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How was Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut with the Indiana Fever?

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Despite her struggles in her first WNBA game, the No. 1 prospect in the sport showed all the signs that she will be among the league’s best once she establishes herself. To that end, we can only wait and watch as she begins her journey in the competition.

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA debut wasn’t the best

On Tuesday night, Caitlin Clark made her long-awaited WNBA debut for the Indiana Fever in what turned out to be a humiliating 92-71 loss to the Connecticut Sun. Now, here’s where things get a little touchy. That night, the Fever committed 25 turnovers, and of that total, Clark was responsible for 10 – the most ever in a player’s debut. Even worse is the fact that the Fever were able to score a whopping 29 points as a result of these mistakes, something that simply can’t happen when you’re playing at this level.

“It was physical,” Clark said after the game, while acknowledging she won’t get the same type of calls she did during her time at Iowa. The WNBA is indeed a very different story, both literally and figuratively. “Just expecting physicality was the biggest thing. Like you won’t get any calls. The (defense) is going to get those calls, it is what it is. It is important to note that the Fever’s performance, or lack thereof, was not solely due to them, but rather to the Sun’s intense defense. Connecticut even managed to drop Clark itself four times. “It obviously wasn’t the best start in the first half and I got into trouble,” she added. To her credit, Clark finished the game with 20 points, but it’s clear she needs to improve as she went 5-of-15 from the floor and 4-of-11 from the perimeter.

Again, these are early days, but the Fever and Clark will need to improve very quickly if they want to get anything out of this campaign. After the game, Fever head coach Christie Sides was quick to point out the team’s lack of offensive productivity. “We have to get people to come back to the ball and then attack and get into the paint,” Sides said. Consider for a moment that the Sun outscored the Fever on points in the paint, 32 to 28, and 15 to six in the second-chance points department. “We didn’t manage to deliver at all tonight. If we could have gotten our feet in the paint and let their defense collapse, we could have gotten some of our shooters. We just didn’t get that.”

Next up for the Fever is a date with reigning MVP Breanna Stewart and the New York Liberty on Thursday night. If you didn’t know that the Liberty played in the WNBA Finals last season and were Commissioner’s Cup champions, that means they will likely be an even bigger test for Clark and Co., who will play seven games in twelve days, something that will almost certainly present new challenges for the rookie. “I thought it took me a while to get into the game,” Clark said. “I thought the second half was a lot better… but I got more and more comfortable… that just comes with experience.”