Catching Up With Kara

Sun guard Kara Lawson is off to a hot start, including a 5-of-5 performance from behind the three point line against Atlanta on Sunday. She joins Tan White (7/13/11 at Indiana) and Evanthia Maltsi (7/7/07 at Los Angeles) as the only Sun players to make five threes without a miss in a game. Lawson has made 10 of her last 13 three-point attempts, and connected on 26 of her last 39 attempts from the field (66.6 percent) over the last four games, averaging 17.7 points per game in that span. Recently, she sat down with us to answer a few questions after practice.

Angel McCoughtry said the other day that youíre playing like a 20-year-old. What do you attribute to your quality of play right now?
ďI pride myself on preparing for the season each year and trying to have a willingness to improve. I think the best players have a desire every year to go out and to prove their worth in the league, and to not take for granted something that they might have done last year or three years ago or five years ago or in their college career or whatever it is. Iíve always looked at it as every year is a new opportunity to define who you are as a player and I think my preparation in the off season has given me the ability to have a good start.Ē

Has your vegan diet played a role in your fast start this year?
ďItís hard to know, to quantify it. I donít know how much, but Iím a firm believer in nutrition. I can only speak for myself and the impact itís had on my life but as far as recovery and energy levels and having high-impact performances, thatís definitely what every athlete wants to do. You want to be able to have high-level performances and then be able to replicate them. Throughout the season, we have a brutal schedule with back-to-backs, three games in four days, and seven games in 14 days. Nutrition to me is one of the things you can use to your advantage and it certainly helps.Ē

How have you been able to step your game up in the second half?
ďIn the second half, a couple things start to happen. One is playersí fitness levels really show. If youíre fit, youíre going to have more opportunities in the second half to make plays because those who arenít fit generally arenít going to be able to make plays. The second thing is I think we have good balance on our team. Tina (Charles) and Asjha (Jones) got off to really good starts this season so there was a lot of attention being paid to those guys and youíre going to have some cracks in your defense if you pay too much attention to one specific player or one specific part of our offense. I think thereís just a lot being concentrated on our post game and as a result Iím getting some pretty good looks. I donít know if theyíll continue to happen but as long as they do Iím going to keep firing.Ē

When youíre on a hot streak like you are right now, do you realize how many shots youíre making during the game?
ďI canít say I know how many Iíve hit during the course of a game, but you do know that thereís certain nights where it feels better than others. Iíll be honest, thereís certain nights where my shot feels really good and I might miss three. I might go 0-3 but that shot felt good coming off my hand. Thereís certain nights where coming off my hand it doesnít feel so good but it goes in. In fact, one of the five I hit yesterday, I didnít think it was going in and it went in, and because of that I try not to get too mental about it. Iím not a baseball player but I think itís similar to hitting. When a guyís on a good run, youíre not thinking about it, just seeing the ball, hitting the ball, and if I get an opening Iím not going to think about it Iím just going to shoot it.Ē

You guys have a fairly young team thatís off to a great start. How much of a leadership role have you taken on with this team?
ďThe great thing about our team is that we are young, but we have played together, this is our third season, so weíre not new to each other. Weíve been able to build off the last two seasons. As far as leadership goes, that comes with playing point guard. Whether you want it or not, you have to have the ability to control the game and call plays. Coach has given me a lot of freedom this year to run the offense on the floor.Ē