Look, I was going to put in a bit of effort and thought and seriousness into breaking down the Connecticut Sun’s 87-62 Game 1 win over the Las Vegas Aces when it came time to do a preview for Game 2 tonight.
And so I pulled up the ol’ box score to break down the Four Factors and give you some deep analysis and so on and so forth.
And then I realized that one team shot 42% from behind the three-point line (that’s Connecticut) and the other team shot 7.1% from behind the three-point line (that’s Las Vegas).
Sometimes these things are not very complicated to figure out. Sure, Jasmine Thomas went HAM in the first half on the Aces as the Sun opened up an 11 point lead at the break. But an 11 point lead against a team that beat Connecticut by double digits twice this season doesn’t really mean all that much if you think about that for a second. And then Connecticut just kept on doing Connecticut things in the second half, and Vegas just rolled over and took the loss, no matter what kind of speech head coach Bill Laimbeer was seen giving to his troops during a timeout.
Odds are that Thomas will not score a career best 31 points while shooting 50% from behind the arc in Game 2. However, odds also are that DeWanna Bonner, #3 in scoring in the league this season, won’t go 2-for-12 to finish with eight points again either. If the Sun can find some kind of happy medium for both women as well as bring the kind of defensive intensity that led to Las Vegas posting an effective field goal percentage of 34.6%, well, then we’ve definitely got ourselves a series here. Remember, this is best of five, so Connecticut just needs to go 2-2 in the next four to advance to the finals for the second straight season.
We should point out what Marquette great Natisha Hiedeman did in Game 1. She had a largely quiet first half, getting just a few minutes off the bench as Jasmine Thomas was hot and head coach Curt Miller wanted to keep her out there for obvious reasons. As the game wore on and the lead kept mounting though, that meant more minutes for Hiedeman. She lit it up in the fourth quarter, getting 11 of her 14 points in the final 10 minutes. The game was already decided to a certain extent, but the puffy haired shooting phenom definitely helped keep the game there as Connecticut outscored the Aces 23-21 in the final period. Hiedeman finished with three rebounds, three assists, and a steal in her 17 minutes of action, and that’s pretty good numbers off the bench in a semifinal playoff game. Will she get to do it again? Well, only if Connecticut ends up with a big lead, so I’m definitely hoping it happens.