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WNBA Team Preview: Chicago Sky (#9)

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The Chicago Sky missed the WNBA Playoffs in 2017, but they’re in good position to get back to the postseason this summer.

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Scott Cunningham - NBAE

The 2017 Chicago Sky struggled early after trading Elena Delle Donne to the Washington Mystics the previous winter and losing several players to injuries before the season. Unfortunately, their first-round draft pick (via the Mystics), Alaina Coates, missed the entire season due to ankle surgery. Ultimately, Chicago went just 3-12 through June last year.

But the Sky turned things around, going 9-11 for the rest of the season. It wasn’t enough to make the playoffs, but Stefanie Dolson had a strong season and was named an All-Star, while the veteran backcourt of Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot continued to blossom.

After a midseason trade with the lottery-bound Atlanta Dream in 2017, the Sky picked third and fourth in the 2018 WNBA Draft, selecting Diamond DeShields and Gabby Williams, respectively. Will they fit in well with Chicago’s established core players for a possible playoff run?

What to expect

Familiar faces

The Sky re-signed Dolson to her sophomore contract along with Allie Quigley. Vandersloot remains as the starting point guard. All three will remain major pieces for the team’s success this season.

Notable newbies

Chicago’s most notable new faces are the three first-round draft picks in the last three years: DeShields, Williams and Coates. The Sky also brought in Alex Montgomery and Astou Ndour this season.

Biggest obstacles

The Sky will have to develop chemistry due to the addition of three rookies who figure to be in the rotation along with Dolson, Quigley and Vandersloot.

Chicago must also address its turnover problem, where they had the second-highest turnover percentage in the WNBA. Due to the number of rookie players who will be playing major roles this season, it is doubtful that the Sky will be able to effectively address this issue in the 2018 season. Soon enough, fans will know whether the rookies play in a timid fashion or hit the ground running.

Game zone

Preseason opener

Sky vs. Dream

Sunday May 6 at 4 p.m. EST

WinTrust Arena — Tickets

Season home opener

Sky vs. Liberty

Sunday May 20 at 7 p.m. EST

WinTrust Arena — Tickets