The Chicago Sky don’t have to hit the panic button…yet
No one wants to be 2-7, especially when those seven losses happen consecutively to relatively mediocre competition. (The Los Angeles Sparks should have sent Chicago a thank you card for letting them turn their season around). Despite their record and with the trade fiasco of last week behind us, I actually still feel confident in this Sky team.
The first thing that may come to mind for avid WNBA fans is the Connecticut Sun squad from last year who started 0-5 but persevered all the way to the semi-finals. For the Sun, it was a combination of adding DeWanna Bonner and adjusting to the loss of Jonquel Jones (something they have to do again with the MVP frontrunner’s commitment to Bosnia and Herzegovina for EuroBasket).
The Sky are in a different situation, however, because their slow start has been a combination of injuries and missing players. Candace Parker has seen action in just one game, and Allie Quigley and Stephanie Dolson have been part of only three matchups.
The good news? Their upcoming schedule. In the next 10 games, Chicago gets the last place Indiana Fever in back to back contests, the faltering Liberty in back to back games, and will avoid the aforementioned Jonquel Jones in three matchups with the Sun. With Parker coming back this week, there is a window here for the Sky to make a run.
Getting in the win column is absolutely necessary not just for confidence, but because Chicago still has all six games against the dominant Las Vegas Aces and Seattle Storm left. The Sky season will be all but over if they run into these powerhouses late in the season still needing to make up ground.
Tina Charles continues to dominate
Seemingly every time the Washington Mystics play I end up writing about how Charles is not only producing at an elite level, but has also improved drastically this season. Even more impressive last night was the competition she excelled against, as scoring 31 points on Sylvia Fowles in an incredible feat. Charles shot 3/6 from three point range, a new facet to her game that defenders have yet to figure out.
The problem for the Lynx in this 85-81 loss was taking care of the basketball. Turning the ball over nine more times than your opponent (21-12) is a recipe for disaster, with 11 of those coming from the starting backcourt of Layshia Clarendon and Kayla McBride. The loss snaps a three game winning streak for Minnesota, who will look to get back on track against the Sparks this weekend
Wings shooting outlasts Griner inside
Dallas still refuses to give their young players significant minutes, but that does mean increased bench time for their longer tenured athletes. The Wings bench was huge in yesterday’s down to the wire finish against the Mercury, totaling almost half the team’s points. The top four players in terms of plus/minus came off the bench, meaning their contributions extend to the defensive end as well.
A team that relies rather heavily on the three-point shot (shot 10-for-26 in this contest), the Wings could benefit from being more aggressive inside. They only drew 10 fouls all game compared to 22 committed.
Brittney Griner took advantage of the softer play in the paint, racking up 27 points and 16 rebounds. Unfortunately, no one else could buy a bucket, as the other four Mercury starters went 14/45 from the field. Phoenix is now 1-3 at home, a surprising start considering their usual success at Phoenix Suns Arena.
Seattle Storm @ Atlanta Dream, 7:00 p.m.
Indiana Fever @ Chicago Sky, 8:00 p.m.