Los Angeles Sparks’ Comedic Tactics Show the Extent Teams Will Go to Contain Caitlin Clark

In sports, it’s a given that you never want the opposition’s star player to get an uncontested shot, and the Los Angeles Sparks’ game plan against the Indiana Fever highlighted this principle vividly, focusing on Caitlin Clark.

The top overall pick in the 2024 WNBA Draft has had a rocky start in the league, but she seemed to hit her stride, scoring 30 points in a single game for the first time in her professional career.

This prompted the Sparks to go to extreme lengths to contain her, resulting in a humorous incident involving Aari McDonald during her free throws. After successfully making her first shot, McDonald momentarily forgot she had another attempt.

In her haste, she sprinted towards Clark to immediately start guarding her, getting right in the 22-year-old’s face to celebrate her team’s growing lead, only to suddenly recall she still had another free throw to take.

This episode underscores the immense respect and urgency surrounding the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer (across both men’s and women’s categories) and the imperative to prevent her from converting easy free throw sequences into a three-point threat at the other end of the court.

Clark’s three-point shooting prowess is well-known, and if left unguarded, those additional free throw points can quickly turn into a scoring spree, narrowing any lead.

Clark Finds Her Rhythm in the WNBA

Caitlin Clark, a two-time AP Women’s College Basketball Player of the Year, has faced challenges transitioning to the WNBA, with her Fever team struggling offensively. They currently hold a 1-7 (.125) record through eight games, while Clark averages 17.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 6.3 assists per game.

Nevertheless, Clark is showing signs of revival, determined to lift the Fever from their last-place finish in the Eastern Conference in 2023. She recorded 30 points, five rebounds, and six assists in 34 minutes against the Sparks, reminiscent of her headline-making performances with the Iowa Hawkeyes.

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