The San Antonio Stars continue their home stand against the the Los Angeles Sparks. The Stars hope to rebound from an 85-76 loss to the Washington Mystics, and the Sparks will look to continue their winning ways after defeating the Seattle Storm 68-60. These teams met once before this season, with the Sparks coming out on top 80-75. Here are three things to watch.
How will Nneka Ogwumike and Candace Parker be defended?
Ogwumike and Parker are one of the most dangerous frontcourts in the WNBA, and will be difficult matchups for the Stars’ posts. Ogwumike, the reigning-MVP, is averaging 20 points per game which is the fourth best in the league. She has the ability to score from every spot on the floor and possesses supreme athleticism. She is also one of the smartest players in the WNBA, so defending her will have to be a top priority. It will be important to prevent her from getting to her spots early on, or else it will be a long night defensively.
Parker is averaging 16 points per game, and has some versatility to her game as well. She can play multiple positions on the floor, which makes her a tough opponent to guard. She can shoot, post up and take defenders off the dribble. Her ability to stretch a defense creates opportunities for her teammates as well.
In the last meeting, Ogwumike had 16 points and nine rebounds, while Parker posted 20 points, four rebounds and four assists.
Can the Stars play a consistent 40 minutes?
The last time these teams met, the Sparks got off to a blazing start and led 25-11 after the first quarter. However, the Stars were able to claw back into the game in the second half by outscoring Los Angeles 24-12 in the third quarter. The Silver and Black went on to lose the game 80-75. With a chance for revenge, it will be key for San Antonio to get off to a good start. Maintaining efficient play throughout the game will determine the final outcome. If the Stars can play like they did in the second half, a win is most definitely possible.
Who will provide the offense?
In their June 15 meeting, Moriah Jefferson and Isabelle Harrison did the heavy lifting by scoring 24 and 22 points respectively. Dearica Hamby added 14 points off the bench. Other than those three, no other player scored in double figures. This time around, more balance on the offensive end would be a huge plus. Having additional scorers would ultimately take the pressure off some of the main ones on the roster.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from the AT&T Center.