Chicago Sky Schedule Preview: June 19 - June 24

Is the Sky falling? Maybe not yet, but they need to get it together.

It seems like so long ago when the Sky were 2-0. After another winless week, Chicago now sits at 3-7, losers of their last 4 games. 

While the shooting numbers the Sky put up a week ago were dreadful, it's been their lackluster defense that's hurt them more recently. Against Seattle, the Sky led by as many as 14 in the third quarter, yet still lost the game by double digits after a 31-point fourth quarter from the Storm. It was nearly identical to the loss the Sky suffered in Seattle a few weeks ago, except this time the Storm didn't need overtime to secure the victory. The 126.3 points per 100 possessions the Sky allowed were among their worst defensive performances of the season.

It's becoming an unsettling theme for Amber Stocks and her crew: while the Sky can be hot-and-cold offensively, their poor defense lets them down more often than not. Chicago's 107.4 DRtg is the worst in the WNBA, and what makes this especially frustrating is that players like Courtney Vandersloot, Gabby Williams, and Cheyenne Parker are plus defenders are their position. They just haven't been able to put it together as a unit, and it's costing them game after game; if they can't get out in transition, they won't be able to score at the same pace as their opponents.

And for this week's matchups, that's going to be a problem.

Tuesday, June 19: at Washington Mystics (6 pm CT)

With Elena Delle Donne back in the fold, the Mystics are one of the toughest teams to defend. Rookies Ariel Atkins and Myisha Hines-Allen have added depth to Mike Thibault's roster, and the return of LaToya Sanders at center gives them a long, energetic, shot-blocking presence.

The Mystics defense has been somewhat suspect lately, however, so Chicago does have a chance here if they get into a shootout. As always, it will be a matter of their wings knocking down enough 3-pointers, along with taking care of the basketball to give their own defense a chance at limiting fastbreak points.

Friday, June 22: vs Washington Mystics (8 pm CT)

Here we have another scheduling quirk in which the same teams play each other twice in a row. Elena Delle Donne's return to Chicago (again) might make this game a hot item, but that's about it.

Sunday, June 24: vs Phoenix Mercury (5 pm CT)

If there's a game for center Stefanie Dolson to get healthy for, it's this one. The Sky were beaten soundly the last time they played Phoenix, giving up 24 points to Brittney Griner on a cool 9-13 shooting.

One player to keep an eye on in this game is Gabby Williams. She scored a career-high 26 the last time these teams met, but has made just 5 of her 25 field goal attempts since then. We'll see if Stocks instructs Williams to be aggressive early to get her jump-started.

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