Sparks Are Still A Work In Progress
June 8, 2017
Although the Los Angeles Sparks are the defending WNBA champions, they are still trying to find the right combinations on defense and offense this season. With six new players on the roster it's going to take time to reach that championship level. With a 34 game regular season the time is now.
"This is the first time we have had all of the players ready," said Sparks coach Brian Agler, after the Sparks beat the Chicago Sky 79-70 last Tuesday at Staples Center. The win was Agler's 300th WNBA victory. "We are still a work in progress. Every year is different but I like our resilience right now. We don't make excuses we just play the game."
Last Tuesday the Sparks' offense struggled so the defense took over and forced 19 Chicago turnovers. Leading the way on defense was their best defensive player Alana Beard, who had three steals and also scored 18 points. "I am extremely happy about how we played defense tonight," said Beard after the win over the Sky. "Our rotations were there and we were on the same page most of the game. We needed that because our offense was not as smooth as we would have liked. So far I am satisfied with our defensive effort. We have good defenders on this team and everything we do we do together."
Six-year Sparks veteran Jantel Lavender likes the position the Sparks are in. "I think every season brings different adversities. Last year we had that great start but this year we only have two losses. I think we can still go 20-2. I don't predicate how the season is going during the early part of the season. We are still trying to get a feel for each other. It's slowly trying to come together."
The Sparks play two road games this weekend before they return home to Staples Center for three games next week against Dallas on Tuesday, June 13 at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 15 at 7:30 p.m. against San Antonio and Sunday, June 18, against Phoenix at 2 p.m.