Chicago, IL -- The Chicago Sky stand confident, but unsatisfied as they enter game one in the Eastern Conference semi-finals against the Indiana Fever on Thursday.
"I think that people expected us to be in this position we're in now," said the Sky's Cappie Pondexter. "Now it's just trying to get to the next level."
The Sky ended the regular-season on a high, winning seven of their last nine games and focusing on their defensive mentality.
"That is a credit to everybody, defensively, playing a major role and just being better," said Pondexter. Another spoonful of confidence was provided moments later when Elena Delle Donne was officially named the league's MVP.
And the ultimate goal for Chicago, well that's no secret.
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"The end goal is the WNBA championship," Donne said. But first, "Indiana lies ahead of us right now. And that's the focus, one game at a time."
The Indiana Fever are a team that Chicago beat four out of four times during the regular season. They are a team that doesn't have the league's MVP or the league's leading offense. However, tomorrow, none of that matters. Tomorrow is a whole new ball game.
"That stuff kind of fades away when playoffs start, everybody is now 0-0. The most important game is the game tomorrow," Pondexter said.
The excitement is contagious among the players as they concluded their last shootaround practice before the official start of the playoffs. But what will make the difference this postseason?
"Just coming out and playing with our hearts. And playing at a high level mentally," Pondexter said.
"Cappie always says, 'living the dream; we're living the dream!'" Delle Donne said with a laugh. "I mean we are playing basketball for a living!"
The difference lies somewhere between passion and focus. And maybe with that little extra dose of confidence, the Sky will have found the recipe for success in 2015, a WNBA Championship.