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CT Sun remains undefeated and they warn their best is yet to come

UNCASVILLE – The CT Sun have had some good wins, coming from behind, hanging on in overtime and finding different ways to win.

These are among the characteristics of a good team. They had an easier game on Tuesday night, smothering Phoenix 70-47.

“We didn’t play our best basketball,” Alyssa Thomas said. “We’re still working out a lot of the kinks, lineups and minutes limitations, so there’s a lot of room for us to continue to grow, which is also scary. I don’t think any of us are playing our best basketball right now.”

Connecticut Sun remains undefeated, defeating Phoenix Mercury 70-47 as DeWanna Bonner surpasses the milestone

And there was the recurring theme after an impressive victory: you haven’t seen anything yet. The Sun is the last undefeated team in the WNBA at 6-0. In an era of “Super Teams,” assembled in New York and Las Vegas, and new superstars, the gritty, workmanlike Sun, well-assembled by President Jen Rizzotti and General Manager Darius Taylor, is once again well-formed and driven by the reigning coach of the year Stephanie White, become the story of the W.

“They’re just a tough team,” said UConn great Diana Taurasi, for she was held to six points, less than a third of her 19-point average for Phoenix. “I spent some time with Coach White at USA Basketball, and the one thing I really like about her is that she really knows what she wants from her players and it shows in the way they play. There is no indecision, everyone knows what their role is, what is expected of them and that is why they play like that.”

In year two of the Taylor-White partnership, the Sun has once again added a number of new players, veterans who will play key bench roles, and that’s where they see room for growth as those players settle into roles and settle in.

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What isn’t new is the Sun’s core, Thomas, who had 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds, DeWanna Bonner, who scored 19 to pass the 7,000-point mark in what was a Hall-of-Fame career will be, and Brionna Jones, who gradually increased her minutes in her first season after suffering a torn Achilles tendon.

“I think our core, me, AT and Breezy, we’ve been at this for a long time, a lot of years,” Bonner said. “We know each other a little bit, we know where the other is (on the field), we feel comfortable with each other, that helps. Then you just add pieces and bring them along, confidence-wise, make sure they’re playing at the same level, feeling the same love, so I think we’ve got a great group joining in and getting into their roles.”

They opened the season on May 14 in front of a packed home arena, many making a pilgrimage to see Caitlin Clark’s debut but leaving with the impression that another Thomas triple-double was stamped on their foreheads.

“It helps when you have a monster like Alyssa Thomas, who impacts the game in more ways than, I think, anyone who has ever played basketball,” Taurasi said.

Bonner is averaging 20.3 points per game and the Sun are fifth in the league with 83.8, but are not among the top in the offensive categories. However, they are the top-ranked defensive team, allowing 73.8 points per. Phoenix shot 23.8 percent from the floor, including an unfathomable 1-for-27 on three-pointers.

“I don’t feel like we really played 40 minutes of our best basketball on either end of the floor,” White said. “We just haven’t put it together. We’ve had periods where we played well enough in the fourth quarter to win. We haven’t shot the ball particularly well, but our defense has always given us opportunities to succeed.”

Of course, to miss 26 of 27 threes, the Mercury just had a tough shooting night at the casino. Some were open looks that they just missed, but when you play the type of defense the Sun plays, teams are bound to feel more rushed and even rush the open looks. The defensive identity gives Connecticut a certain advantage before a game even starts.

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The Sun has defeated Indiana, Washington, Minnesota and Phoenix at home, Indiana and Chicago on the road. Only the Lynx (4-1) are over .500; the big tests are still to come. Dallas (3-2) comes to Connecticut on Friday, the New York Liberty (4-2), who eliminated Connecticut in the semifinals last fall before losing to the Aces in the finals, comes to Connecticut on June 8, the first crack on the two-time champion comes June 21 in Vegas.

So we’ll know a lot more about the Sun in July when the league pauses for the Paris Olympics, but if we haven’t seen their best basketball yet, we’ve certainly seen enough to believe they’ll tap into the market . one more time in search of that elusive first championship. They are the twelfth team in league history to start 6-0. Of these, eleven reached the final and five won the title.

“They are a super team because when they play, they play collectively,” Taurasi said. “They have shared knowledge, and then you become a super team, when everyone knows what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Super talent, you can throw that out the window if you don’t know how to work together, and this team has been working on this for a while, this core has been together for a long time, you can tell that they know what to expect from each other , and that’s why they’re currently undefeated and probably playing the best basketball in the league.”

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