A year ago, the Connecticut Sun were on their way toward an appearance in the WNBA Finals. Now, after the first three games of the season, they are still looking for their first victory against a team that already beat them once this season.
The Sun aim to avoid going winless in their opening four contests for the first time in three seasons on Saturday against the Minnesota Lynx at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.
Not having star Jonquel Jones (14.6 points per game, 9.7 rebounds per game in 2019) in the "Wubble" this season certainly is a blow to Connecticut (0-3). However, it's uncertain if many in and around the club would think, even without Jones, it would still be looking for its first victory.
That's the reality at the moment. The Sun rank near the bottom of the league averaging 78 points while yielding 84 per contest. DeWanna Bonner (27.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg) and Alyssa Thomas (19.3 ppg, 12.3 rpg) are doing their part offensively, but no other player is averaging more than 8 points.
Bonner went off for 34 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, but the Sun shot just 35.6 percent during an 81-76 loss to Los Angeles on Thursday. Bonner also had a Facebook message for Sun fans that this might not be the time to panic.
"The wins will come. This year. Next year, whenever," Bonner posted on Connecticut's official Facebook page. "I promise you that.
"Connecticut, stay with us. Just watch. Just sit back and watch. We're alright."
Bonner's words are meant to be comforting, but the reality remains that the Sun are in danger of going 0-4 for the first time since 2017. That first defeat of 2020 came 77-69 against Minnesota (2-1) on Sunday. Sylvia Fowles (14.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg) had 17 points and 18 rebounds and Napheesa Collier added 11 as the Lynx outscored the Sun 27-12 in the fourth quarter.
The Lynx will try for a second consecutive victory after holding on for an 83-81 win over Chicago on Thursday. Collier (14.0 ppg, 8.3 rpg, 4.3 assists per game) scored 10 of her 20 points in the final quarter and also pulled down 10 boards as the Lynx held off a late Sky charge and a close-range shot at the buzzer.
According to the Star Tribune, Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve has been pleased with her team's start. Especially in terms of their coachability.
"This team allow itself to be held accountable," she told the newspaper.
Thomas had 20 points and Bonner scored 19 for Connecticut against the Lynx last weekend.