The Connecticut Sun are happy to return home, where they have are undefeated this season, for a Saturday matchup against the Minnesota Lynx. The Sun should be able to end their three-game skid, but execution and defense have been a problem over this stretch. Simply changing the location does not necessarily mean that these things will improve; the Sun will have to bring the effort if they want to right the ship.
Although the Sun beat the Lynx earlier in the season, both teams appear to be in different places: The Sun are struggling, while the Lynx appear to have found the right formula.
The Sun have experienced a minor roster change since they last took the court: Natisha Hiedeman, the 18th overall pick in this year’s draft, was claimed off of waivers after being released by the Atlanta Dream. Hiedeman has yet to make her regular-season debut after playing with the Sun in the preseason. Bridget Carleton was released to make space for Hiedeman. Carleton had featured in four games for Connecticut.
The Lynx are coming off a 17-point victory over the Dream and have won three of their last four. Prior to this stretch, the Lynx had dropped five of six, but a win today would put the Lynx at 8-6 and hold them at fourth in the league.
Minnesota has found its offense not only from established star Sylvia Fowles, but also from three players who were not on the roster a year ago. Odyssey Sims leads the team in scoring, and rookie Napheesa Collier and fifth-year forward Damiris Dantas (who is dealing with a calf injury) are both averaging double figures.
Defensively, the Lynx have been disciplined, allowing just 75.5 points per contest despite surrendering the second-worst opponent shooting percentage. The Sun just happen to be last in opponent field goal percentage, but with a 9-4 record, this setback can be easy to look over.
Connecticut Sun (9-4) vs. Minnesota Lynx (7-6)
When: Saturday, July 6, at 2 p.m. ET
Where: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT
How to watch: ESPN2, TSN
Keys to the matchup: Sylvia Fowles and Jonquel Jones impact their respective teams in so many other ways than just scoring. Neither player has registered a double-double in their last two games, so whoever does so could indicate which team will win. The Sun’s defense will have to be at their best, as the Lynx shoot 44.4 percent from the floor.