By Shannon Mia Belt, IT Intern
Two games into the awaited 2021 WNBA season, the Los Angeles Sparks find themselves with a goose egg in the win column. After getting strong starts against the Las Vegas Aces and the Dallas Wings, this fresh-faced squad found themselves losing by over 20 points in each matchup. While winning is on the to-do list for head coach Derek Fisher and his squad, and even more apparent goal this season is figuring out who they are as a team.
“What are you as a team? What are you capable of? Which players can you rely on the most in different situations? ” Fisher asked during Wednesday’s press conference. “That allows you to formulate what your group can look like and again, especially for us as such a new team.”
Determining this will be crucial for the squad after news that rookie Jasmine Walker would be out for the rest of the season after tearing her ACL during the matchup with the Aces. Her vacancy calls for even more identification for the Sparks and gives players like Nia Coffey and Nneka Ogwumike more minutes to fill. Despite playing fewer games compared to other teams so far this season, Sparks fans can rest assured that through practice all the kinks are being worked out.
“There are times where we have to recognize like hey this is a good shot, this is a good take on it,’ Coffey said. “Other times we realize well hey we should have swung the ball or one more pass, so we’re figuring out those tweaks at practice and on film. So we are definitely trying to get the hang of it and feel each other out.”
With a team full of competitors and a slight chip on their shoulder forming, the Sparks are eager to unleash their growth during this downtime in Chicago on May 28. It is too early to tell whether or not Los Angeles will find itself back in the playoffs after last year’s loss to Connecticut. It is also even bleaker to tell whether or not another championship run is within the cards since 2016’s win under Candace Parker. However, it is clear to see that this new squad is rapidly finding its footing in the WNBA and still have 30 more games to fully realize who they are as a team.