Sure, the All-Star break has not arrived yet, but three-time WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks are not looking like the team we all know and recognize as one of the greats right now.
The Sparks, fresh off of a 74-62 loss to the lowly 5-9 Dallas Wings, now sit in seventh place in the WNBA standings with a 7-7 record and are just 5-5 in their last 10 games. The Sparks are also just 3-4 in the seven games since their franchise player, Candace Parker, returned from her preseason hamstring injury.
Parker played only six minutes in the first half and did not return due to a foot injury, while Chelsea Grey (14.1 PPG in 2019) scored only three points in 33 minutes (WNBA.com) in the team’s Tuesday afternoon loss to the Wings.
Despite having five double-digit scorers on the roster, the Sparks have largely struggled all season and have not taken advantage of the returning Parker, who is only averaging eight PPG but 6.4 RPG and 2.7 APG. Her near three APG is second on the team for players that have started seven or more games.
If the Sparks want to turn things around, they will definitely have their chance. Four of their next five games to end the July stretch are on the road. All five games against the Indiana Fever, Atlanta Dream, New York Liberty and the aforementioned Wings, pit them against clubs that sit below them in the standings.
Their August schedule opens with seven of their first nine games at home. If things are going to turn around, it needs to start this Friday in their matchup with the Fever, but that’s only if Parker can play at her best.