The 1-3 San Antonio Stars look to bring in another win Thursday night at 9:30 at the Staples Center as they take on the 5-0 second-seed Los Angeles Sparks.
The Stars are coming off a thrilling win last Friday against the Chicago Sky as Haley Peters contributed with 16 fourth quarter points and led them back from a 15-point deficit and to a 79-78 win. However, the Stars haven’t had so much luck in their previous three games so far.
The Sparks, on the other hand, have won all five of their games this season. The Los Angeles squad has been led mostly by veteran power forward, Candace Parker.
In light of the above mentioned facts, below are three things to watch as the Stars take on the undefeated Sparks.
1) Stars defensive effort against Candace Parker
Candace Parker, the first overall pick of the 2008 draft, obviously plays a huge role in the success of Los Angeles. She has led the way for the Sparks this year and in order to get a win against this team, the Stars must defend Parker to their best ability. Dearica Hamby, although just in her second season, has shown great improvement and confidence during this season. Hamby’s average of 5.5 defensive rebounds on the season will help the Stars reduce the Sparks’, and Parker’s, second chance points. Also, Jayne Appel-Marinelli is currently averaging 3 blocks per game. Stars fans should expect to see Appel-Marinelli defending Candace Parker for some time thought out the matchup.
2) Haley Peters’ possible emerging leadership role
The guard/forward Rookie out of Duke University, although only averaging 6 points per game, is definitely making an obviously mark on this Stars team. As mentioned above, Peters led the Stars to a win in their previous game with her 16 points all in the fourth quarter. Earlier in the season, Coach Dan Hughes commended Peters on her effort in an earlier game. Stars fans should watch Peters as she continues to grow and become more consistent for the silver and black.
3) The Stars playing a solid 40 minutes
Even though the Stars brought in their first win Friday night, they only did so by overcoming a huge deficit in the fourth quarter alone and with the help of a single player. In order for the Stars to win, especially against a team as polished as the Sparks, they must play competitively for a full 40 minutes.
So there they are, three things to watch during the Stars vs. Sparks game are: 1. The Stars defensive effort against Candace Parker; 2. Haley Peters’ possible emerging leadership role; and 3. The Stars playing a solid 40 minutes. If the Stars can accomplish these three things, they will be well on heir way to bringing in a second win for their season.