Player in the spotlight
With All-Star weekend right around the corner, Sue Bird was again in the spotlight during the WNBA All-Star Draft.
Bird's Seattle teammate and All-Star captain Breanna Stewart just had to have the legend on her team, so she worked out a trade with the other captain A'ja Wilson.
The All-Star weekend is setting up to be an emotional event. Bird is playing her final All-Star game, adding another feather to her illustrious 19-year career. The Storm lifer will make her 12th All-Star Game appearance this weekend.
It’s going to be hard thinking about a WNBA without Bird, who has been a pillar for the league since being drafted in 2002. She has the most assists in WNBA history, four WNBA titles, and five Olympic gold medals.
Game of the week
In what was probably the grittiest game of the season, the Connecticut Sun rallied from down 17 points in the second half against the Washington Mystics on Monday.
It was a defensive struggle that lasted into overtime. When the dust settled, it was the Sun that did just enough to eke out a 74-72 win and avoid spiraling into a losing streak.
BIG. BREEZY. BLOCK. #CTSun pic.twitter.com/4SpaYVxZdk— Connecticut Sun (@ConnecticutSun) July 3, 2022
Alyssa Thomas powered the Sun to the win, scoring 14 of her 23 points in the second half and grabbing nine boards. Courtney Williams added 15 points while Natasha Hiedeman managed 14.
Aerial Powers got hot and kept firing on Monday to lead Minnesota past Las Vegas.
.@aerial_powers23 already with 8 PTS to start the first quarter 🔥 pic.twitter.com/m1WaAh47rQ— WNBA (@WNBA) July 3, 2022
Powers hung 32 points on the Aces to go with six rebounds and four assists. She already had 14 points in the first quarter, just one short of the Aces’ 15.
On Saturday, the resurgent Los Angeles Sparks got huge performances from their frontcourt of Nneka Ogwumike and Liz Cambage.
All the way @nnekaogwumike 👏 pic.twitter.com/iTCKnhH8c5— WNBA (@WNBA) July 2, 2022
The duo clobbered Dallas’ bigs, each finishing with 21 points. Ogwumike added four assists, three rebounds, and two steals to her line, while Cambage managed 11 boards, three assists, and two steals.
Storylines to watch
With just eight games on the schedule due to All-Star Weekend, there isn’t much to go off this week. After the All-Star festivities, there’s going to be plenty to look forward to as we head into the second half of the season.
It’s going to be interesting if any team can build enough momentum to shake up the top of the standings, where the Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces comfortably reside. Both teams, though, have looked gassed during their recent games and could be the teams that needed the mid-season break the most.
The Atlanta Dream and the Sparks also look primed to make a second-half run, making the middle of the standings that much murkier and exciting for us fans.