Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles was held to single digits and rebounds for the fifth time in her career against Minnesota on July 9th.
At that time, she blamed it on her lack of aggression and not playing through physical contact. She made sure that would not happen in the Sun's 76-71 win on Sunday over the Indiana Fever. Her aggression even led her to get a technical foul for an errant elbow in the first quarter.
"We wanted to set the tone early," said Charles on Sunday. "We wanted to be the aggressors. It’s how we played in New York and it’s the same way that we played tonight. It helped us a lot."
Just as Charles learned a lesson against the Lynx, the Fever’s center learned a valuable lesson against the Sun: ‘It’s hard to win if you don’t rebound.’
Jessica Davenport was limited to 2 rebounds, while Charles had 14. This point was noted by Indiana Fever coach Lin Dunn.
"Their center has 14 rebounds and our center has two, that’s really tough," said Dunn.
While Davenport’s 2 rebounds is unacceptable for a starting center in the WNBA, there are only so many rebounds to get and her teammate Catchings had a game high 15 and Katie Douglas had 6.
More troubling for the Fever is the fact that they have lost 2 games in a row and have 1 more road game at bottom dweller Atlanta, before returning home to face Chicago before their return date with Connecticut.
"Yeah, it’s a little bump, but we know that nothing is going to be gift wrapped and handed to us," said Douglas. "We know that we are one of the most hunted teams in the WNBA and we are going to have to fight on the road even more so than we do at home and we would like to regroup and gather and go to Atlanta, a team we have not seen all season, we can make the adjustments we need to make and be ready to go on Tuesday."
One of the adjustments that the Sun has made is their defensive line up.
I have been extremely vocal about the lack of offensive production that comes from having a combination of Kara Lawson, Kelsey Griffin, Kalana Greene, Tan White and Jessica Moore on the floor. Rather than the typical pattern of leaving this line up in at the end of the 3rd quarter beginning of the fourth, Sun coach Mike Thibault reduced their time on the court together and substituted White for Montgomery 2 minutes into the 4th quarter. This allowed a better offensive flow and didn't allow Indiana to take a lead.
I will note that as a defensive unit they are superb and forced turnovers on 3 straight possessions at the beginning of the fourth but 7 minutes into the 4th quarter, the score was 6-7 Indiana. Their inability to score the ball will not allow them to be effective for long stretches of time.
The Indiana Fever face the Atlanta Dream at Phillips Arena at noon EST and the Connecticut Sun host the New York Liberty at 7:30 p.m. EST.