Chicago Sky Schedule Preview: July 3 - July 8

The Sky are back in the thick of things and look to secure a second straight winning week.

The Chicago Sky had a rough start to the 2018 season, but they've been one of the WNBA's hotter teams as of late. The Sky's upset of the Phoenix Mercury was something the young team could build upon, and build upon it they did: Chicago won its next two games against Atlanta and New York, and nearly beat the Liberty for a second time before falling in OT.

As with any streak of success, the Sky have gotten valuable contributions from several key players. It goes without saying that the play of Courtney Vandersloot (three straight games with 10 or more assists) and Allie Quigley (21 points per game over her last five) will carry the Sky as far as they go, but it's been rookie Diamond DeShields who has stepped up as that third contributor. She scored over 20 points consecutively for the first time in her career while playing impressive perimeter defense as well.

Of course, the discussion now shifts to whether or not the Sky can keep up this level of play against stronger competition. They'll face a couple of tough tests this week.

Tuesday, July 3: at Dallas Wings (7 pm CT)

The Sky's upcoming game against Dallas should be one of the more entertaining games on the calendar. It will almost certainly be a fast-paced game, featuring two of the league's premier points guard in Courtney Vandersloot and Skylar Diggins-Smith.

The Sky will need to step up on the defensive end. Keeping Elizabeth Cambage and Glory Johnson off the boards is tough enough as it is, and Chicago might have some problems matching up with such size and athleticism. This could be a good game for Astou Ndour and Cheyenne Parker to play extended minutes, especially if Dallas forces the Sky into foul trouble early.

Thursday, July 5: at Las Vegas Aces (9 pm CT)

This will be the second time this season the Sky and Aces face off, and both teams have improved since they last met in early June. Las Vegas is currently two losses behind the Sky in the standings.

What's changed since then? The Aces have been giving Kelsey Plum more minutes, and she's responded by scoring double figures in three of their last four games. She's currently shooting 47.5% from deep on the season. Las Vegas also has Moriah Jefferson back from knee rehab, though she'll likely be brought along slowly with Plum playing so well as a starter.

What hasn't changed is the play of A'ja Wilson. If anything, she's gotten even better in the past month. The Sky's interior defense must remain disciplined and keep the Aces' rookie off the free throw line (Wilson is currently attempting almost 10 free throws per 36 minutes).

Saturday, July 7: vs Minnesota Lynx (7:30 pm CT)

Here's the ultimate test to see if this Sky team is for real: play a championship-tested Lynx team that has won seven straight games. No problem, right?

The Lynx present several problems for the Sky, perhaps none more than their interior defense. Sylvia Fowles and Rebekkah Brunson remain elite at controlling the paint and the glass, with Fowles quietly averaging numbers close to those of her 2017 MVP campaign.

Where the Lynx are vulnerable, however, is on the perimeter. If there's a game for the aforementioned trio of Vandersloot, Quigley, and DeShields to make an impact, it's this one. It will probably be Chicago's best chance at an upset.

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