2024 LA Sparks Season
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2024 10:23 pm    Post subject: Game 22: Return of the Turnovers

Sparks get blown out at home vs the Minnesota Lynx, who are without Napheesa Collier. This was a weird game because both teams were bad. The Sparks forced 5 shot clock violations but turned the ball over 18 times. The difference was the 3-pt shooting. The Lynx shot 50% while the Sparks shot a miserable 3/20 or 15% from threes.

Negatives: Rookie Jackson had her 3rd game this season where she seemed disengaged. For at least 6 possessions, she just stood in the corner waiting for someone to pass to her. She attempted only 8 shots; that's not what you want for the 2nd best scorer on the team. I don't know if it's just bad coaching or if she's a passive scorer. The bench contributed nothing tonight. Cooke, Yueru, and Burrell shot a combined 1/10. Yikes. Nurse stunk it up again and missed every jumper, but she did get 2 layups. McDonald had 4 turnovers, but at least 2 of those passes should've been caught. The Sparks' bigs (Yueru and Stevens) do not have good hands or mobility.

Positives: Clarendon had another good game off the bench, shooting 4/5 and dishing out 4 assists. Hamby shot very efficiently but only took 9 shots.

The offense looked terrible tonight with all the turnovers and missed shots. On defense, they kept losing the shooters. Burrell plays hard but she has no fundamentals. She loses sight of her defensive assignments regularly. I think 2/3 of the roster need to be replaced next season. Cooke, Burrell, Nurse, Yueru, and Brown are not a good fit for this team. Stevens and Clarendon neither helps nor hurts the team so they could be gone as well.

Right now, the core should be Hamby, Brink, Jackson, McDonald, and Talbot. Everyone else can go, especially the coach.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2024 3:07 pm    Post subject: Game 23: Out-tanked at Dallas

Sparks win their 2nd road game of the season vs the Dallas Wings - one of the 4 competitors in the Paige Bueckers tankathon. Right now, over 2 seasons, the Sparks have a 2 game lead vs the Mystics, a 3 game lead over Atlanta, and a 4 game lead over Dallas. This means the Sparks have the highest probability of winning the 2025 WNBA draft lottery.

https://www.tankathon.com/wnba

This is a weird game because Arike Ogunbowale, the 2nd leading scorer in the WNBA, was effectively contained by Kia Nurse. Arike was held to 2/15 shooting and only had 12 pts.

Positives: For the first time this season, the Sparks actively looked to pass to Jackson on offense. Jackson still blew 2 lay-ups and 2 wide open threes, but she's showing growth. The Wings have small guards and Jackson loves to go at smaller players on offense. Jackson ended up with a new career high of 23 pts and 7 boards; Hamby dropped 27 pts and dished out 5 assists; Stevens made all of her threes 4/4.

Negatives: They won the game against a tank competitor. I don't think it's a big deal because the Wings will likely get Satou back after the Olympic break so they should do much better.

The Mystics have 17 games left and they play some very tough opponents including the Fever twice, the Mercury twice, the Lynx three times, the Storm twice, the Sun, and the Liberty. It's going to be very difficult to out-tank the Mystics. Fortunately, the #2 draft position is still valuable because Kiki Iriafen is the best forward in college.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2024 12:08 pm    Post subject:

I watched a rerun. I didn't know the other team was tanky. Hmm :/
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2024 5:29 pm    Post subject: Game 24: Burrell for Three

The Sparks lose to the visiting Seattle Storm in a back and forth close game. They lead by 2 pts with 6 minutes to go in the 4th quarter but it was just too much Jewel Loyd and Nneka. Burrell had a career high of 18 pts and Stevens had a career high of 15 boards, but they gave up too many baskets in the paint. Without Brink, the Sparks have reverted back to last season's lousy interior defense.

Positives: Not only did Rae Burrell get a career high in scoring, but she shot 5/7 from threes and had 2 blocks. We've seen active Burrell in the past where she's just running around trying to follow the ball, but it worked out today. The rookie Jackson scored 16 pts and dished out 4 assists, but she was very inefficient - though most of the missed shots were good shots. Stevens added 24 pts on 7/12 shooting.

Negatives: Nurse had her 5th 0-fer of the season but she only took 2 shots. At this point, it might be a good idea to insert Burrell in the starting line-up. McDonald had 4 turnovers and didn't shoot very well.

This is exactly the type of game I'd like to see for the 2nd half of the season. Rickea Jackson got 38 minutes today because Hamby was in foul trouble; we saw her post up at least 3 times and make plays. She drove to the basket and dished to Hamby. She also had zero fouls. That's growth. The team was competitive and played hard, but the tank was not threatened.

If the Sparks don't get the #1 pick and end up with the #2 pick, they should draft Kiki Iriafen, another forward. This means they should probably not resign Azura for next season. Even if they don't get Bueckers, they can still be very competitive if they land a quality point guard in free agency like Dijonai Carrington.

A line-up of Brink, Hamby, Iriafen, Jackson, and Carrington is a top 5 team in the league if they get the right coach.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2024 7:23 pm    Post subject:

Let's Go Sparks

Let's Go Sparks

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2024 7:50 pm    Post subject:

I'm watching a replay… I'm starting to get concerned… Lol
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 16, 2024 8:00 pm    Post subject:

Well this was a fun game until the kind of I guess midway through the fourth where Nneka was just like OK it's time to win now. Lol this is the second time I've watched the game that I can remember that things were going good and then they kind of fell apart at the end so amongst other things it looks like they need to learn how to close out a game.

Oh well. Good game for the most part.
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