‘Habit Of Hanging Out and Dancing’: Cailtin Clark Has Some Flaws In Her Game That Coach Christie Sides Needs To Break ASAP

Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark played her second preseason game on Thursday, and while she didn’t disappoint from a full floor game standpoint with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists, her decision-making and shot selection is something the Fever want to improve.

Fever head coach Christie Sides, who’s been tasked with harnessing Clark’s raw and natural ability to score while becoming more efficient has given her some rules. 

Sides doesn’t want to take Clark’s aggression as a scorer/facilitator away, but she wants her to be more decisive. As the Fever prepare to open the 2024 WNBA season on Tuesday on the road versus the Connectticut Sun, Sides has told her star guard that she has exactly 0.5 seconds to make a decision. Meaning Clark will have to be very quick in her decision-making, something she wasn’t asked to do at Iowa. 

Sides Believes This Will Help Clark’s Efficiency And Adjustment

In an attempt to make Clark more than a logo three-point shooter, Sides has implemented that rule. As she explained during her postgame presser following Thursday’s home preseason win, Sides believes that will only help Clark’s adjustment from college to the pros. 

“I think she’s used to some shots that she’s taken in the last few years that are just those deep shots. There’s times she comes off ball screens where she’s open in that long two area. We’ve got to get her comfortable taking that long two”

“I gave her a rule the other day. She’s got 0.5 seconds to make a decision. When she gets off the ball and she hits somebody in the high post, she has a habit of hanging out and dancing. That’s what she’s done. It’s these habits that we’ve got to break.”

Sides wasn’t too upset about Clark going 4-for-12, but she didn’t seem too excited about 75 percent (nine) of her attempts coming from three, with six being of the logo variety. She made just two of the nine attempts, and there were opportunities for her to get a better shot, which she passed up. 

Clark’s Green Light Won’t Be As Bright In Indy

For four years Clark was able to take any shot she wanted, and with good reason. She was the only player on the Iowa team that could get her own shot at any time. That won’t be the case in Sides’ offense with 2023 No. 1 overall pick and reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year Aliyah Boston in the post, and Erica Wheeler, Kelsey Mitchell and NaLyssa Smith as capable offensive threats. 

Clark will get her looks and touches, but it will be within the flow of the offense, and playing with someone as skilled as Boston in the post should open up plenty of good shots for Clark. With the attention she’ll be receiving nightly, this is a brilliant move by Sides in an effort to help her star pupil adjust to the WNBA game. 

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