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By Steve Finley
Sports Editor 

Sparks players need to step up to avoid another losing season


George Laase

Sparks point guard Jordin Canada need to continue to be aggressive if the Sparks expect to make the playoffs.

The 2022 Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA are starting to look a lot like the 2021 Sparks. That team failed to make the playoffs and that led to general manger and head coach Derek Fisher bring in new players for the 2022 season. The roster changes have not worked so far.

Fisher was fired after 12 games and assistant coach; Fred Williams was named interim head coach. His first game as the head coach the Sparks were beaten badly by the best team in the league, the Las Vegas Aces at the Arena last week. So, what do the Sparks need to do to turn the wagon around and head in the right direction?

Like the Lakers, on paper they look like a title contending team, but each player must play up to their abilities if they expect to make the playoffs. The most important player of on this team of stars is point guard and former UCLA star Jordin Canada. She can control the tempo of the game.

"Me being aggressive on the defensive end and getting my teammates involved, that's the most important thing," said Canada after their lost to the Aces. "Allowing the game to come to me. I don't want to be that player that is trying to force things. I want to be able to get everyone involved and keep being aggressive on defense and bring that energy and spark that we need."

Canada continued to say, "I just try to maintain the flow and maintain leadership on the floor and make sure everyone gets involved and everyone gets a touch. When the game comes to me it comes to me."

George Laase

Sparks forward Katie Lou Samuelson can be a difference maker for her team

Another key to the success of the Sparks is their 6'8 center, Liz Cambage. So far Cambage is inconsistent and appears to be out of shape. "Liz watching film is going to help her," Williams. "She needs to work on her conditioning. We are looking for her to be a big force in the middle defensively and offensively setting up a little bit lower." The Aces doubled and tripled teamed her, but she had trouble passing to the open player.

The Sparks have the talent in players like all-star veteran Nneka Ogwumike, Katie Lou Samuelson and Brittney Sykes but right now chemistry is missing. Maybe Canada can help bring the pieces together.

Their next home games are Tuesday at 7:30 against Washington and Thursday, against Chicago at 7:30 p.m. They are currently 5-8 and in eighth place in the 12 team WNBA league.


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