In the second of our schedule breakdown series we look at how the season is going to unfold for the Chicago Sky.
Despite having picks three and four in the 2018 draft the Chicago Sky only finished with a 13-21 record last season. This record was only good enough for tenth in the WNBA standings, just two games back from eighth.
Star point guard Courtney Vandersloot missed the first four games and thanks to injury was only able to pair up with 3-point sniper Allie Quigley in the seventh game of the season. Had either of these scenario’s not occurred, the Sky may have squeaked into the post-season.
This season the roster will probably look quite different but they will retain at least one of their star back court and Cheyenne Parker who really developed least season. The Sky will be looking for Diamond DeShields, Gabby Williams and Alaina Coates to take the next step and carry the franchise forward.
In May the Sky only play one game which is against the Minnesota Lynx away. This will be the first game where the Lynx have not started the season with star point guard Lindsay Whalen. The Sky need to start the season strong, taking this first game will be important considering what faces them at the start of June.
The first three games in June are against the two participants of the WNBA Finals last year, the Washington Mystics and the Seattle Storm. They take on the Storm at home and then head to the nation’s capitol to play the Mystics. The Sky then host the Storm again, meaning they could be 0-4 to start the year.
The second game in the home stand is against the Phoenix Mercury who looked very dangerous at the end of last season. However, the schedule then eases up a little, even though they go on the road for two games. The Sky take on the Indiana Fever and the New York Liberty on the road before hosting the Fever in another quirk of the fixture.
The Sky then round out the month against the Connecticut Sun, the Mystics, the Storm and the Los Angeles Sparks. If the Sky can steal a couple of games in June they could set up their post season run.
July certainly has the potential to make or break the season for the Sky. It is a lighter month where they only play eight games. With that being said the opening game of the month is the third of a three game road trip in five nights. This game is against the Aces and if they are to make the playoffs this is a crucial game. To get one over the team which were one game above you last season is vital.
The next three games are all at home and the Sky need to make hay. The Wings, Lynx and Liberty are all winnable and this would move them up the ladder after what is potentially a horror start. The last four game are two away and two home games. The Sky should beat the Fever at home but need to take one against either the Wings Dream or Sun.
August ramps up again with the Sky playing 11 games. Six of these games are on opposing teams courts with only five at home. However, in a twist of fate, only four of these games are against last years semi-finalists. They play the Dream twice and the Mercury all away from Chicago. They host the Mystics but that is nestled between three away games.
If the Sky have not got it done during the main three months of the regular season then they will face an uphill battle to make playoffs in September. They host the Mercury and anyone who knows about the WNBA will know that Diana Taurasi will be peaking at this time. They then travel for the last two games to Connecticut and then Washington to round out the season.
After last season it is tough to see the Sky making it to the post-season. However, they have an exciting young core who have been developing their game overseas. Hopefully they will be able to re-sign the star back court of Allie Quiqley and Courtney Vandersloot who are free agents this offseason. Factor in the new coach and this is an exciting watch-this-space type of team.
For the full schedule of the Chicago Sky click here