Wednesday, May 15, 2024
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Caitlin Clark confirmed flashes of each stardom and battle in her WNBA debut


It was a story of two halves for Caitlin Clark in her Indiana Fever debut on Tuesday.

In her first official WNBA recreation, Clark and the Fever got here up towards one of many league’s elite defenses and struggled accordingly, falling by a last rating of 92-71.

Clark herself had a curler coaster night time. She started gradual, scoring simply seven factors within the first half after lacking her first 5 pictures from the sphere. Her first basket didn’t come till the second quarter on a steal and fastbreak layup.

After that 0-5 begin from the sphere, although, Clark made 5 of her last 10 pictures from the sphere the remainder of the way in which and scored 13 factors within the second half, together with three 3-pointers. Behind her 20 factors, the Fever saved inside attain of the Solar for a lot of the night time earlier than Connecticut’s late push blew the sport open.

DiJonai Carrington earned the lion’s share of the credit score for Clark’s rocky displaying together with her stellar defensive effort to go together with 16 factors as properly. Alyssa Thomas had 13 factors, 13 assists and 10 rebounds to open the 12 months with a triple-double for the Solar, and DeWanna Bonner tied Clark for game-high scoring honors with 20 factors.

The night time ended up being a combined bag by way of outcomes for Clark. On high of her taking pictures woes total after ending 5-15 from the sphere, she struggled with turnovers all night time lengthy, tallying 10 on the night to only three assists towards a stifling Solar protection. Final season, the Solar ranked second within the league in defensive score.

Nonetheless, her 20 factors had been solely three behind Tamika Catchings (23 factors) for the franchise document for many factors in a debut recreation. Her scoring — together with her 4 whole 3-pointers — additionally resulted in her ending the night in elite firm.

With a younger Fever roster nonetheless looking for their approach collectively, Tuesday was a reasonably robust opening check. And with back-to-back video games towards the Liberty, together with Clark’s dwelling opener on Thursday, it’s not going to get any simpler within the brief time period for the Fever.

However whereas it was removed from an optimum begin for the Fever, there’s definitely loads of room to develop. And Tuesday additionally confirmed that, even on nights when she has loads of struggles, Clark can nonetheless discover methods to provide at a excessive degree.

In some ways, Tuesday was a microcosm of what we’ll possible see from Clark this season: highway bumps sprinkled with flashes of potential alongside the way in which.

The problem for her and Indiana transferring ahead in her rookie marketing campaign is making her second-half manufacturing extra constant to keep away from the ups and downs, hopefully leading to extra victories alongside the way in which.

You possibly can comply with Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.



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