Sun Surprise: WNBA’s Shock of the Year

After being projected as one of the teams in the "Murky Middle," the Connecticut Sun have proven to be one of top teams this 2021 season.

The Connecticut Sun (12-5) have been on an absolute tear this entire 2021 season.Currently 3rd in the WNBA, the Sun are just one game back from the one seed, Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm (both tied for first).

With three Sun members on the team WNBA- All Star roster, we see that the Sun are nothing to play with.

With the perfect balance of youth and leadership on this squad, they are head and shoulders above their competition.

Youth on the Sun

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Natisha Hiedeman

Point guard Natisha Hiedeman orchestrates the offense like a seasoned vet, setting up teammates with ease.

Once she recognizes the play, Hiedeman slashes through the opposition like a blur, leaving everyone trailing behind her.

Natisha has had an elevated role this year, starting in more games this year than her first two seasons in the WNBA combined.

With consistent play from Hiedeman, it is nearly impossible for the Sun to be beat.

Brionna Jones

Brionna Jones, the Maryland native, has some of the best footwork the league has seen this season. Jones has mastered her post and mid range games, completely opening up the offense for the entire team.

We saw this in full effect earlier in the season when the Connecticut Sun defeated the Las Vegas Aces 72-65 on the road May 23rd, where Jones lit up the stat sheet with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

With Liz Cambage in foul trouble most of the game, Brionna Jones had a field day in the post, serving up highlight play after highlight play.

This 2021 season, she’s having a career year, shooting 52 percent from the field, averaging 13 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2 assists per game.

In addition to Jones’ career year and JJ having an MVP caliber season, the Sun have an unstoppable twin tower duo the league is afraid of.

Kaila Charles

When Jonquel Jones was out, the Sun needed a spark plug and guard Kaila Charles was just that. As Charles was implemented into the starting lineup, we saw her production dramatically increase.

Over the last six games, Kaila’s season averages in points per game (4.9) and steals (0.5) doubled, her rebounds (4.1) increased by 2, and her field goal percentage (36%) improved to 45 percent.

Kaila Charles is finding her groove on this Sun team and the league has taken notice.

Veteran Presence

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (Photo by David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images)

What separates the Sun from most of the teams in the WNBA is their perfect combinations of role and wing players that they have at their leisure. They have one of the deepest teams and rotations that can change depending on the match-up.

The Sun have two of the more prolific catch and shoot wings in the league in DeWanna Bonner and Jasmine Thomas, and a very elite defensive guard in Briann January.

Jasmine Thomas

Thomas doesn’t hesitate when it’s her time to shine as she is deadly from three, shooting a career high 42 percent this season.

The four time all defensive team guard is the epitome of what a 3&D guard is in the WNBA.

Thomas has always been a starter and an intregal part to the team’s achievements, as she has started all but one game in her Sun’s tenure, 200 out of 201.

DeWanna Bonner

There’s not much DeWanna Bonner can’t do on the court. A lanky, agile player who knows her spots, Bonner has earned the green light to do as she pleases.

Bonner has been one of the most consistent scorers her entire career.

This season DeWanna is averaging 16 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, on 35 percent from three. Bonner already has the same amount of threes as last season in less games, almost as many assists and even more blocks than last year.

These two hoopers, in DeWanna Bonner and Jasmine Thomas, perfectly compliment their two bigs, Brionna and Jonquel Jones.

Briann January

January is the Sun’s defensive anchor, as she continuously locks down opposing guards.

The six time all-defensive team guard has shown time and time again that she has a tremendous impact on the team’s success.

Even though Briann does not shoot the ball regularly, January’s presence is always felt on the court.

Providing an insurmountable amount of leadership, the veteran hoists 10 years of playoff experience under her belt.

Furthermore, January will be essential for the Sun in their playoff run.


The Sun’s MVP

UNCASVILLE, CT (Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images)
Everything revolves around JJ.

Jonquel Jones is the unstoppable force that many teams dread taking on when they play against Connecticut.

Just like WNBA leading scorer Tina Charles and former MVP Breanna Stewart, JJ is a unicorn.

Jones can do it all.

Jonquel dominates every time she steps foot on a court, as she is top three in points per game, three point percentage and rebounds.

The Sun are title contenders when everyone is healthy and plays.

As JJ integrates herself with the team again after her short leave, we will see JJ get an MVP this year and the Sun compete for a championship.