Chicago Sky Schedule Preview: June 12 - June 17

The Sky look to salvage their West Coast road trip before coming back to Chicago.

The Sky's annual West Coast road trip hasn't gone exactly as planned. They got walloped by the Mercury on Friday, then scored just 59 points in a loss to the Sparks.

A closer look at the numbers puts into perspective just how ugly these losses were. In both games, Chicago was outscored by over 20 points per 100 possessions; versus Los Angeles, the Sky mustered just a 30.4% eFG% (for reference, the league's mean eFG% currently sits at about 48.2%). There's not much of a way to sugarcoat it: Chicago is playing some bad basketball.

It would be easy to keep blaming injuries. Allie Quigley just recently returned from a hip strain, and Stefanie Dolson remains sidelined with no timetable set for her return. That's a fair amount of firepower missing.

But the Sky can't be making any more excuses. In truth, there are few fully healthy teams in the league, and if the Sky want to be a contender, they need to find ways to play through it. Sure, the Sparks and Mercury are two of the best teams in the WNBA, but at some point, you need to make these games respectable. The Sky have not done that.

Gabby Williams' weekend perfectly encapsulates Chicago's performance thus far. Against Phoenix, the rookie exploded for 26 points on 10-13 shooting, relentlessly working to find seams in the defense and beating slower defenders off the dribble time and time again. But she followed that up with a 1-11 shooting performance against the Sparks, a game in which no Sky player outside of Cheyenne Parker could get it going.

The competition remains stiff this week, and it's time for the Sky to step it up. Otherwise, they could find themselves in a hole too deep to climb out of.

Tuesday, June 12: at Seattle Storm (9 pm CT)

Perhaps the Sky's most disappointing loss thus far came in Seattle just a couple weeks ago. Chicago was up by double digits in the fourth quarter but were unable to seal the deal, losing in overtime to an aggressive and talent Storm team.

Despite the disappointing nature of that loss, it showed that Chicago is perfectly capable of competing against the Western titans. If Dolson is still out, it will be tougher, but this is a winnable game for the Sky. They'll need a steady dose of Parker and Williams on the glass to ignite their transition attack, though; if the Storm get hot from deep, it's not likely the Sky will be able to keep up.

Sunday, June 17: vs Los Angeles Sparks (5 pm CT)

Let's face it: there's not much the Sky can do against Candace Parker. 

Okay, so you could say that about most teams in the WNBA, but Chicago simply doesn't have the mobility in its frontcourt to keep up with the multi-talented Sparks star. Factor in the strength of Nneka Ogwumike and the size of Chelsea Gray, and there aren't many matchups here that the Sky can win physically.

Be that as it may, the Sky soundly beat the Sparks in offensive rebounding in their last matchup (perhaps the lone bright spot of that game), and considering that the Sparks are last in the WNBA in rebounding percentage, there's no reason to think that it can't happen again. What cannot be repeated, however, was their shooting; Chicago shot just 3-23 from long distance last Sunday. That's not going to get it done against anybody, let alone a perennial championship contender.

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