The Chicago Sky will open up their 2017 season, led by first year General Manager and Head Coach Amber Stocks, on Sunday evening when they travel to Minneapolis to take on the 2016 WNBA Finalist, Minnesota Lynx. The game is scheduled for 6:00pm CT and can be viewed on The U Too or the WNBA League Pass.
Minnesota took the season series from Chicago last year, 2-1. These two teams tend to play close games. Dating back to 2013, six of the 10 meetings between the Sky and Lynx have been decided by seven points or less.
Led by Maya Moore, the Lynx are yet again projected to be one of the top teams in the league this season. Moore led Minnesota in scoring (19.3 PPG), assists (4.2 APG), steals (1.6 SPG), three-point percentage (40.4 3-PT%) and minutes (29.7 MPG) last season. She also was third on the team in rebounding at 5.1 (RPG).
Moore was a thorn in the Sky’s side last season. In three games against Chicago in 2016, Moore averaged 27.3 PPG, 4.0 APG, 3.3 RPG and shot 58% from the field.
Aside from Moore, the Lynx also boast Sylvia Fowles and Seimone Augustus. Fowles and Augustus averaged 13.9 PPG and 11.3 PPG respectively last season, good for second and third on the team. Fowles also led the Lynx in rebounding at 9.3 RPG.
The Sky come into 2017 with a new look roster, which can be seen most notably due to the absence of All-WNBA forward Elena Delle Donne. The Sky executed a blockbuster trade back in January that sent Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics for forward Stefanie Dolson, guard Kahleah Copper and the No. 2 pick in the 2017 WNBA draft, which turned out to be Alaina Coates from South Carolina.
The Sky went 1-1 in the preseason, falling to the Connecticut Sun and topping the New York Liberty. Chicago was able get their first look at rookie Tori Jankoska, the No. 9 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft. Jankoska averaged 9.0 PPG in the preseason.
Even with the new look roster, there are still some familiar faces in the Windy City. Veterans Cappie Pondexter and Tamera Young return for the Sky. Pondexter, who is fifth all-time in WNBA history in scoring, returns as Chicago’s leading scorer. She posted 12.1 PPG a year ago. Young posted a career high 8.5 PPG last season. She, along with Pondexter, will be called upon to lead a relatively young group that has seven first or second year players.
The Sky will be without guards Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Jamierra Faulkner. Vandersloot and Quigley are finishing up their overseas commitments, while Faulkner will be sidelined for the 2017 season with an ACL injury.
Sunday night’s game will pose a difficult challenge for the new look Sky, but it is certainly a task they will be up for. After Sunday night’s game, join us at All State Arena on Friday, May 19th for the Sky’s home opener against the Atlanta Dream. Tipoff is set for 7:30pm CT and you can get tickets by calling 866.SKY.WNBA or visiting CHICAGOSKY.NET. If you can’t attend the game, you can follow the live action on the Sky mobile app, available for download at the App Store or on Google Play!