5 takeaways from Caitlin Clark's debut as Sun beat Fever in season opener

Here's how Clark fared as the No. 1 overall pick made her debut against the Sun on Tuesday.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Caitlin Clark's highly anticipated WNBA debut is in the books.

But it didn't go exactly as planned.

The Indiana Fever were just overwhelmed by the Connecticut Sun, losing 92-71 on the road Tuesday.

Connecticut benefitted from a well-balanced effort from its starting five while Indiana just didn't have enough quality to pull out a win.

Let's analyze the match further with five takeaways:

Caitlin Clark struggles in debut but shows flashes

It wasn't a picture-perfect debut for the No. 1 overall pick, but there were flashes of what should be coming in the future. Clark started slow, playing just five minutes in the opening quarter and registering two fouls and an assist on 0-for-3 shooting.

Her first points came in the second quarter, a layup in transition off the back of a hesitation move. That put her at 1-for-5 for the game.

Clark ended with 20 points on 5-for-15 shooting overall, 4-for-11 from deep and 6-for-6 at the foul line. She also had three assists and two steals but recorded 10 turnovers.

DiJonai Carrington's defense delivers

The 26-year-old Carrington hounded Clark and Co. throughout the game, rarely allowing anything past her. The 2021 second-round pick enjoyed a brilliant two-way performance, logging 16 points on 6 of 15 shooting overall to go with five rebounds, two steals and an assist. There's no doubt Carrington will have an imperative role to play against fellow elite guards across the league.

NaLyssa Smith anchors Indiana

Clark eventually outscored her, but NaLyssa Smith was Indiana's focal point for the first three quarters. The 2022 No. 2 overall pick tailed off in the end, though, and ended with 13 points on 5 of 12 shooting overall, nine rebounds, two blocks and an assist.

Smith and 2023 No. 1 overall pick Aliyah Boston -- who also struggled with four points and six rebounds -- have all the talent to dominate down low on both ends of the floor, but becoming consistent is one of the key traits youngsters take time to hone.

Connecticut's starters do the job

The Sun didn't need any sparks off the bench for this one. Four of the five starters eclipsed 13 points or more, with Brionna Jones' eight the lone exception. DeWanna Bonner was dominant, posting 20 points on 8-for-14 shooting to go with six rebounds, one assist and one steal.

Veteran Alyssa Thomas was the heartbeat for the Sun, recording a 13-point, 13-assist, 10-rebound triple-double in 36 minutes. She did have seven turnovers, but they weren't overly costly in the end.

Indiana's turnovers prove fatal

The Fever is mostly comprised of young talent, and sometimes that can be evident on the court. Indiana suffered by coughing up the ball 25 times, compared to just 15 for the Sun.

Clark was responsible for a game-high 10 of them, so it'll be an aspect of her game she'll need to review on film.

Connecticut scored 29 points off Indiana's mistakes. That's the ball game.

Contact Us