BRADENTON, Fla. – There was a lot of anticipation from fans before the 2020 season that this could be a major breakthrough season for the Chicago Sky.
Veterans and young players helped the team to the playoffs in 2019 for the first time in three seasons and there was hope that James Wade’s group could compete for the franchise’s first WNBA championship.
Through the first two weeks, for the most part, the Sky have lived up to that billing, as they remain near the top of the league.
Through seven games, the Sky are 5-2, tied for second in the WNBA, and they showed their offensive power on Saturday against the Sun. For the first time in the Bradenton season, the team reached the 100-point mark in the victory.
Allie Quigley (22 points) and Cheyenne Parker (20 points) led the way for this offensive Saturday afternoon and marks the second time the team has gone over 90 points so far. It was also was a strong rebound after the Sky had their second loss of the year to the Mercury on Thursday evening.
Now three games over .500, the Sky are playing the way that they and others have expected as they are nearing the halfway point of their 22-game season.
“I feel like coming into this year having so many returners and with Cheyenne and Kahleah [Copper], Diamond [DeShields], me, Gabby [Williams] [and] Courtney [Vandersloot], just having that many returners, we already knew who we were from the jump. Even when we were working out in Chicago before this,” said Quigley of the team’s chemistry. “So I think that familiarity helped a lot.
And obviously having another year with James [Wade], we knew what plays we were going to be running and our defensive strategy.
“So it helped a lot just having so many people come back that we’ve already had in previous years.”
Now they’re hoping this group can continue their ascent in the WNBA standings in the midst of a busy stretch for the team. They’re playing ten games in 20 days, with the win over the Sun being the third game of the stretch.
Yet the focus of the group hasn’t changed, according to Copper, who is in her fourth season with the franchise.
“We know we were good enough. And I think that was important for us today we knew how the game went with Vegas and how we trailed and had to come back and didn’t put them away but we wanted to set the tone early and I think we did a great job of really applying what we talked about in kind of the offseason,” said Copper, who is in her third season with the sky. “But I think that having that mentality that we had, we come in and we just do we’re supposed to do, early on and then makes the game, it makes the game much easier for us.”
While also being quite successful in an unusual WNBA season.