Chicago Sky Schedule Preview: July 25

The up-and-down Sky look to head into the break strong with a win in Phoenix.

The Chicago Sky put together arguably their best game of the season this past week, dropping 114 points on the Wings. Led by Courtney Vandersloot - who recorded the seventh triple-double in WNBA history - the Sky were clicking on all cylinders, taking advantage of a tired Dallas team with a relentless transition attack.

They stumbled just a couple of days later, however. The Sparks came into Chicago and, despite missing both Alana Beard and Nneka Ogwumike, were able to take care of business and sweep the season series. The Sky were unable to repeat their high-octane offensive performance in this one.

This brings us to the dilemma Chicago has faced all season: their offense simply cannot keep up with what their defense is allowing on a consistent basis. Pace matters, yes - the Sky currently average 81 possessions per 40 minutes - but even when adjusted for that, the defensive metrics are not kind. Chicago's DRtg has ballooned to 110.1 points allowed per 100 possessions, a number that is still worst in the league by a fair margin. They've also only been able to secure 69.7% of all defensive rebounds, ranking last in the WNBA in that category as well.

Wednesday, July 25: at Phoenix Mercury (2:30 pm CT)

The Sky will have a golden opportunity to mend their defensive and rebounding woes here. After peaking a couple weeks ago, Phoenix has fallen somewhat, and they'll be without Diana Taurasi, who was suspended after receiving her sixth and seventh technical fouls of the season in a rather interesting manner:

The Mercury aren't a particularly strong rebounding team, either, and their lack of depth could work to Chicago's advantage. Transition offense will be especially key in this game; without Taurasi, expect the Mercury to play through Brittney Griner even more. The Sky will have to do their best to run her off the floor.

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