Sky Drop Rubber Match vs. Aces

CHICAGO NOTES
  • Forward Cheyenne Parker scored 10 points and collected eight rebounds and one block. This was her third start and second straight for the Sky this season.
  • Guard Allie Quigley went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line tonight and recorded 12 points and six assists, notching her season-high in assists. 
  • Center Alaina Coates led the bench in points tonight with 10, her second game in double-digits this season as well as tallying a season-high three offensive rebounds. 
  • Chicago outscored Las Vegas in fastbreak points by 10, making this their fifth game in a row in which the Sky have done so.
 
ACES NOTES
  • Rookie forward A’ja Wilson has scored in double-digits in all 21 of Las Vegas’ games this season, posting 12 tonight. She leads all rookies and ranks No. 2 in the WNBA in points per game.
  • Guard Kayla McBride went 3-for-4 from beyond the arc and scored 18 points for the Aces. 
  • Guard Tamera Young led the team in both rebounds and assists, recording eight rebounds, four assists and scoring 16 points.  
  • Las Vegas’ win tonight is their largest margin of victory this season, outscoring Chicago by 24 points.
  • Las Vegas capitalized on second chance points, scoring 20 points on 11 offensive rebounds.
 
POSTGAME QUOTES
SKY GENERAL MANAGER & HEAD COACH AMBER STOCKS
On the game:
“Tough, tough outcome. This game was important for so many different reasons, but of course, those reasons aside, we played every game all out and play to win. So, this is a tough outcome to this game. I thought our coaches did a great job of having the team prepared. The detail to the scout was high-level, and it was a matter of application. We had several missed opportunities to apply some of the things that we had identified as vulnerable areas in Las Vegas’, both their, offense and their defense, and those caught up with us tonight.”
On the Sky’s defense on A’ja Wilson:
“I think as a team, our team did a good job of applying ball pressure and making post entries hard. It’s hard when you zero in on one person per se, and then another player rises and kind of picks up. So, on one hand, yeah, we did a solid job on Wilson specifically, however she did only play 23 minutes, which is lower than her average. She usually averages about 32 minutes per game, so she played about a whole quarter less than she usually does. So, those minutes are usually skewed in that regard.”
On what could be done different to have sustained the lead:
“Oh, well if only basketball worked that simply. I mean, it’s a game of runs, and it’s a game of a lot of back and forth, and you always wish you could copy-paste, but in the game of basketball there is no copy-paste. Just like there wasn’t copy-paste for the opponents that we were losing to early and then ended up coming back and winning. The things that we did well early in the game were get stops and allow our defense to create our offense. We were scoring in transition. So, on one hand, yes, we want to keep up that defensive intensity, but on the other hand the opponents are going to adjust and be more sharp with the basketball and not commit so many unforced or out-of-sync turnovers.”
On adjustments made to defend the perimeter:
“Well, the adjustments that we did make were trapping the ball handlers, switching on ball screens, and getting up. That’s one thing that you do to take away shooters is you trap them when they come off of the ball screens, or you switch. Switch out aggressively, and you force the drive, run them off the 3-point line. We also had a strategy in to denying Kayla McBride the ball, especially coming off of pinning action.”
On the team clicking offensively:
“The second and third quarter we really went on a skid offensively and there was significance amount of anticipation on the defense of Vegas and they were rotating and full rotating and taking away some opportunities so we were forced to go for the skip. As you mentioned those skips ended up getting deflected and what we have to do in that situation is attack those close out opportunities, attack on the drive, and then run it at us on the close out. Usually, as you guys have noticed on those next pass opportunities we get great shots and then we didn’t shoot the ball overly well today and they really rotated hard on that next pass to take that shot away and we have to be able to put the ball on the floor and drive and attack off the dribble.”
On the defense affecting the offense:
“No, I don’t think so. Because there have been moments where we have lulled offensively but we have buckled down and gotten stops. You know the players may feel differently and that’s fine for them too. For me, I’m very steadfast in my conviction that our defense needs to improve, but when it’s on and when we are all playing team defense together we are a dynamic defensive force. So, was our defense today affected by our offense, probably some. As I look back, my initial thought is no, but then as I reflect and go back and watch the film, I’ll probably see a stronger correlation than my brains,  probably as a defense mechanism is allowing me to see right now.” 
On Alaina Coates’ performance….
“Yeah, Alaina is coming on strong, pun intended. What you see Cheyenne do in the game today, Alaina has to go [do] every day in practice whether it’s Cheyenne or [Dolson] or you know Miles or Russell on the practice squad. So she’s gotta go against this intense physicality as well as smart players everyday and her development is only going to continue to improve. She picked up a couple of fouls that were a little unfortunate and she’ll adjust just as everyone makes adjustments. To the comment about Diamond’s defense, what you see Diamond do on defense in the game Diamond does on defense everyday in practice. She’s a very very very good defender. And then what you Alaina do today are things that she does in practice. What you see Cheyenne Parker do and frustrate Wilson is what Cheyenne Parker has to work on and do everyday in practice. So, I give a lot of credit to our players and the work they put in on a daily basis they put in the work forsure.”
SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER
On outside shooting:
“I’m definitely more comfortable just because I have to be a threat in whatever position I’m in, so if I need to knock down a shot, I need to take the shot and knock it down.”
