The 7-13 Los Angeles Sparks resume their season as the WNBA All-Star Weekend has come and gone. They actually got a bit of extra rest compared to other teams as games were played starting Tuesday.
It’s paid off some. This injury list has never looked this small in weeks. Layshia Clarendon has returned (but it also meant Destanni Henderson being released from her hardship contract). While Chiney Ogwumike (who has been in and out of the line-up) is set to be out 4-6 weeks due to her foot injury, Lexie Brown has been upgraded to questionable after being out of action for a while because of a non-COVID illness. If Lexie is on the court, we could possibly see 10 active players for the Sparks for the first time in a long time.
By the way, the first opponent post-all-star for the Sparks? The Minnesota Lynx.
The Lynx beat them three times in a month. On June 11th, the Sparks lost an 11-point lead as the Lynx made a remarkable comeback to get the W. Five days later, Minnesota did it again; Napheesa Collier had a late three-point play that helped them to victory. And four days after that, the Lynx made it 3-0 against the Sparks as Collier came up big again.
Safe to say that the Sparks have their number.
The Lynx are now 9-12, having lost their last three games. But they did take advantage of a bit of a softer schedule when they won 5 straight. Still, the Lynx seem to have found their groove. Collier is having a hell of a season (21.9 points and 7.8 rebounds). Kayla McBride is still capable of having big shooting nights. And Diamond Miller, their first round pick and #2 overall, has returned to give them a boost.
As mentioned before, the Sparks are mired in a 6-game losing streak. Of course, they want to win and head coach Curt Miller has emphasized that he wasn’t brought in to tank the season. But what he does want is for the team to get healthy and get some momentum going in the second half of the season.
And if they get some great health and chemistry, the wins will come. We’ll see what happens in Minnesota.