Kahleah Copper and the Chicago Sky bench shine in loss to the Washington Mystics

Kahleah Copper. (Domenic Allegra photo)
Kahleah Copper. (Domenic Allegra photo) /

Bench proves why it is going to be critical in the playoffs

WASHINGTON — The bench often plays a supporting role in a team’s production. However, on Sunday, the Chicago Sky’s bench decided to rewrite its narrative against the Washington Mystics.

17 of the Sky’s 39 first half from the bench, with another 26 coming in the second half. 50 percent of Chicago’s points came from their bench.

Kahleah Copper and Gabby Williams shined for the Sky with 13 and 11 points respectively.

“I’m just gonna try to come out and contribute in anyway that I can,” Copper said.

More from High Post Hoops

For Copper, it was her highest point total in the last two months and the seventh time this season she has scored in double figures. She went 5-for-8 from the floor, made all three of her free throws and added a rebound, assist and a steal.

Williams had double digit points for the first time since July 10 against the Minnesota Lynx. She also added two rebounds, three assists and three of the team’s five steals.

After the game head coach James Wade said, “The bench is key … and, you know, we’re only going to go as far as they can take us.”

This statement is especially true as the Sky will be hosting the Phoenix Mercury in the first round of the WNBA playoffs on Wednesday. Copper, Williams, Cheyenne Parker, Katie Lou Samuelson and Kayla Alexander all played at least 11 minutes Sunday afternoon. Williams even played more minutes than Stefanie Dolson and Allie Quigley, as well as Astou Ndour though that was due to her ejection.

“I mean, our starters are great, but if they can look to us when they get tired and we come up and maintain the level or take the level up a notch I think that’s awesome,” said Copper.

The team’s depth and the bench’s ability to play for long stretches could increase their success, as if one starter does not have a good game or gets ejected as Wade gave as an example, the team still has a multitude of scoring threats. As the five seed Chicago could play two more games before the end of next Sunday, up to four games in ten days. At this point in the season having as many scoring threats as possible will give the sky the greatest chance for success.

Copper said, “You know, we take pride in coming out and competing with other teams and I think that our bench you know we have an important role. We’re not just to come in and just take a role, I think we know that we’re supposed to come in and contribute for us to win the game.”

While the bench’s contribution may not have been enough Sunday afternoon as the team still lost 100-86 to the Mystics, its contributions to the game and its future contributions in the playoffs cannot be overstated.

Love our 24/7 women’s basketball coverage? Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.