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Dishin & Swishin Podcast: Can the Sparks keep it up? Brian Agler explains why they can

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The Olympic break certainly adds an interesting dynamic to the 2016 WNBA season, doesn't it?

On one hand, most players received a "mini-vacation" they needed; considering the year round playing schedule most deal with, not too many were unhappy about that.

On the other hand, players and teams that had positive momentum in July have to try to sustain it after a month absence from game play.

On the other, other hand, if a player or team was slumping, or banged up, it gave them a month to turn things around, and get in some practice time the regular season does not usually allow.

All of these apply to the first place overall Los Angeles Sparks.

They entered the break with an incredible 21-3 record, one-half game ahead of the Minnesota Lynx for overall top seed in the new playoff format.

However, the Sparks dropped two of their last three games, dropping back to back road games to Atlanta and Indiana, respectively, before defeating Washington to wrap up the first part of the season.

Can the Sparks build on their pre-break success? Or did the time away hurt the mystique they built through their tremendous play in the first part of the season?

It is a pleasure to welcome Sparks head coach Brian Agler back to Dishin & Swishin to discuss why he feels his team was successful in the first part of the season, and why they will be able to at least sustain if not improve during the rest of the season.

Topics covered include:

  • Buying in to the system, including playing good defense and accepting roles
  • The amazing, record-setting season of Nneka Ogwumike
  • Candace Parker, the things she does on and off the court for the team and her willingness to sacrifice her own game for the team
  • Road games, and more road games it seems on their schedule
  • How the team handled the break and getting ready for the second part of the season
  • The revival of Alana Beard as a defensiv

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