Coach Miller. Coach - you have the tallest player in the game hanging out at the 3 pt line shooting threes. What are you thinking?

Positives: Hamby racked up another double double. This season would be unwatchable without Hamby's excellent play. McDonald had her 3rd good game in a row; she had 14 pts and 7 assists. This was Rickea Jackson's breakout game and she pretty much had her way with every defender, but she's still too passive; she needs to take more shots. This one is also on Coach Miller; you need to tell Jackson to be more aggressive and take more shots.

I hate to say it - it's still too early, but Angel Reese looks to be the better player than Brink. Both are very limited offensively, but Reese doesn't get into foul trouble nearly as much and she knows to stay in her lane. Brink thinks she's a good shooter, but she's not and she shouldn't be taking so many outside shots. Get some post moves and stay under the rim. (I blame the coach for this.)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 16, 2024 1:35 pm    Post subject: Game 14: Third straight road loss

The game was close until the final 3 minutes of the 4th quarter. It was another ugly game but Brink had a bounce-back game and Rickea Jackson continued her efficient shooting. This was Hamby's first sub-par game of the season; she only scored 10 pts and missed a bunch of lay-ups and wide open jumpers.

Positives: Jackson shot an efficient 7/13 and scored 16 pts; she and Brink were tied for scoring honors on the Sparks. Jackson also did a good job defending Rhyne Howard and held her to 4/17 shooting. Brink altered many shots and grabbed 7 boards. McDonald added 14 pts and 5 assists off the bench.

Negatives: Nurse and Brown shot a combined 1/10 from the field. Clarendon only played 9 minutes because she couldn't keep up with Atlanta's guards. Yueru, Talbot, and Burrell played limited minutes and didn't contribute much. Brink got the ball deep in the post twice and didn't know what to do. Brink also set another moving screen (4th this season).

Atlanta's the worst team on this road trip; it only gets tougher from here and Hamby looked tired for the first time this season. For some reason, Jackson was content to stand in the corner for multiple possessions in a row, but she gets active in bunches. Brink got several wide open looks but missed.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2024 5:20 pm    Post subject: Game 15: Cameron Brink injury

Sparks lose their 4th consecutive road game. Cameron Brink injures her knee in a collision with a Sun player; that's all we've been told. The fall didn't look that bad but Brink had to be carried off the court. Let's hope this injury doesn't sideline her for the Olympics because she's on the Team USA 3x3 team.

The 22 turnovers decided the game. Hamby had her 2nd bad game of the season; I think teams have figured out how to stop Hamby - just clog the paint and force her to pass. The Sun played great defense, but they got away with a ton of fouls on offense. They bulldozed various Sparks players without being called for fouls.

Positives: Rickea Jackson scored 6 pts in the first quarter and then got yanked for most of the 2nd and 3rd quarters. She ended up scoring 10 pts and grabbing 7 boards. It's almost as if the Sparks coach was icing her and didn't want her to score. McDonald got her first start of the season and contributed 14 pts, mostly on drives to the basket; she blew by her defenders several times. Yueru dropped 11 pts on 5/6 shooting; she's a better outside shooter than Brink.

Negatives: Coach Miller is playing some weird game with Rickea Jackson and I don't like it. Jackson only got 25 minutes and put up 7 shots and that's with Brink out for most of the game. Instead of playing Jackson, the Coach decided to play Talbot, Burrell, and Cooke. Jackson is the future #1 option and the coach is sabotaging her rookie season. On most other teams, Jackson would be averaging at least 15 pts/game.

The absence of Brink was very obvious because the Sun scored around 46 pts in the paint. Yueru did a fair job but she doesn't react or move as fast as Brink.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2024 10:59 am    Post subject:

https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/40387794/sparks-rookie-forward-cameron-brink-suffers-torn-acl

Torn ACL. Looks like no Olympics for her and out for the season.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2024 1:20 pm    Post subject:

Will the Sparks bring in a free agent? Is there a hardship contract available?
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 11:49 am    Post subject:

Dammit - just heard about Cameron. That sucks. Hope she recovers fully and swiftly.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 5:15 pm    Post subject: Game 16: Missing Cameron Brink Already

Sparks lose in embarrassing fashion to a tired and beat-up NY Liberty team. Without Brink defending the paint, the Sparks had to double Jonquel Jones leaving 3 point shooters wide open. The Liberty won easily by making 13 threes.

Once again Hamby struggled to score against a team with a big front court; she had another bad game and only scored 9 pts - missed 4 consecutive free throws and at least 3 lay-ups. Nurse gave us a good 6 minutes of play but sat out most of the game with her bad knee. Brown got another 0-fer and only played 7 minutes because she was terrible. In a 7 minute span, Brown had 1 turnover, missed 3 shots, and fouled Ionescu making a lay-up.

