Caitlin Clark needs to shoot 'a minimum of 15 shots' per game, Fever coach says after loss

Following an 89-77 loss to the Seattle Storm on Thursday, Indiana Fever coach Christie Sides said the team’s star rookie Caitlin Clark “needs to shoot a minimum of 15 shots a game.”

Clark scored a team-high 15 points, tied with Erica Wheeler, in Thursday’s loss and added seven assists and six rebounds. It was Clark’s fewest points scored since she put up seven two weeks ago in a win over the Atlanta Dream. On Thursday, the guard was 4-of-9 shooting from the field (44.4 percent), 3-of-7 from 3 (42.9 percent) and 4-of-5 (80 percent) from the foul line in 38 minutes.

“(Clark’s) got to get shots, and we’ve got to do a better job of setting her up, setting some really good screens for her to get her open,” Sides said postgame. She also spoke about how turnovers — the Fever had 20 on Thursday — cost the team.

Clark leads the league’s rookies in scoring, with 16.2 points per game, and assists, with 6.6. She’s second on the team in average field goals attempted (12.2) behind guard Kelsey Mitchell (13.4). On Thursday, Aliyah Boston (5-of-16) and NaLyssa Smith (5-of-11) led the team in shot attempts.

“We played out of a lot of ball screens tonight,” Clark said Thursday. “So I feel like when you’re getting doubled on the ball screen, you’re always going to give it up. It should create an advantage for us 4-on-3 attacking the basket. But I didn’t think we played too well out of our ball screens tonight.

“I could definitely be a little bit more aggressive to the basket, but I think I’m just going to try to take what the defense gives me and try to set my teammates up for success, too.”

Five-time All-Star Jewell Loyd led all players with 34 points for the Storm, while Seattle’s Ezi Magbegor scored 18. The Fever are 7-12, 8 1/2 games behind the Eastern Conference-leading New York Liberty (15-3). The Storm (11-6) sit two games back and second in the Western Conference behind the Minnesota Lynx (13-4).

“The Storm is the type of team, the level, that we want to be at,” Clark said. “So we go up against these teams, and we put together a good quarter there, I felt like, in the third — we beat them 22 to 17 — but we need to have four of those quarters. Take it game-by-game and help this organization get back to the playoffs is our main goal this year.”

When asked about the best advice she received this season, Clark responded, smiling, “Nobody gives me advice in-game. I wish.”

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(Photo: Steph Chambers / Getty Images)

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