Indiana Fever v Seattle Storm
/ Getty Images

Caitlin Clark has had a mixed start to her WNBA career. The No. 1 overall pick is on pace to become the first rookie ever to average at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, but she's also leading the league in turnovers per game (5.7) and technical fouls (three), and her Indiana Fever are 1-8. 

Perhaps the biggest challenge for Clark has been adjusting to the increased physicality at the professional level. In recent days, she's cut a frustrated figure during postgame press conferences, and has called out what she views as a double standard. 

"I think everybody is physical with me, they get away with things that probably other people don't get away with," Clark said after the team's loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday. "It's tough, but that's just the fact of the matter. This is a very physical game, and you're going to get pressure, this is professional basketball. It is what it is, honestly."

"I feel like I'm getting hammered," she added following the team's defeat to the Seattle Storm on Thursday. "I appreciate [head coach] Christie [Sides] getting a tech too."

Clark can probably expect more of the same Saturday afternoon when the Fever host the Chicago Sky (noon ET) in the opener of the Commissioner's Cup competition.

Right from opening night, when the Connecticut Sun harassed Clark into a record-setting 10 turnovers in her first game, teams have been following the same formula with the talented but skinny rookie. They are as physical as possible with her and send multiple bodies her way at every opportunity. 

Clark's claim that they get away with more contact against her than other players is a difficult one to truly assess, but there's no question that she is not being defended like a normal rookie. It is worth noting that her 5.2 free throw attempts per game rank 11th in the league, and she's drawn 4.7 fouls per game, which also checks in at 11th. 

Though Clark has generally looked much more comfortable since her disappointing debut, there have been occasions when she's lost her cool with what she perceives as unfair treatment. Most recently, she got into it with Storm guard Victoria Vivians, which earned her the third technical of her young career. 

Through nine games, Clark is averaging 17.6 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game and leads all rookies in scoring and assists. Despite her team's poor record, she remains the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year.