Positives: We got a Zia Cooke sighting; this is the first good game from Cooke since pre-season; Cooke scored 13 pts on 4/7 shooting. McDonald had another solid game; she blew by Ionescu at least 5 times and scored 15 pts. Talbot was very active and grabbed 11 boards.

Negatives: Rickea Jackson played the entire 1st quarter but sat most of the 2nd and 3rd quarters. She ended up with only 21 minutes of playing time but managed to score 6 pts. Coach Miller has some issue with the rookie; not sure what's going on, but he's holding her back. With Brink gone and Hamby reverting to last season's Hamby, Jackson should be the number 1 option, but she only took 6 shots today. That's bad coaching. If this continues, Jackson needs to request a trade because on any other team, she'd be getting a lot more playing time.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:57 pm    Post subject:

lakersken80 wrote:
https://www.espn.com/wnba/story/_/id/40387794/sparks-rookie-forward-cameron-brink-suffers-torn-acl

Torn ACL. Looks like no Olympics for her and out for the season.


That sucks
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2024 3:11 pm    Post subject: Game 17: Losing Streak Continues

Sparks lose their 6th consecutive road game. Once again, the Sparks gave up a ton of threes to the Liberty. The game was over by half-time because the Sparks got outscored 33 - 19 in the 2nd quarter. Once again, the Coach decided to sit the rookie most of the 2nd half and only played Rickea Jackson 16 minutes. By contrast, the slow and unathletic Kia Nurse got 25 minutes. We got a glimpse of the new signee, Queen Egbo. She's 6-4" and looks athletic, so she's better than nothing.

Negatives: Kia Nurse looks slow and unathletic out there; she shot 4/12 and turned the ball over 2 times. McDonald had a bad game and shot 0/8. Clarendon blew a wide open lay-up and turned the ball over at least twice (5 second inbounding violation and a terrible pass to Yueru) but she's credited with 0 turnovers by ESPN. Jackson took 9 shots and only scored 7 pts.

Positives: Talbot and Cooke played hard. Hamby had a great 1st half but didn't play much in the 2nd half due to foul trouble. Yueru got limited playing time but shot the ball very well, hitting 4/5 fg. The team got behind 22 pts early in the 3rd quarter but didn't give up and ended up only losing by 10 pts.

Coach Miller needs to go. This is the worst coach for any promising rookie because he doesn't let them make mistakes and he prefers to play broken down veterans. This team is terrible; there is no reason NOT to play Rickea Jackson 30 plus minutes per game.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2024 9:29 am    Post subject:

The Sparks are competing but they just don't have enough scoring. It would help if the rotation is consistent.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2024 8:25 pm    Post subject: Game 18: Lose at all cost

The Sparks got 5 days of rest but still get blown out by the Phoenix Mercury on the road. They were up 1 pt going into halftime but got outscored by 11 pts in the 3rd quarter when Coach Miller predictably took Rickea Jackson out of the game and put in Burrell and Cooke. Cooke has had 2 good games this season and tonight was not one of them.

Negatives: Lexie Brown's out until after the Olympics due to illness; Clarendon is also out to do illness. Burrell and Cooke shot a combined 3/13. Cooke played out of control most of the game, attempting to drive in traffic and throwing up wild shots. Nurse only scored 9 pts and looked terrible running up and down the court; she had an ACL injury back in 2021 and it shows. No one could guard Kahleah Copper; she blew by Jackson easily.

Positives: Hamby tied her career high with 29 pts; Jackson scored 14 pts in limited minutes. You'd think Rickea would get more than 29 minutes playing time with Clarendon, Brown, and Brink out, but Coach Miller decided to give those minutes to Cooke and Burrell. McDonald had a career high in assists with 10 dimes.

The Sparks lost all 7 road games as predicted. They may actually out-tank the Mystics. I still want Coach Miller gone because I've seen no growth in Cooke, Burrell, Brink, or Jackson. This coach doesn't do player development. If anything, good young players seem to regress, which is terrible to consider because the Sparks have a very young core. I still think Rickea Jackson was the right draft pick; if Angel Reese were on the Sparks, she wouldn't get 22 minutes of playing time.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:23 pm    Post subject:

Watching what I believe is a live, new game with the Sparks versus the Washington whoever this is. So far we're at the end of the third and we are ahead so please win. Please win.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Game 18: Lose at all cost

Scoffs wrote:

The Sparks lost all 7 road games as predicted. They may actually out-tank the Mystics. I still want Coach Miller gone because I've seen no growth in Cooke, Burrell, Brink, or Jackson. This coach doesn't do player development. If anything, good young players seem to regress, which is terrible to consider because the Sparks have a very young core. I still think Rickea Jackson was the right draft pick; if Angel Reese were on the Sparks, she wouldn't get 22 minutes of playing time.


