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Connecticut Sun v Indiana Fever

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Even after several days off, the story remained mostly the same for the Indiana Fever. 

Another game against the best team in the league, another loss, this time by a score of 89-72. From the middle of the third quarter on, all Fever starters not named Aliyah Boston rode the bench, including rookie Caitlin Clark, who struggled to the tune of 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting, with 2 assists and 3 turnovers. The rough performance follows Clark not being named to the women’s Olympic basketball team. 

It was another reminder that Clark is a rookie who is taking her lumps, and that this Fever team is a work in progress. There’s a reason they have been in position to take players like Clark and Boston 1st-overall in two consecutive years, and why it looks like they’ll have a shot to draft first again next year.  

In hindsight, it’s easy to see that the early predictions of Clark and the Fever running roughshod through the league were foolish. Like in so many other sports, this will take time, and maybe another piece. Clark needs time to grow and learn, and maybe even some time to rest and recover. 

Of course, maybe what’s really needed is a big change? 

 The Fever head coach, Christie Sides, has taken plenty of flak this season, both on the court and in her handling of the media circus surrounding Clark. Sharing Clark’s “woke up a monster’ comments to the media was a bad look, especially if Clark didn’t specifically tell her that it was okay to do so. Beyond that, the team has looked disconnected and at times, disinterested. The attention Clark brings, combined with the Fever’s brutal early schedule, are clearly challenges, but it doesn’t seem like Sides has risen to meet the moment.  

Fans aren’t going to lose interest in Clark, at least not for now. Eventually however, there needs to be some winning. Whether Sides is the right coach to usher in that winning remains to be seen.  

During Tuesday’s edition of The Ride With JMV, John spoke to the T.V voice of the Fever, Pat Boylan. Check out that conversation below, and tune into The Ride With JMV weekdays from 3-6pm on 93.5/107.5 The Fan!

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