Connecticut Sun has shown tremendous resilience and played their A game under the pressure of elimination. The team now faces the threat of elimination for the fifth time this season. However, they have emerged victorious in every single one of the eliminators in the playoffs. Their most recent win Game 3 of the WNBA Finals was a convincing one where they showed authority. Their win whilst 2 down with their survival on the stake was a super comeback. Moreover, the margin of victory was the largest in the history of the WNBA Finals elimination game.
A Game Emerges When Sun is Down Under
Aces coach Becky Hammon said, “If you could encapsulate Connecticut, it’s physical, and very resilient. “They’re physical, and they’re resilient, and they have a kind of a battle-type mentality,” she further added.
Sun has the opportunity to clinch the champions title for the first time in the team’s history. However, they will have to win their upcoming eliminators, including one home game.
“I think it’s just the M.O. of our team,” said forward Jonquel Jones, who scored 20 points Thursday. “When our backs are against the wall, we play really good basketball. And sometimes you wish that you didn’t put yourself in those positions. But that’s done now. All we can do is focus on the next game. And I just feel like in the playoffs, anytime our backs is going against the wall, you see us come out.”
The strategy adjustments from Sun in the Game 3 were bullseye. Playing 6ft 4 DeWanna Bonner to restrict Chelsea Gray was a genius move and yielded results. She could only manage 11 points.
Bonner was delighted after the game, “Chelsea’s been killing it this playoff run but yeah, I did the best I can and stopped her and my teammates were right there,” Bonner said. “As long as they are right there. I’m gonna be right there with them.”
Apart from defense, Bonner broke the shackles of a slump and scored 18 points whilst 8 off 15 from the field. She was badly off target in the first two games of the finals.
Sun’s coach said, “There’s no secret that she has championship pedigree, and has played on some great teams,” Sun coach Curt Miller said. “And so we have a group that really looks up to her. So when she plays with energy. … It just gives the rest of our crew so much confidence.”
On the other camp, the Aces are relentless after the defeat and are eyeing a win in the next game to wrap it up. The strategy is already in place with a focus on being more physical and countering Alyssa Thomas. Alyssa Thomas bullied Aces in the previous game with her forward prowess. She ended her game with the first triple-double in WNBA Finals history. She scored 16 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists.
“I don’t think that we adjusted as well as we could have,” Plum said. “They got to the 50/50 Balls and physicality wise, we didn’t match that energy that they played with, specifically Alyssa Thomas. She’d beat us to a lot of those balls and that’s on us. That’ll be fixed for Sunday.”