Thursday, August 10, 2006

Tougher Than Ever

Although Nykesha Sales may return to the starting lineup in both or either of the regular season’s final two games, she could very well return to the bench once the playoffs begin. If it happens, Sales’ brief stay in the starting five will likely be the result of Katie Douglas, or perhaps another player, being rested before the postseason begins a week from Friday.
Sales as a reserve would be quite the luxury for Sun coach Mike Thibault, who already has the services of Asjha Jones as a sixth man.
The silver lining to Sales’ left Achilles trouble was Erin Phillips emerging as a very capable starter. Now someone comfortable playing both guard positions, Phillips, along with the return of Sales, gives the Sun seven legitimate starters. Add to that as good a third-string point guard leaguewide in Jamie Carey and solid role players in Le’Coe Willingham, Laura Summerton and Megan Mahoney, and the Sun have to be considered the favorite to win the WNBA title.
Already assured of home-court advantage throughout, the Sun are a better team than they were a week ago — and will probably be stronger a week from today. Although injuries might have prevented this team from winning it all a year ago, having some players miss part of this season makes Connecticut as deep as it’s ever been.


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