CHICAGO – From the moment they started in May, this is the time of year that the team and fans have been waiting for.
Over the course of 36 games, the Sky have broken a franchise record for wins in a season while elevating their play from a year ago when they won their first championship. No, they didn’t get the best record in the WNBA as they might have hoped, but they’re not that far off, and most of the road to a championship will still go through Chicago.
An 82-67 win over the Mercury in Phoenix on Sunday afternoon finished off a 26-10 regular season for the team, which is the best in their history and good enough for the second seed in the WNBA Playoffs. The Aces’ win over the Storm earlier helped them lock up the top overall seed for the postseason since they won the regular season series against Chicago.
That means the Sky will have the home floor advantage for the best-of-three first round and a potential best-of-five semifinal series. If they make it to the WNBA Finals and the Aces don’t make it, the Sky would also have home floor for that five-game series.
But first thing’s first for the team, and that’s a match-up in a quick first round series with the New York Liberty, who are the seventh seed in the tournament. Their schedule looks like this for that match-up as the league returns to this three-game format where the top seed plays Game 1 and 2 at home with a possible Game 3 scheduled for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn if necessary.
- Game 1 – Wednesday – at Winstrust Arena – 7 PM
- Game 2 – Saturday – at Wintrust Arena – 11 AM
- Game 3 – Tuesday, August 23rd – at Barclays Center – TBD (If Necessary)
Both teams met four times in the regular season with the Sky winning three of the match-ups, including their first regular season victory on May 11th, an 83-50 triumph. On June 12th, Courtney Vandersloot’s three-pointer with 1.6 seconds left gave the Sky an 88-86 win over New York at the Barclays Center.
The Liberty got their only triumph of the season against the Sky on July 23rd in an 83-80 victory in Brooklyn, but James Wade’s team returned the favor six days later with an 89-81 win at Wintrust Arena.
As they enter the playoffs, the Sky will be looking to become the first team in the league to repeat as champions in 20 years. The last franchise to do it was the Los Angeles Sparks, who won titles in 2001 and 2002.