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Hamby Contained, Brink Injured, and Sun Shine Bright in win over the LA Sparks

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Going into Tuesday's game against the Connecticut Sun, Los Angeles Sparks forward Dearica Hamby had a double-double in all but three of the team's 14 games. By the end of the first half, however, Hamby was scoreless with four rebounds and one assist.


Hamby's pre-season declaration to play at an All-Star level was not just a statement but a promise.  Her determination has been evident in her performance, which has not gone unnoticed by opposing teams.  In an interview with Terriak Foster-Brasby, Sun's Ty Harris revealed that the Sun's strategy to contain Hamby was based on a deep understanding of the Sparks' personnel, forcing Hamby and the team to adapt their offense.  



Connecticut executed a game plan that pushed the Sparks to the outside and completely shut down their offense in the paint. Hamby, a key target of their strategy, only took one shot in the first half, but it was the turnovers that told the true story.


The Sparks had 15 turnovers in the first half. They doubled that by the end of the game, finishing with 30 turnovers that resulted in 24 points for the Sun in a game where the Sparks lost by nine.


The Sparks need to create different offensive schemes that catch their opponent off guard, and they may have to do that without the defensive prowess of standout rookie Cameron Brink.



Brink was carried off the floor in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. Sparks head coach Curt Miller said Brink will be evaluated on Wednesday, noting that injuries are part of the game.


Miller says he has lost a player to injury every season except in 2019. "You just have to have the mentality of next person up and rally around it," says Miller. He also believes injuries often allow a player to step up and blossom, but says injuries can make or break a season: "The best teams don't always win in the WNBA; the healthiest teams win."


Fully healthy or not, the Sparks must create looks that throw teams off guard. In this foundational year, the Sparks offense is easily dissected—something the New York Liberty will undoubtedly exploit on Thursday at the Barclays Center in New York.

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