Connecticut off to hot start, sits atop WNBA standings
NEW YORK (AP) — No team has gotten off to a hotter start then the Connecticut Sun.
Led by Jonquel Jones, the Sun (8-1) have won their last six games and have started to put a little distance between themselves and the rest of the league. Connecticut has benefited from having an entirely healthy roster and a core group that's been playing together for a few years.
"It definitely has helped us having this group together for a while," said Alyssa Thomas.
Jones has been dominating on both ends of the court. She's averaging 17.2 points, 12 rebounds and 2.6 blocks this season.
The Sun are well aware of their early playoff exits the past two seasons, losing at home to Phoenix both times in one-game playoffs.
"We definitely would love to get that bye to the semifinals," Connecticut guard Jasmine Thomas said. "Either way, we feel we have a lot more experience now in those situations and should be fine."
POWER POLL: A look at this week's WNBA poll:
1. Connecticut (8-1): Sun are off to another strong start and Jonquel Jones has been a huge reason why, averaging 17 points, 13 rebounds and 3.2 blocks.
2. Los Angeles (4-3): Candace Parker is back after missing the first part of the season with a hamstring injury. That will provide a huge lift to the Sparks.
3. Washington (4-3): The Mystics have dropped two games in a row and now face a tough four-game road trip beginning against Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
4. Chicago (4-2): Diamond DeShields is starting to find her groove and the Sky have won three straight. DeShields averaged 13 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2 steals in the victories.
5. Las Vegas (4-3): The Aces are getting more comfortable with each other on the court and Kelsey Plum found her shooting stroke in recent victories.
6. Seattle (5-4): The Storm play eight of the next nine at home after going 2-2 on a recent road trip. They should get coach Dan Hughes back soon from his absence to battle cancer.
7. Minnesota (4-5): The Lynx have dropped four straight by a combined 19 points. They are looking for someone to hit the big shot late to close out games.
8. Indiana (4-4): Kelsey Mitchell is heating up on offense and the Fever are closing in last season's win total: six.
9. Phoenix (2-4): Diana Taurasi has been practicing this week and should return soon from the back surgery in the offseason.
10. New York (3-5): The Liberty got stellar play from Sweden's Amanda Zahui B., who hit seven 3-pointers in a win over Los Angeles. The problem is she'll be gone for a few weeks for the EuroBasket tournament.
11. Dallas (1-5): The Wings won their first game of the season, beating Atlanta. They'll try and string some victories together and will have to do it without Montenegro's Glory Johnson, who is also playing in the EuroBasket.
12. Atlanta (1-5): It's been a nightmare start of the season for the Dream. They'll try and get it right with three of the next four games at home.