The Chicago Sky are looking to repeat as WNBA champions but the road wont be easy
Reigning WNBA Champions, the Chicago Sky had to rely on their defense to wrestle control in Game 3 of their semi-final series against the Connecticut Sun.
Much like Game 1, the contest was played on the Sun’s terms. Physicality, fouls, turnovers and missed layups were the themes of the game. At one point, neither team scored for over three minutes in the fourth quarter.
Together they combined for 87 missed shots, 27 turnovers and 34 fouls. Unlike Game 1, though, the Sky were able to pull out a win.
Lights. Camera. Action
This post-season has not been devoid of drama. The Sun want revenge after losing in 2021 as the No. 1 seed to the Sky, as well as the bigger picture of wanting to finally bring a women’s basketball title to Connecticut.
Be that as it may, it is not just the Sun and Sky that covet glory. The star-studded Las Vegas Aces are also desperately seeking their first title. Defensive Player of the Year, A’ja Wilson, who is also in the race to be regular season MVP, leads the pack of other gifted players under the tutelage of Coach Becky Hammon. The Aces have been the best team in the WNBA this season, and they are favored to finally take that next step for a good reason.
She's flourishing, she's making HISTORY… she's writing HER-story 💐— WNBA (@WNBA) September 4, 2022
Today @_ajawilson22 became the first player in #WNBAPlayoffs history to have back-to-back games with 30+ PTS and 10+ REB's 👏#MoreThan pic.twitter.com/0pMpLvDye3
2020 Champions, the Seattle Storm may not be getting a lot of recognition now, but followers of the game would love to see Sue Bird end her legendary career with a fifth WNBA championship.
They certainly lit up the scoreboard in their first round series with the fifth-seeded Washington Mystics, continuing their form from down the stretch, in which they averaged 95.4 PPG and hit the century mark twice.
Also, 2016 overall draft pick, Breanna Stewart is averaging over 25 points in the semifinals and has scored more than 23 points in half of her matchups with Las Vegas this year. The Aces don’t have an ideal defender for her, so expect to see her ruffle feathers like before.
Biggest Threat to the Sky
The Sky and Aces had the best records in each conference with identical 26-10 records in the regular season. The Sun and Storm were not far behind each of those top teams, setting up pretty good semifinal showdowns. Sky vs. Aces was looking like a strong potential WNBA Finals, but now both of them have to win game four to advance.
The Aces dominated the regular-season series against the Storm, winning the four regular-season meetings by 11, 10, 8 and 9. Chicago had the number of the Suns for quite a long time. Bar game one of the on-going series, the Sky has largely dominated Connecticut for well over a year now.
If you are taking one of the two home teams to bounce back in a big way for Game 4, maybe it’s Las Vegas. But both Game 1 upsets brought a lot more uncertainty to the WNBA semifinals.
“We are not hunted, we are hunting,” Sky coach, James Wade said. “If somebody’s hunting us, we are just running face-to-face with them, so I do not think we are running away from anything.”
The Possibility of a Repeat?
No WNBA team has won back-to-back titles since the Los Angeles Sparks in 2001 and 2002, and only two franchises have done it, with the Houston Comets winning the first four WNBA championships from 1997 to 2000.
Should the Sky win Game 4 on Tuesday and secure a spot in the Finals, they will be right back in the thick of it. They were underdogs last year, when they were a .500 team in the regular season. This squad rolled into the playoffs at 26-10, the joint best record in team history, and believes it can go toe-to-toe with any team.
Forever immortalized.#skytown pic.twitter.com/qJmgCP7XEx— Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) May 24, 2022
The repeat is elusive but not impossible to achieve. The Chicago Sky are ambitious and have their work cut out if winning a second straight title is their objective.
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