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Stars look to improve defensive woes

Photo by Rebecca George
Photo by Rebecca George

When adding Becky Hammon and Sophia Young-Malcolm back into the lineup, the San Antonio Stars are a much improved team in 2014 than they were in 2013. The real question on Stars fans’ lips is: can they return to the playoffs after missing out last season?

The silver and black are not having trouble scoring the basketball, as they are averaging 76.8 points per game. That’s 4.7 points higher than the 72.1 ppg the team averaged in 2013. The real problem for the Stars is their play on defense, it has spurts of improvement but not by much. San Antonio is allowing their opponents to score 80.1 ppg, which is up from 77.8 last season. The Stars’ point differential is currently ninth in the league, the same as it was at the end of 2013.

San Antonio’s numbers in assists, 3-pointers and free throws are all up on last season. One of the key reasons for their success on the offensive end is the play of Jia Perkins. Perkins is shooting 47 percent from three-point range and is averaging 13.2 ppg through nine games. Hammon is shooting 48 percent from the field, while averaging 8.7 ppg through seven games played.

The Stars will need to tighten up on defense if they want a shot at the playoffs. Through nine games, they have allowed opponents to shoot 49 percent with most of those points coming in the paint.

San Antonio shot a season-low 27.8 percent in a double overtime loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday. Phoenix shot 43 percent in the victory and outscored the Stars 14-2 in the second overtime, with eight of 14 coming near the rim.

The silver and black will need to get production someone other than Perkins and sharpen their defense if they want to return to the playoffs. Danielle Robinson 12.9 ppg on 45 percent shooting and will be key to San Antonio’s success. If the Stars can get things clicking on both ends of the court, they may be able to slip into the third seed and avoid the defending champion Minnesota Lynx.

The Stars currently own a record of 4-5 and sit third in the Western Conference. They will return to the court this weekend for a pair of games with the Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks at 7 p.m. at the AT&T Center.

Be sure to follow your Stars Hoops staff on Twitter, including myself @andersonstevem for the latest news on your San Antonio Stars.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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