The Los Angeles Sparks opened their 2019 preseason against the Phoenix Mercury.
The Los Angeles Sparks had an incredibly active offseason, for the right and wrong reasons, finally got to take the court in a semi meaningful way. They opened their offseason against the Phoenix Mercury, losing a tight game 82-75. Here are three takeaways from the game.
Injuries are having an impact on the Sparks
While this seems to be a fairly obvious take, it must be stated. The Sparks had their 2018 season derailed with injuries to key players. The 2019 preseason was just 3:30 old when Candace Parker went off with a hamstring issue.
Injuries such as this can resolve themselves quickly or they can linger on for annoyingly long periods of time. Let us hope for the sake of the Sparks and their legion of fans, this is an injury resolves prior to the start of the season.
Parker is going to be crucial to the chances of the Sparks who had added a second Ogwumike. Parker has the ability to space the floor which will enable the Sparks to play the dangerous sisters together more often.
The Sparks look dangerous from deep.
The preseason is about getting a look at new players, and in the case of the Sparks, a new coach. This game did not disappoint in that the Sparks showed they are going to be dangerous from deep, shooting a very impressive 11-of-22 from beyond the arc.
It was a lot of the new players who provided the spacing for this team. Alexis Jones and Marina Mabrey hit 3-of-5, Ashley Walker hit 2-of-4. Of note, Karlie Samuelson was quality from deep, going 2-of-3 from deep.
There is going to be healthy competition for roster spots.
Under Brian Agler there was a definite preference towards experience within the playing group. While Parker, Beard, Gray, Lavender, Ruffin-Pratt and the Ogwumike sisters are going to be a lock to make the roster, there is going to some fierce competition for the remaining spots.
Alexis Jones was efficient at the point, scoring 11 points and dishing out five assists. Ashley Walker had a team high 16 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals.Finally Marina Mabrey had 11 points in just 17 minutes.
First round pick Kalani Brown did not take the court today, along with five other veterans who did not suit up. On thing is for certain, whoever Derek Fisher decides to put on the court at any given time, they will be dangerous and ready to play.