Miller seems like he's just not it.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2024 7:51 pm    Post subject:

Sigh.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2024 9:48 pm    Post subject: Game 19: Worst Team in the League

Sparks lose a close one at home to the Mystics; this means they are now tied with the Dallas Wings for worst record in the league. They've lost 8 in a row. Going into the 4th quarter, the Sparks had a 14 pt lead but totally collapsed - turned the ball over, missed shots, committed stupid fouls, and gave up a bunch of threes.

Positives: Jackson logged her first 30 minute game of the season; she had an excellent first quarter, scoring 7 quick points but disappeared in the 2nd and 4th quarters. She had a bunch of touches and dished out 4 assists. McDonald had 17 pts and 6 assists. Hamby had another double double but she really did not have a good game but congrats for making the all-star team. Talbot had her best game of the season and she was playing hard, unlike her teammates.

Negatives: Jackson is playing with press-on nails. There was a close-up of her and Coach Miller talking on the sidelines and I got a good look at her hands. That should not be allowed; they were not long or sharp nails, but I saw the ball squirt out of her hands 3 times in the 2nd half. It should be team policy, if not league policy to ban press-on nails because they could be very dangerous. The bench, all the bench, was terrible today. Hamby disappeared in the 2nd half. Jackson missed 3 lay-ups in the 4th quarter (probably because of her nails). Nurse continues to disappoint as a three point specialist. Without Brink to guard the interior, the team only had 1 block.

This team has lost the city with the ugly, chaotic offense and the constant losing. They have a chance to replace half the roster next season; I hope they decide to draft or sign a real point guard. McDonald is passable at running the point, but she's not good at it. Obviously, the entire coaching staff needs to go.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2024 11:51 am    Post subject:

They found a new way to lose - by having a lead.

Also, ACFC says, "Hold my beer" when it comes to losing the city
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2024 1:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Game 19: Worst Team in the League

Scoffs wrote:
Sparks lose a close one at home to the Mystics; this means they are now tied with the Dallas Wings for worst record in the league. They've lost 8 in a row. Going into the 4th quarter, the Sparks had a 14 pt lead but totally collapsed - turned the ball over, missed shots, committed stupid fouls, and gave up a bunch of threes.

Positives: Jackson logged her first 30 minute game of the season; she had an excellent first quarter, scoring 7 quick points but disappeared in the 2nd and 4th quarters. She had a bunch of touches and dished out 4 assists. McDonald had 17 pts and 6 assists. Hamby had another double double but she really did not have a good game but congrats for making the all-star team. Talbot had her best game of the season and she was playing hard, unlike her teammates.

Negatives: Jackson is playing with press-on nails. There was a close-up of her and Coach Miller talking on the sidelines and I got a good look at her hands. That should not be allowed; they were not long or sharp nails, but I saw the ball squirt out of her hands 3 times in the 2nd half. It should be team policy, if not league policy to ban press-on nails because they could be very dangerous. The bench, all the bench, was terrible today. Hamby disappeared in the 2nd half. Jackson missed 3 lay-ups in the 4th quarter (probably because of her nails). Nurse continues to disappoint as a three point specialist. Without Brink to guard the interior, the team only had 1 block.

This team has lost the city with the ugly, chaotic offense and the constant losing. They have a chance to replace half the roster next season; I hope they decide to draft or sign a real point guard. McDonald is passable at running the point, but she's not good at it. Obviously, the entire coaching staff needs to go.



Do you mean she has extensions? It's doubtful she has press-ons, they would pop off during the game.

There's no reason why short extensions would affect her ability to play but med to long extensions definitely could and it seems like there would be some type of a league statement about that.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2024 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: Game 19: Worst Team in the League

TDRock wrote:
Scoffs wrote:
Sparks lose a close one at home to the Mystics; this means they are now tied with the Dallas Wings for worst record in the league. They've lost 8 in a row. Going into the 4th quarter, the Sparks had a 14 pt lead but totally collapsed - turned the ball over, missed shots, committed stupid fouls, and gave up a bunch of threes.

Positives: Jackson logged her first 30 minute game of the season; she had an excellent first quarter, scoring 7 quick points but disappeared in the 2nd and 4th quarters. She had a bunch of touches and dished out 4 assists. McDonald had 17 pts and 6 assists. Hamby had another double double but she really did not have a good game but congrats for making the all-star team. Talbot had her best game of the season and she was playing hard, unlike her teammates.

