Two successive defeats to begin a five-game homestand have left the Chicago Sky feeling edgy yet eager to improve.
“We have our back against the wall a little bit,” the Sky’s Kahleah Copper said. “This is just building our character.”
Chicago (2-2) will aim to snap the skid Friday when it starts a two-game series against the Los Angeles Sparks (0-2), who have navigated early season injuries and been idle since a 28-point loss at Las Vegas on May 21.
The Sparks on Wednesday announced that rookie forward Jasmine Walker will undergo season-ending surgery after suffering a torn right ACL in the first quarter against the Las Vegas Aces.
Los Angeles coach Derek Fisher said Nia Coffey, Bria Holmes and Brittney Sykes figure to see additional playing time as a result.
“It emphasizes the point that you try to make to your players that everybody has to stay ready and work as though you are gonna be playing big minutes and put the time in that it takes to be ready for your opportunity,” Fisher said.
Chicago is coming off Tuesday’s 90-83 loss to Atlanta, a game that featured 21 Sky turnovers and a season-low 33 points at the break.
“We just missed shots,” said Copper, who paced the team with 21 points.
Veterans Candace Parker (left ankle sprain) and Allie Quigley (hamstring) each missed their third straight game due to injury. Sky coach and general manager James Wade has reiterated that he doesn’t have a recovery timetable for either player.
Chicago fans are especially eager to see the home debut of Parker, a native of Naperville, Ill., who signed with her hometown team in the offseason after spending the first 13 seasons of her career with Los Angeles.
No matter who suits up for the Sky, they will hope to exploit the Sparks’ deficiencies on the fast break. L.A. allows 15.0 points per game off the fast break, which ranks last in the 12-team WNBA. Chicago averages 10.3 fast-break points a game.
–Field Level Media