(News4usonline) – It’s been a rough couple of weeks to open the 2022 WNBA season for the Los Angeles Sparks. The Sparks sit in fourth place in the Western Conference. The regular season is still young, and the Sparks still have plenty of opportunities to improve in the standings.
In order to do that, center Liz Cambage will need to unleash her talents on the rest of the league. So far this season, in her first year with the Sparks, Cambage has played decently, going for just over 15 points a game to go along with nearly six rebounds per game.
But for the Sparks to really make some noise in the conference, the onus is on Cambage to step it up a bit. After going 4-6 in their last 10 games before they play the Dallas Wings in a home game at Crypto.com Arena, the Sparks could use Cambage to be more dominant, although she has showed flashes of it.
In an 83-80 defeat at Seattle, Cambage went off for 25 points and collected eight rebounds. And earlier this season, in a 87-77 win against Indiana, Cambage went the double-double route with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
In the Sparks’ home opener against the Minnesota Lynx, Cambage showed the potential of her greatness. After spending their first four games on the road, which they went 2-2 on that road trip the Sparks were looking to show out for the home crowd.
Sparks fans were excited to see Cambage for the first time at home. The Sparks would lose the nail-biting game against the Lynx after a game-winning layup sealed the deal by Kayla McBride. Cambage is one the more talented players in the league and would have a decent game, but her impact was limited.
Sparks head coach Derek Fisher spoke well of Cambage after the team’s home opener.
“At her best, Cambage is the most dominant women’s basketball player in the world, Fisher said. She’s also one of the best rim protectors in the league.”
Cambage throughout the game struggled with foul trouble. Going up against Minnesota’s star center Sylvia Fowles, Cambage was tasked with a tough defensive matchup. Due to being in foul trouble throughout the whole game, Cambage was unable to have a major impact on the game. Indirectly, she did.
Cambage scored just 12 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, and three assists in 25 minutes against the Lynx. Cambage was efficient from the field, connecting on 5 out of 8 shot attempts. There is an argument to be made that running some offense through Cambage in the post should be used more.
Against the Lynx, whenever Cambage was in the post a good offensive possession took place. The pressure she put on Fowles contributed to the foul trouble she had. Cambage even connected on a go-ahead basket resulting in an and-one that tied the game with under a minute left from a post possession.
After a dominating game against the Fever, Cambage numbers have come down. The Sparks went on a five-game losing streak before snapping that skid with a 99-94 win against the Phoenix Mercury. Outside of her big game against the Storm, Cambage had not had a game where she reached 20 points in a loss.
The fix to the problem is simple. Being such a dominant scorer in her career, Cambage’s skillset needs to be utilized more for the Sparks.
Making the all star team 4 times, Cambage was a huge acquisition for the Sparks this offseason. Holding the record for most points in the game, with 53 points in a game. Being a decorated player, getting Cambage to gel with the Sparks and their system is critical for the success of the season.
After a disappointing season last year, the Sparks are looking to bounce back and return to championship form. The arrival of Cambage has increased their expectations of wanting to be a competitive team.
“This is an incredible opportunity to compete for a championship,” Cambage said. “I’m ready to pour everything I have into this team and the legendary Sparks fans.”
By the way, in the Sparks’ 93-91 May 31 win against Dallas, Cambage made the most out of her 27 minutes on the floor, scoring 19 points and adding eight rebounds. It is the 11th straight game in which Cambage has scored in doube-digits.