Chicago Sky

WNBA Opening Weekend Thoughts

May 22, 2012 12:05pm
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The 2012 season is officially underway as there were 7 games this weekend. This also means the Minnesota Lynx have started their road to repeat as WNBA Champions.

It all started Friday night in Key Arena, home to the Seattle Storm and one of the league’s best home courts. Here was a team, partly in transition, after they sent Cash and Willingham to Chicago for their 2nd pick in this year’s draft. A still veteran team though, that added all time leading scorer Tina Thompson and great Euroleague big Ann Wauters, Seattle was hoping to maintain their high expectations. Hosting the Los Angeles Sparks under new coach Carol Ross, LA was hoping to turn around their disappointing results in recent seasons. The Storm came out on fire, getting Wauters a ton of easy post touches. While TT drained her NBA range 3′s, the Sparks were settling for and missing a series of mid-range jumpers. As the game wore on it seemed the Sparks had enough to get back into the game, but were suddenly staring at a 21 point deficit late in the 3rd quarter. Lots of ball pressure from the Sparks led to some Seattle TOs and easy run-outs, a barrage of 3′s from Toliver and some key baskets from Parker sent LA on a massive run which tied up the game late in the 4th and continued through, to the final buzzer.

Saturday’s card had 4 games on tap. It started early as the New York Liberty hosted the Connecticut Sun at the MSG. The Liberty enjoyed an 8 point halftime lead, due in part to the time they spent at the free throw line. Despite still trailing by 7 entering the 4th quarter, the Sun scored 27 points in the final period, capitalizing on a fatigued Liberty team who couldn’t execute on offense or get the necessary stops on defense.  Read more »

Chicago Sky guard Canty to miss at least three weeks

June 23, 2011 1:40pm
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Dominique Canty is undergoing surgery on her left knee according to Christopher Hine of the Chicago Tribune. Canty started the first game of season at PG for the Sky, but has since come off the bench.

“She is a valuable leader on the court, and our younger, more inexperienced players will need to mature quickly for us to compete against the best of the Eastern Conference”, said coach Chatman.

Expect Rookie Courtney Vandersloot to play more minutes with her back-up sidelined for at least three weeks.

Chicago Sky assistant coach Christie Sides chats with Hoops Insider

June 2, 2011 12:08pm
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Christie Sides is in her first season as an assistant coach with the Chicago Sky. She follows head coach Pokey Chatman from Russia, where as an assistant coach Sides helped lead Spartak Moscow to the FIBA EuroLeague Championships in both 2008 and 2009. With eight years of coaching experience, between the college, professional and international levels, coach Sides chats with us about the impact of Epiphanny Prince, the inside presence of Big Syl, and what we can expect from this new Chicago coaching staff.

 

HI: How has Sylvia Fowles looked in the preseason?  Has her play continued to improve?

CS: You can always count on Sylvia to come out and practice each day at a high level of intensity. She has spent a lot of time during training camp before and after sessions working on basic fundamentals around the basket and also her free throws. Sylvia wants to be coached and wants to learn new things….when you put that and her work ethic together you can’t but help better yourself. Scary thing is she still has so much room to grow!!!

 

HI: Talent in the league has consolidated and more teams have tried to emulate the style of play of the Mercury in recent years. This has resulted in a significant increase in scoring over the past two seasons. Where do you feel this Sky team will fall amongst this trend?

CS: The Phoenix Mercury can flat out put some points on the board…I hope we fall right in line with this trend and are able to put up points like they do.

 

HI: It appears that #3 pick Courtney Vandersloot is the most notable roster addition to the team.  What type of impact are you expecting from her this season?

CS: With all rookies, you have to expect there are going to be growing pains due to the speed and physical play at the pro level. Courtney has worked really hard since day 1 and has been like a sponge…taking in everything from coaches and veteran players.

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Chicago Sky waive Shameka Christon

June 2, 2011 11:09am
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Two days after announcing that F Shameka Christon would miss significant time with a knee injury, the Chicago Sky have waived Christon, as WNBA rosters were due at 2:00pm EST.

“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances, yet it’s the nature and reality of sports,” said Pokey Chatman.

Yesterday, Chicago traded for Sparks F Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton.

Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton traded to the Sky

June 1, 2011 5:17pm
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The Chicago Sky have acquired F Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton from the Los Angeles Sparks for a 2nd-round draft pick. Wisdom-Hylton returns home to Illinois where she played high school basketball and college in the Big-10 at the neighboring Purdue.

