The West seemed to have gotten a bit stronger over the offseason. And the Los Angeles Sparks still believe that they can become a team to beat in the league coming next season. Although they secured the best record in the conference a season ago at 22-12. The team did not seem to carry that same energy that they had into the postseason where it was much needed.
The team had a rocky start in their first season with Head Coach Derek Fisher. It left many wondering if he was going to be the right fit for the job. But after playing the majority of his NBA career in LA for the Lakers, Fisher understood that the city was all about bringing championships and he put forth the effort to bring back a title for the first time since 2016.
Despite the rocky start, the Sparks turned things around before it was too late. Candace Parker continued to be in rhythm being the stretch forward. The Ogwumike sisters provided a spark for the team with Nneka being the leading scorer, and Chelsea Gray continued to be a huge factor carrying her momentum from a season ago. The Sparks were locked in and focused on postseason to bring him another title.
Unfortunately, those dreams fell short when the team got swept in the semifinals to the blazing hot Connecticut Sun led by Jonquel Jones and Courtney Williams. The girls just didn’t have the same focus going into the series. They were blowing defensive coverages and shot poorly on the offensive end, to say the least. If you ask any of the girls on the team, the season wound up to be a complete failure due to not finishing the goal that was set before the season.
With Angel McCoughtry signing with Las Vegas in free agency and Skylar Diggins-Smith being traded to Phoenix, teams only got stronger and are looking to come back into this season stronger than ever. But now that the Sparks were able to sign Seimone Augustus in free agency, the team is looking to take that extra step in being a Legit contender by adding a four-time Champion to their roster.
Augustus brings a different toughness to this new look Sparks team coming into the season. Her IQ for the game is one of the greatest this game has ever seen and she can bring a lot of energy to this Sparks team going into this season. After 14 seasons dedicated to Minnesota, Augustus seems excited to begin her new chapter with a team with much potential to win it all.
The Sparks mentality should be in win-now mode. They have all the tools that they need to contend for the championship. Now it is all about putting the pieces together to make a run in the postseason. Parker and Augustus are only getting older as time goes on and they want to continue to add on to their legendary resume. So with that being said, the Sparks should come into this season with a chip on their shoulder and let the association know that it is their time to win.
This season will be a battle test for this Sparks roster. Washington will be looking to defend their crown, Connecticut is only looking to be stronger from a year ago, and so on. Will we see this team get over the hump and win a title this season? Well, with the brilliant mind of Derek Fisher along with a team full of experience, Los Angeles should be a team that should be feared in the WNBA.