LOS ANGELES – The Sparks are behind All-Star Nneka Ogwumike, but are looking forward to the return of Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter to extend the team’s rotation, said interim coach Fred Williams.
The Sparks (11-14) will host the Atlanta Dream (12-14) at 12:30 p.m. Thursday on Spectrum Sportsnet and NBA TV.
In their only game this season, the Sparks lost 77-75 on May 11 in Atlanta, when No. 1 pick in the 2022 draft, Rhyne Howard, who also made the All-Star Game, scored 21 points. The WNBA All-Star averages 15.1 points per game for the Dream and Tiffany Hayes averages 16.9 points in seven games after recovering from an injury.
Thursday’s game will be a battle for sixth place in the WNBA standings and could have major implications for the tiebreaker less than a month into the end of the regular season.
“It’s the position we want to be in to get into the final phase of the season,” Williams said. “For us, we know that every game is important to us.
“We have to take this game as a really meaningful game for us. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s the beginning of something to fight and go against Atlanta, who had a good win (92-76 on Tuesday) against Las Vegas. “We just have to shoot well and play our game and go out to compete and get out to that playoff spot.”
Meanwhile, with just eight active players, the Sparks bounced back from Ogwumike’s 35-point record of the season, securing the much-needed 86-79 home win against Indiana Fever on Tuesday night.
“We all want her to be great. She’s great, so seeing that greatness right in front of your eyes is exciting,” said Jasmine Walker, Sparks forward. “We wanted him to press for 40. We told him,‘ You have five (points) more. You can get 40. ‘ It’s a good experience to see him be great in person. “
Sparks center-back Liz Cambage has missed the last two games after entering health and safety protocols ahead of last week’s 80-68 defeat to the Chicago Sky.
Cambage trained Wednesday and Williams said that while she expects her 6-foot-9 center to play up to 15 minutes against Atlanta, she can have a decisive impact.
Sparks guard Chennedy Carter, who was traded to Los Angeles for Atlanta in the offseason, recently recovered from a knee injury since July 1st. Carter trains on Wednesday and is also expected to be available to play up to 10 minutes against his former team. by Williams.
“I don’t want to pressure them too much,” Williams explained.
The return of Cambage and Carter would give the Sparks 10 active players, which Williams greatly appreciates, so that he can extend the team’s rotation and give additional rest to key players if needed.
Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter are expected to play limited minutes against the Atlanta Dream on Thursday afternoon, according to Sparks interim coach Fred Williams. @CoachFredW @LASparks #WNBATwitter pic.twitter.com/Gia1cShHRZ
– John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) July 20, 2022
Sparks sophomore forward Jasmine Walker said she is still adjusting after playing just two games early last season before tearing her right knee ACL in May 2021.
“It still looks like my first year,” said Walker, who averages 7.7 minutes per game. “I feel like I’m still learning, still uniting my body, my mind. It still looks like the first year to me. “
Walker, whose teammates are constantly praising basketball IQ and a commitment to watching game movies, believes this year’s team is better than last year’s team that finished 12-20 and narrowly missed the playoffs.
“Last year I saw a lot of our games at home, of course, but I feel like what’s different between last year and this year is when it comes to finishing games, (there’s) more awareness,” Walker said. “I feel like this is a much better team. We have all kinds of attacks and different angles. Our defense is one of the best, it’s more awareness this year.”
Walker’s role has varied between small forward and pivot-wing positions this season.
“I’m versatile. I can do anything,” Walker shared.
Ultimately, the 6-foot-3 stretch forward believes its role is to give energy and effort on a daily basis.
“If that’s getting bounces when I’m in the game. If that’s getting a steal when I’m in the game or knocking down a shot if I’m too open, just do the little things that will help us in the long run,” Walker concluded.
I asked Jasmine Walker, a LA Sparks sophomore forward, how she defines her role on this year’s team and whether she’s considered a 3 or 4. @ TheRealJuice40 #LASparks #WNBATwitter pic.twitter.com/tsgZA5Piuh
– John W. Davis (@johnwdavis) July 20, 2022
Sparks’ Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter expected to play against Dream – Press Telegram Source link Sparks’ Liz Cambage and Chennedy Carter expected to play against Dream – Press Telegram