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The Tulsa Shock are in a Tailspin

Shock fall to Sun. Shock fall to Dream. Shock fall to Phoenix. Mystics down Shock.

There’s a pattern to the game recaps for the Tulsa Shock lately, and they’re not pretty.

A 10-game losing streak has the Shock looking a lot more like the team that WNBA fans are familiar with.

Throughout June, the 2015 season actually looked bright for the Shock. The team was 8-2 for the first month of the season. Their run included an eight-game winning streak that started with a 101-93 win over the Chicago Sky at home on June 6.

However, things have gone downhill since.

The bad luck started at the end of June when it was announced that star guard Skylar Diggins would miss the next four road games with a sprained knee. Diggins left the June 28 game against Seattle with 44 seconds left, but the team managed to scoop up the win over the Storm.

Further examination of Diggins revealed the sprained knee was actually a torn ACL, one of the most dreaded injuries in sports. It’s a season killer, and that’s exactly what it did for Diggins and the Shock.

Obviously, Diggins hasn’t seen the court since her injury. Before going on the shelf, the 5’9” guard ranked fourth in the league in scoring with 17.8 points per game. This came after Diggins was named the 2014 Most Improved WNBA Player in her sophomore campaign.

This year, she made the All-Star game for the first time, but her knee injury forced her to sit the game out.

Aside from Diggins, Tulsa is also hurting from the loss of power forward Glory Johnson. Following her marriage to Phoenix’s Brittney Griner, Johnson announced she’d miss the 2015 season at the beginning of June since she became pregnant with twins.

Johnson boasts career averages of 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. Last season, Johnson posted double figures in 27 games for the Shock. She was also an All-Star in 2013 and 2014.

Several players have tried to keep the team afloat during these trying times. Riquna Williams ranks second in scoring on the Shock’s roster and was elected as an alternate to the All-Star game. She’s averaging 15.9 points in 24.1 minutes per game on the year.

Another team leader includes guard Odyssey Sims. Sims has posted 13.1 points per game in her sophomore season. She’s second only to Diggins in playing time per game on the team at 30.9 minutes a game.

Unfortunately, the stellar play of Williams and Sims hasn’t been enough to keep Tulsa from going on this slide, which is nothing new for the franchise. Between player injuries and a lack of winning, it’s obvious the Shock have had a few rough years. Additionally, they’ve gone through four head coaches in the years since moving from Detroit.

When the team was formerly the Detroit Shock, they won their last championship in 2008. In the final year of the Detroit Shock, the team managed to advance to the conference finals, but they lost to the Indiana Fever.

The team moved to Tulsa following the 2009 season and has been in a drought of playoff appearances since then.

Current head coach Fred Williams has led the team for the past two years. Before him, Gary Kloppenburg was the coach and GM simultaneously for the team for two seasons. Teresa Edwards preceded Kloppenburg for one season. Following the 2009 season, the Shock hired Nolan Richardson for two years.

Like winning streaks, coaches don’t stick around long for the Shock.

The 2016 season might offer a glimmer of hope for the Shock with a fresh start. The WNBA announced in July that the team will relocate to the Dallas Fort-Worth area and begin playing in Arlington next season.

But for now, Tulsa will simply try to end this awful losing streak. The Shock’s next game is on August 15 against the Eastern Conference leader New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden.

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