Negatives: Jackson is playing with press-on nails. There was a close-up of her and Coach Miller talking on the sidelines and I got a good look at her hands. That should not be allowed; they were not long or sharp nails, but I saw the ball squirt out of her hands 3 times in the 2nd half. It should be team policy, if not league policy to ban press-on nails because they could be very dangerous. The bench, all the bench, was terrible today. Hamby disappeared in the 2nd half. Jackson missed 3 lay-ups in the 4th quarter (probably because of her nails). Nurse continues to disappoint as a three point specialist. Without Brink to guard the interior, the team only had 1 block.

This team has lost the city with the ugly, chaotic offense and the constant losing. They have a chance to replace half the roster next season; I hope they decide to draft or sign a real point guard. McDonald is passable at running the point, but she's not good at it. Obviously, the entire coaching staff needs to go.



Do you mean she has extensions? It's doubtful she has press-ons, they would pop off during the game.

There's no reason why short extensions would affect her ability to play but med to long extensions definitely could and it seems like there would be some type of a league statement about that.


She had long nails and it did affect her play. She had trouble dribbling the ball and gripping the ball for layups.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2024 8:47 pm    Post subject: Game 20: Losing Streak Ends

This was the best Sparks game of the season because it was competitive and against a good team. The Sparks beat the Aces in overtime and end their 8 game losing streak. Basically, only three players showed up for the Aces - Wilson, Plum, and Young. They were on the 2nd of a back-to-back and didn't have enough energy to win.

Positives: Hamby loves playing against her former team and tonight she dropped 28 pts and grabbed 14 boards. McDonald's been the 2nd best player over the past 10 games and she had a monster game - 23 pts, 3 assists, 3 steals, 4 boards; she also hit 2 clutch free throws to put the game away. Jackson didn't shoot well but she scored 14 pts and had a clutch rebound off a missed free throw in overtime. Talbot came to play the last 2 games - she sent the game to OT with a turnaround jumper and she had a great assist to Hamby in OT. I had no idea Talbot could be this good; she lead the team in assists with 9 dimes.

Negatives: I hate to pick on Nurse but this is her 4th 0-fer of the season. Burrell didn't shoot the ball well but her length did bother Young and Plum. Cooke only got 3 minutes because she missed all three shot attempts.

It was great seeing Brink on the bench and Kiki Iriafen interviewed; Kiki could very well be a Spark next season. Because the Wings won tonight, we're still tied for worst record in the league.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2024 5:41 am    Post subject: Rickea's Nails in the Press Conference

Take a look at Rickea Jackson's fingernails in the press conference. She's been mishandling the ball on the dribble quite a bit this season. Is this the reason?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eec9Q6R4ook
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2024 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Rickea's Nails in the Press Conference

Scoffs wrote:
Take a look at Rickea Jackson's fingernails in the press conference. She's been mishandling the ball on the dribble quite a bit this season. Is this the reason?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eec9Q6R4ook


The one who keeps putting her hand under the chin, right? Those are short nails those aren’t longer than her natural nails. They’re thicker, because she likely has a gel coating, and they’re more prominent because of the color she’s wearing against her skin tone. But they aren’t long.

I don’t see why a length that’s the same as her natural nails would make a difference, but maybe they do. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (this falls under the umbrella of what I do for a living, FYI. That’s why I was asking about specifics)
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2024 7:42 pm    Post subject:

Anyway just watched some of yesterday’s game. Yay winning!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2024 8:23 pm    Post subject: Game 21: Welcome Back Azura; Bye Bye Talbot

Sparks lose a close game vs the Phoenix Mercury. They were playing without Taurasi and they barely won despite the Sparks shooting only 38.7% fg. Rookie Rickea Jackson had a career high of 22 pts and you'd think she had a great game, but she should've scored over 30 pts because she missed 2 lay-ups and at least 3 wide open shots from distance. Azura Stevens is finally back from her hand injury but the Sparks lose Stephanie Talbot with a foot injury. Talbot's on the Australian Olympic Team so I hope this injury doesn't dash her Olympic dreams.

Positives: Cooke played under control and even though she only shot 2/5, they were good shots. Clarendon's playing a reduced role, but she's been very effective at playmaking, shotmaking, and defense. Stevens contributed immediately with 10 pts, 6 boards, and 4 assists. Jackson got a career high and she didn't let Kahleah Copper cook her nearly as bad as their last meeting. Hamby did well but wasn't a difference maker.

Negatives: No one could guard Natasha Cloud tonight and she scored a career high 31 pts. The Sparks were up 1 pt with 1:30 to go and they let Cloud score on every possession.

Overall, this is what I want to see with the remaining 19 games. I want the team to play hard, for the rookie and the sophomores to grow, and for the tank to keep rolling towards Paige Bueckers. Great job, finally, Coach Miller.
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