2020 Season Simulation: Connecticut Sun have hot and cold June
The Sun ride out an up and down month, still sit in top half of the standings
Welcome to The Next: A basketball newsroom brought to you by The IX. 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage, written, edited and photographed by our young, diverse staff, dedicated to breaking news, analysis, historical deep dives and projections about the game we love.
Subscribe to make sure this vital work, creating a pipeline of young, diverse media professionals to write, edit and photograph the great game, continues and grows. Paid subscriptions include some exclusive content, but the reason for subscriptions is a simple one: making sure our writers and editors creating 24/7/365 women’s basketball coverage get paid to do it.
Bria Homes goes up for a layup (Photo by Domenic Allegra)
After a strong start in May, the Connecticut Sun went 4-5 in the month of June. The Sun currently sits in fourth place with a 10-6 record and look to bounce back from a difficult June.
Connecticut’s June ended the same way it started, with a losing streak. Similar to the 2019 season after a hot start, the Sun’s success slowed down.
Through our 2020 Season Simulation, here are some of our biggest takeaways from the first month and a half of the season.
Offense has led to wins
One key to the Sun’s success this season has been their explosive offense. In three of the team’s four wins, this month Connecticut scored at least 85 points, and in all five of the losses, the team scored less than 80 points.
If the Sun want to climb their way back up the standings the team will have to continue to have an explosive offense.
Bria Holmes has stepped up
As the season has progressed Bria Holmes has emerged as a critical bench player, averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.1 steals in 23 minutes per game.
With a compressed Olympic schedule, despite the Tokyo Olympics being delayed, it’s key that the Sun can rely on their bench.
Holmes began to emerge as such a player last season and it’s clear it’s continued into the 2020 season.
Her increased role may surprise some due to the team acquiring DeWanna Bonner and Briann January in free agency but her versatility has continued to bring a spark to the team’s offense.
Plaisance’s presence has helped the team
Theresa Plaisance was traded to the Sun a month before the 2019 regular season ended, and an injury prevented her from making an impact with the team.
However, in the 2020 season, she has finally been able to make an impact.
While she has only averaged 3.8 points per game, she scored 11 points three times in June.
Plaisance has also contributed to the Sun’s rebounding success adding 4.0 rebounds. Her presence behind Jonquel Jones in the lineup has provided the Sun with extra size which will continue to pay off as the season continues.
Jasmine Thomas and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis need to shoot more threes
As a team, Connecticut is scoring, but less frequently from behind the arc than they potentially could.
Despite the fact she is shooting 52.2 percent from behind the arc Jasmine Thomas shoots just three threes per game. While her role should not change, if the Sun need a spark, threes from Thomas could be just that.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis has attempted just four threes so far this season, despite being a consistent three-point shooter in college and during the first five years of her career with the Seattle Storm.
In 2018 Mosqueda-Lewis made 42.0% of her threes and 34.1% of them in 2019 despite the team not having stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart.
If she got up a few more threes Mosqueda-Lewis would make a few more threes. The Sun were not able to score consistently in June, but she could provide a spark heading into July and August.
In the next month and a half, the Sun will have just two games against teams ranked above them, one against the Washington Mystics and the other against the Chicago Sky. This puts the Sun in a position to continue working their way up the standings.