In the first game of the WNBL season, UC Capitals import Kia Nurse served notice to the rest of the league that she is going to be a force.
Canadian import Kia Nurse served notice to the entire WNBL in the first game of the season. Nurse, who played her first season with the New York Liberty in the recent WNBA season showed why the Capitals valued her signature so highly.
In the first half Nurse was everywhere, collecting 18 points at the half. Her ability to space the floor was insturmental in building the 64-39 half time lead the Capitals enjoyed over the Sydney Uni Flames.
Nurse lead the Capitals with 26 points, but it was not only how many point she scored it was how she scored them. Nurse went 5-of-9 from deep which is good for 55 percent. This allowed Nurse to go 9-of-17 from the field which was the hallmark of her college career at the powerhouse University of Connecticut.
Nurse has always had the ability to make the right shot at the right time. This is going to be easier in the WNBL with the team she has around her. In this game Lauren Scherf, the 196cm forward who played her first four season with the Dandenong Rangers, had a game out with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
However, it is the depth of star power which is going to help Nurse grow her game even further than it did in her first WNBA season with the Liberty. Against the Flames, the Capitals only had Kelsey Griffin to pair with Nurse. However, when the Capitals are fully healthy they are going to be hard to resist.
Australian Opals players and superstars Marianna Tolo and Leilani Mitchell are yet to return from injury. When they do, the Capitals will have four stars on the court who require double teams to slow them down. This is going to help Nurse get more open looks, and when she is open, Nurse tends to make a lot more than she misses.
This game was against a team in the Sydney Flames who looks like they are going to struggle but that should not take away from the stellar performace put up by Nurse and the UC Capitals. Top players still have to perform against the lower teams and Nurse certainly delivered.
Once the Capitals get their full roster back and spend some time together, we may be looking at a championship contender and Kia Nurse is going to be at the heart of that push.