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Caitlin Clark’s exhausting fouls in WNBA are about basketball, not jealousy

Caitlin Clark has only played 10 games in the WNBA, but she’s already well-versed in how much more physical the pro game is than college. Clark has been on the receiving end of several hard fouls to start her rookie season, and it happened again in Saturday’s Indiana Fever win over the Chicago Sky, setting

Caitlin Clark’s exhausting fouls in WNBA are about basketball, not jealousy

Caitlin Clark has solely performed 10 video games within the WNBA, however she’s already well-versed in how rather more bodily the professional sport is than faculty. Clark has been on the receiving finish of a number of exhausting fouls to begin her rookie season, and it occurred once more in Saturday’s Indiana Fever win over the Chicago Sky, setting off one other dialog about her ‘therapy’ within the league.

On the finish of the third quarter, Sky guard Chennedy Carter knocked Clark to the bottom earlier than she obtained an in-bounds move. Carter was solely referred to as for a typical foul. It seems like a reckless and intentional play with Clark standing 92-feet from the basket. Watch the complete sequence right here:

Carter has all the time been a fiery participant. Again when she was with the Atlanta Dream in 2021, she was suspended by the team for apparently trying to fight teammate Courtney Williams. The Sky and Fever have been locked in a heated sport, and there was a whole lot of smack speak on either side. Carter misplaced her cool and will have been whistled for a flagrant foul, however it’s additionally not completely outdoors of the norm of what different gamers have handled within the WNBA. As a result of it’s Caitlin Clark, it will get a lot extra consideration.

Replace: Carter’s foul has been changed to a Flagrant-1 in a post-game league review, per ESPN.

The second solely acquired larger due to the response after the sport. Clark stated: “It wasn’t a basketball play.”

Carter refused to reply questions on Clark after the sport:

Chennedy Carter on the sequence with Caitlin Clark within the third quarter: “I ain’t answering no Caitlin Clark questions.”

Full clip:

— Matthew Byrne (@MatthewByrne1) June 1, 2024

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There’s little doubt that opposing groups wish to be bodily with Clark at the beginning of her rookie season. Sure pundits have asserted that it is because gamers across the league are jealous of the numerous media protection and endorsement cash Clark will get. In actuality, groups are being bodily with Clark as a result of that’s only a good basketball technique and in addition most likely as a result of she talks a whole lot of trash.

Clark is 22 years previous, and goes to wish so as to add muscle to her body over time to play by way of contact. Groups are attempting to put on her down by hitting her on drives and with screens, and she or he must play by way of that. Carter’s low cost shot clearly goes past a typical play, however speaks extra to the second level. Clark talks a whole lot of trash on the court docket, and she or he performs a bodily sport in her personal proper. Right here’s Clark needling Carter earlier than the foul.

This is an prolonged have a look at the Caitlin Clark – Chennedy Carter incident, there was extra to it than the shoulder examine and Clark was clearly speaking to her on the best way again up the ground from the prior basket by Indiana

— CJ Fogler account could or might not be notable (@cjzero) June 1, 2024

Clark has introduced among the additional physicality she’s seeing on herself as a result of she’s a fiery competitor in her personal proper. Angel Reese has also dealt with this so far in her rookie season.

Carter’s foul was removed from the primary time Clark took a giant bump. She additionally acquired hit exhausting within the head a couple of video games in the past by Seattle Storm heart Ezi Magbegor.

WNBA refs historically don’t give out a lot of flagrant fouls. Whereas they don’t must “defend” Clark greater than some other participant, they need to be extra prepared handy out flagrant fouls when it’s acceptable. Carter’s foul is one instance.

To her credit score, Clark has dealt with the added physicality of the WNBA nicely thus far each in her feedback and her play. The Fever are solely 2-8 general after the win over Chicago, however it’s a younger crew nonetheless studying to play collectively. Clark is having a stable rookie season — 17 factors, 6.5 assists, 5.4 rebounds per sport — even when she’s struggling along with her scoring effectivity. She was by no means going to be the very best participant within the league as a rookie, however she’s nonetheless performing fairly nicely regardless of the huge expectations.

Enjoying by way of physicality is simply a part of the transition to the professionals for Clark. It isn’t going to cease anytime quickly.

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