“Media Needs To Give Her a Little Grace and Time To Develop”: Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese Silenced Critics In First Few WNBA Games

The Fever is struggling at 0-3 and Caitlin Clark has had her ups and downs, but she’s established herself as the team’s go-to player already, leading them in scoring (17.0 points per game) and assists per game with 5.7.

She’s already endured the gauntlet of WNBA supremacy in her first three games. She faced the Connecticut Sun led by WNBA’s fifth all-time leading scorer DeWanna Bonner, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard/forward who also creates issues on the defensive end. Alongside Bonner is Alyssa Thomas, a 6-foot-2 triple-double machine who is also a defensive wizard at power forward. 

Clark has battled the New York Liberty twice in her first three games. The Liberty went to the WNBA Championship last year, led by reigning MVP Breanna Stewart, sharp-shooter Sabrina Ionescu (who also launches from the logo and almost beat Steph Curry in a three-point contest) and a host of other top-quality players on both ends of the floor. 

The Fever got beat down in all of those games, but Clark scratched and clawed through each contest and despite a record 10 turnovers in her debut, she showed enough talent and tenaciousness to gain everyone’s respect.

It’s clear she’s not going to be a bust. With all the pressure she has and all of the haters and fans using each success and failure as a measuring stick of who she will be a decade from now, Clark has done nothing to change people’s lofty opinions of her. 

Liberty star Jonquel Jones joined Breanna Stewart in the post-game presser, and both were complimentary of Clark.

Jones did point out that, “I think the media needs to give her a little grace and time to develop into a player. Shes learning every game as she’s out there and I can see her impact on this league is going to be tremendous when she matures.”

Jones also cited Kelsey Plum, who averaged around nine points a game in her first three seasons and then exploded into the 20 ppg scorer she is now in 2022, as an example of allowing a highly decorated pick to develop because the league is tough.

The schedule should get a bit easier from here, but she still has to face the Las Vegas Aces a couple of times and will have some challenging nights. But these early games against contenders will surely help her development.  

Angel Reese, AKA “4th-Quarter Barbie,” Leads Chicago Sky To First Win

Angel Reese’s preseason debut wasn’t even on television, but it was streamed via someone’s phone on social media and garnered 2 million views when it was all said and done. That was just a flex of the star potential that Reese has had since her days at Maryland and then LSU.

Caitlin Clark and Angel Reese are living up to the hype early in their WNBA careers as future stars of the league who impact their teams. (Photo: WNBA/X @Reese10Angel)

The WNBA continues to underestimate the enormity of her fan base outside of those interested in WNBA hoops, but they are slowly getting the picture. 

For one, Reese can also ball at the next level, averaging 11.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game for the Chicago Sky, who are 1-1 after being picked to finish among the bottom three teams in the league.

It didn’t take her long to assert her influence on the team, winning her first WNBA game on Saturday night after the Chicago Sky beat the Dallas Wings 83-74. Reese rebounded from four early fouls, and the self-proclaimed “4th quarter Barbie” finished with 11 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and went 5-for-7 on free throws, to help Chicago with a comeback win after trailing by as many as 12 points. 

“4th quarter barbieee,” Reese posted on X alongside a crying face emoji.

“Ima stay outta fouls trouble yall but whew i’m so happy for this team! FIRST WNBA WIN & MORE TO COME!” Reese added with a fire emoji.

“Chi Barbie” was part of a huge energy that springboarded the team to a late second half run.

“I think everybody just came out with energy, did all the little things…blocks, steals, boxed out,” Reese, who is already the team’s spokesperson after two career games, said during the postgame press conference. “Everybody did what they needed to do to get the win.”

As the Sky continues to upgrade the talent on its roster and await the arrival of 6-foot-7 Kamilla Cardoso, who is out nursing a shoulder injury, Reese will continue to assert herself as she gets her feet wet in the league. So far, they look very balanced and better than projected. Those projections might have something to do with a narrative that Reese is not a high-impact player like Clark is. 

Both women were elite in college as they battled for national championships and top billing. It’s clear they have brought the son intangibles, leadership skills and influence on the WNBA, while still learning on the job.

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