At this point of her career, Candace Parker is hungry for another championship. The Los Angeles Sparks are contenders for this season’s championship with nothing holding them back. Parker, who won her only championship in 2016, will be an important factor in the Sparks run for yet another ring.
It’s been a very solid season for the two time WNBA MVP. For the past few seasons, Parker was riddled with injuries that held her back from playing her style of basketball. It’s a possibility that the WNBA’s late start may have benefitted Parker in some way. Through her 18 games played this season, Parker has been very active on both ends, looking like the Candace Parker of old. If she can keep the momentum going, it could be a huge boost for this Sparks team en route to a championship.
Parker’s scoring numbers continue to dwindle, standing this season at 14.3 points. But the good thing about her is she knows how to impact the game from different perspectives. As always, Parker has been a great ‘point-center” as she is great at dishing passes and finding the open teammate. Also, as Parker makes the hunt for her first defensive player award, she has been active protecting the basket and reading the opposing team’s offense. Many would think that Parker would come into this season having lost a step. But with everything at stake for her team, she has stepped up in a massive way.
The past two games, Parker has averaged 23.5 points per game. With the absence of Nneka Ogwumike, Parker understood that it was time for her to become more aggressive with putting the ball in the basket. When Parker scores at a high level, it makes the Sparks even more dangerous. Despite losing on a last second shot to Seattle Friday night, the Sparks showed that they are a lethal weapon with Parker being a dominant scorer.
Remind you, Parker already a champion. She understands that this stretch of the season is important. The playoffs are right around the corner and it’s important to carry over momentum. The Sparks as a team understand that they still have time to make improvements that can make them a more dangerous playoff team. It will be interesting to see how they interact as a team through these last four games of the regular season.
Parker may not have the same scoring outbursts going forward that she has had over the past two games. But expect her to remain a dynamic factor in the Sparks’ success. In year 13, this is a situation that Parker is not unfamiliar with. She will continue to guide her team in the best possible way, putting them in situations where they can continue to be great contributors on the floor. They still have Seattle and Las Vegas ahead of them in the WNBA standings. But if Parker can continue to lead the way on the floor, they may surprise the world with overcoming the two teams ahead of them.
Candace Parker has shown that she is still one of the most skilled players in the WNBA. Her ability to move on the floor gives a boost for her teammates to play well on both ends of the court. Now, it is her job to make sure the Sparks do not underachieve for another championship.