On getting involved early:
“She always emphasizes to work with the ball because if im a threat in the post it opens up the outside game threat for our shooters. She also emphasizes for Diamond and i to get to the free throw line. So I just focused on that.”
On frustrating A’ja Wilson…
“Yea, I try to get physical with her. I think between her and I we know about each other  as far as moves. Since this is our third time playing, I kind of anticipated what she was going to do. So, that helped me this game just try and frustrate her more and stay physical with her cause she gets frustrated when you’re physical.” 
SKY FORWARD DIAMOND DESHIELDS
On growth in the defensive area:
“It’s not anything I didn’t always have within. I think defensively what has been put on display by me has just been a mindset. Obviously I’m athletic, I’m an athlete and just recognizing that and using that defensively has just been something that’s a part of my maturity and growth as a player.”
On adjusting to the speed and tempo of the WNBA:
“Well, like I just said, being an athlete, an athletic player playing with speed and tempo is just kind of something I enjoy doing. So, as far as tempo the adjustment hasn’t been too bad. I think most of what I have had to adjust to has been between my ears, staying mentally on point and sharp with all the scout and knowing personnel and knowing plays and recognizing when certain actions are happening. Especially being that I have major defensive assignments, I gotta always be locked in. So, I think the mental part has been more of an adjustment than the pace.”
On her block on A’ja Wilson in the third quarter:
“No. I just knew it was my job to come over and help, timed it up, I think I blocked it with my left hand too. So, I got up there, just tried to make a play on the ball. A’ja gets a lot of calls. So, it worked out.”
ACES HEAD COACH BILL LAIMBEER
On the game:
“The first quarter was our worst quarter in a while. We still didn’t play well for the entire game. I thought we were very sluggish today. Fortunately, they didn’t play any better than we did and we were able to get away with it. We executed what we needed to, we got the rebounds that we needed to [and] Chicago didn’t shoot well, which helped us out a lot. It was just one of those games where you keep playing two-by-two and you win.”
On the play of Tamera Young:
“I thought [Young] came out and made some quick baskets for us [and] we could have been down a lot more without her in the first quarter. She carried us in that little part right there and [Kayla McBride] took over in the third quarter and got us a nice little lead.”
On the importance of perimeter shooting:
“[Kelsey Plum] and McBride are great three-ball shooters as well as [Moriah Jefferson]. It’s something we [didn’t have] earlier in the season and now we’re looking for the 3-ball a little bit more. It’s a good weapon for us.”
On Kayla McBride’s All-Star qualifications:
“She’s not a border line All-Star. If Kayla McBride doesn’t make the All-Star team then something is vastly wrong with this league.”
On the team’s shooting efficiency:
“Efficiency was what it was for us tonight. We played with a lot of energy with a lot of efficiency tonight and we converted a lot of shots.”
ACES GUARD KAYLA McBRIDE
On the second half turnaround:
“We had been in this position before. Last time we were here, we had a big lead in the second quarter and fell apart, so we kind of wanted to make a statement [by coming] out and taking over the first five minutes of the third quarter, and I think we did a great job of it. We got [A’ja Wilson] going and I was able to hit some threes. Our defense really carried us in those quarters and we were able to get a big lead.”
On limiting the scoring of Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley:
“[Guarding them] was definitely an emphasis. Obviously those two make them go, whether it’s assists or big buckets. We wanted to really limit them and make somebody else beat us, and I think we did a really good job of containing them.”
On team success when A’ja Wilson is having a quiet game:
“Obviously she’s been putting up some big numbers as a rookie. We know that teams are going to throw different defenses at her, so we just want to make sure everybody is ready to be aggressive. I thought [Tamera Young] did a great job for us today with 16 points, we need that. We need people to open up the floor and be aggressive, and that will open up the floor for [Wilson] and myself.”
On being a potential All-Star:
“I think it would be pretty cool. It’s just a testament to my coaches and my teammates if I do make it. Obviously this year has been a huge transition for us moving to a completely different city and things like that. Being able to start on a clean slate is a big thing for me, and I’m just trying to take advantage of my opportunities. At the end of the day, I like where me and my teammates are going, and to be able to represent them and my family would be amazing. I’ve just been trying to get to the lane more, get to the free-throw line more and just be more consistent with my [3-point shot]. I feel like I was taking a lot [of 3-pointers] in earlier years, but now I’m making more and taking less.”
ACES FORWARD TAMERA YOUNG
On her play:
“I was just taking what the defense is giving me. They were trying to double team [A’ja Wilson] and [Kayla McBride], so I was just going to the open spots. We just kept playing aggressive and treating it as a playoff game.”
On the team defense:
“We were helping each other and we stuck to our defensive scheme. We kept talking about help defense and being aggressive.”
On the importance of rest in blowout games:
It’s very important, especially now with this season only having so many games back-to-back, you want to rest as much as possible. With having a big lead, we were able to play different people at different positions and get people some good rest.”
On having Bill Laimbeer as a coach:
“Bill is an aggressive coach, but [he’s earned] the respect that we give him because he demands it, and we know he’s knowledgeable about the game, both from when we was a player and a coach. He’s won on both ends of the spectrum, you can’t do anything but respect what he gives you.” 
NEXT UP: The Chicago Sky will face the Washington Mystics at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. at 7:30 p.m.