BY GREG MELO
CHICAGO – Although the WNBA season is far from over, the Chicago Sky hit another milestone tonight by clinching a spot in the 2019 WNBA playoffs.
Hoping for a little bit of assistance to reach their first playoff berth since 2016, the Sky got the two results they needed with the Lynx’ 86-70 victory over the Wings and the Sparks 98-65 drubbing of the Fever.
“We are very excited for the next steps,” said Sky General Manager and Head Coach James Wade. “When we came together as a team, it was clear what we were working for.”
The Sky have had quite a turnaround during their first year in Wade’s system. Sitting in the fifth seed of the league with seven games remaining, the team boasts an offense that is top three in points, assists, three pointers made and field goal percentage.
Eighth-year guard and two-time All-Star Courtney Vandersloot is having a stellar year, averaging 11.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and a league-leading 8.9 assists per game, while second-year guard Diamond DeShields is top 10 in scoring with 15.3 points per contest.
Although the Sky can celebrate tonight, the team understands that they have a long way to go to get where they want to be. With six of their last seven games against projected playoff teams and a one-game gap between themselves and fourth-seeded LA, Chicago has no room to let up as they fight for top positioning and a first-round bye.
“This is validation to the hard work of our players, coaches, training staff and organization,” Wade said. “It also acknowledges that we are moving in the right direction.”
The Sky look to further validate their assent into the WNBA’s elite tier with a win against the top-seeded Washington Mystics on Friday night at Wintrust Arena.