Connecticut Sun keep focus on Las Vegas Aces with WNBA Finals a win away
On the eve of Game 4 of the WNBA semifinals, the reality for the Connecticut Sun is clear: A win Sunday locks up another trip to the Finals.
It’s tantalizing to think about the possibilities. Guard Briann January, however, doesn’t want to get wrapped up in all of that.
“In the playoffs there’s always an excitement, but for me, I try to stay as level as possible and stay focused,” January said following Saturday’s shootaround. “The more you think about where you’re at and what’s going on, the further you get away from our game plan and what we need to execute, and what we need to improve on going into the next game.
“You’ve just got to stay grounded, stay locked in.”
Forgive January — acquired during the offseason after 11 seasons with Indiana and Phoenix — if this all sounds cliché. She’s done this before, having won a championship with the Fever in 2012. Only three of her teammates can say they’ve done the same, and not with these Sun.
Can that change? Will it? Only time will tell.
For now, the Sun — leading 2-1 in their best-of-five series against the Aces — are squarely focused on putting away Las Vegas while they have the chance. Game 4 is Sunday at 1 p.m. (ESPN).
“It’s the same situation as the first two single-elimination games. The focus is still the same,” January said. “In my time in the WNBA, on all the teams I’ve been on that have made it to the Finals and the semifinals, it’s really one game at a time. You don’t sit back and think about big picture and think about what you don’t have. You focus on what’s right in front of you.”
With an extra day off between Games 3 and 4, Sun head coach Curt Miller gave his players Friday off: no film, no practice, no basketball-related activities whatsoever. He prioritized rest and recovery.
But it was back to work a day later for everyone, though to varying degrees. Forward Alyssa Thomas, who gutted her way through a dislocated right shoulder to post a double-double (23 points, 12 rebounds) in the Game 3 win, did not practice. However, she’s listed as probable and all signs point to her being able to go.
“She didn’t do anything today. She sat on the sidelines. She’s sore,” Miller said. “She’s a warrior. She’s smart, so she stayed engaged on what we were talking about and preparing as we were implementing the game plan.
“We have faith that she will be able to play again.”