This deal makes a lot of sense for both parties involved. The Sparks already have great depth and talent in the front court where playing time was going to be difficult to come by for Lindsay while Chicago just lost F Shameka Christon for an extended period of time.

With Candace Parker only appearing in 10 games for the Sparks last season, Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton averaged 4.5 pts, 3.4 reb, in 15 min per game last season.

Chicago’s Christon to miss time with knee injury

May 31, 2011 3:27pm
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The Chicago Sky announced that forward Shameka Christon will miss time with a knee injury. She is expected to miss at least eight weeks according the Chicago Tribune report.

“It is unfortunate that we won’t have Shameka to start the season,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said in a statement. “We will assist her in her recovery in any way we can. In the meantime, I am confident that our team will continue to prepare and work hard so we are ready on June 4.”

To the point, Part 5 (Chicago Sky)

May 27, 2011 7:20am
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A perennial lottery team, the Chicago Sky brought in a new coach/GM in former LSU head coach Pokey Chatman. Chatman, who had spent the previous two years coaching Euroleague giant Spartak, brings with her valuable professional basketball knowledge (she is a WNBA novice). That said, Pokey continued the draft trend set by her predecessor (Steven Key) by selecting a point guard prospect with the team’s lottery pick. Courtney Vandersloot, the darling of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, is the only player in college basketball history to record 2000 points and 1000 assists. The highly-decorated PG is the latest highly-decorated PG prospect to be drafted by the Sky, as the team selected Maryland’s Kristi Toliver (2006 NCAA champion and 2009 ACC POY) in 2009 with its lottery pick and Epiphanny Prince (3rd team AA in 2009; played in Turkey in lieu of senior season) in 2010. Toliver was traded after one season to the LA Sparks while Prince, who did not look comfortable playing PG for the first time in her career, slides over to SG this season. It should be noted that neither Toliver nor Prince started a game at PG for the Sky.

Will that trend continue in Chicago? Seems unlikely, as the new coaching staff has a vested interest in having the three-time WCC POY start at lead guard sooner rather than later (and you would, too, if your only alternative–Dominique Canty–has not been able to lead this team to the playoffs and isn’t a true PG herself). But patience has to be exercised by the fans and the coaching staff with respect to Vandersloot’s development, as evidenced by her up and down performances this week in her first taste of WNBA action. While she’s not the next Sue Bird, it doesn’t mean that Vandersloot isn’t a valuable asset to the Sky. Like most valuable assets, however, she needs time to mature. In saying that, it would make sense for the Sky to continue to start Canty at the PG position and ease Vandersloot in as her play warrants more minutes.

Hoops Insider pictures from the Sea/LA and Chi/Was Preseason games.

May 26, 2011 3:31pm
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Los Angeles and Seattle played Wednesday May 25th at the Torodome on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson, CA. The Sparks won 71-66.

Kids and fans packed the stands on both sides of the court for this preseason matchup.

Ashley Robinson with a layup as the Seattle Storm warm up after the halftime break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tweeting Live from the Washington Mystics game

May 26, 2011 8:33am
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HoopsInsider will be tweeting live at  the preseason game between the Washington Mystics and the Chicago Sky. We will have a HoopsInsider correspondent at the Verizon Center for the 11:30am EST start.

Follow along with our twitter at @wnbainsider.

The Chinese National Team continues on their WNBA tour

May 24, 2011 11:50am
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China has now completed three games during their 2-week WNBA preseason tour.

In their latest stop, the Chinese national team were defeated by the Chicago Sky 84-45. Chicago fans will be excited by 3rd overall pick Courtney Vandersloot who dished out 7 assists with only 2 turnovers in 21 minutes of action. Rookie Carolyn Swords was a pleasant surprise as she finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds as she fights to make the Sky’s roster.

The Chinese national team also fell to the Washington Mystics in scrimmage last Saturday afternoon. Jasmine Thomas, a rookie out of Duke, impressed coaches with her play. “I thought Jasmine’s intensity on defense was good,” Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey said. “As she gets more game experience, her decision-making will get better.”

On their first stop, the Chinese national team were defeated by the Connecticut Sun. They return to action this Friday, May 27th to take on the New York Liberty. It is worth noting many key players were missing for China including Miao Lijie, Lan Bian, Chen Nan and Sui Fei Fei.

Injury Report