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WNBA Semifinals: End of the line for Sun

The Connecticut Sun have their back against the wall on Wednesday. Can they force a Game 5 against the Chicago Sky?

2021 WNBA Semifinals - Connecticut Sun v Chicago Sky - Game Three
Alyssa Thomas (with ball)
Photo by Kena Krutsinger/NBAE via Getty Images

Two teams in two completely different situations face off on Wednesday. The Sun are on the brink of elimination while the Sky are one win away from the WNBA Finals. What do both teams have to do to accomplish their goals?

The Connecticut Sun have lost some agonizingly close games. A double-overtime loss in Game 1 and a three-point loss in Game 3. So, despite being down 2-1, it’s not like they’ve played poorly. They just need some big performances from their stand-out players. Jonquel Jones needs to play like the WNBA MVP she is and DeWanna Bonner needs to keep being aggressive.

The Sun’s bench isn’t deep, but it has played well. Alyssa Thomas is the key. When she gets going she’s a matchup nightmare for Chicago. If she can have a good game it will give the Sun starters some much-needed rest and the Sky players some aggravation.

The Sky are in control. They have a 2-1 lead and are playing at home in this close-out game. However, in the WNBA things can quickly go from good to bad and if the Sky lose on Wednesday, suddenly they’ll be the ones facing elimination and having to go on the road to save their season.

To end this series now the Sky need to keep shooting the three-ball well. In their two wins, they shot 45 percent and 36 percent from three. In their loss? 26 percent. They have to take those long-range shots and they have to hit them at 36 percent or higher. Doing so forces the Sun to contest those shots and it opens up the painted area a little more, which we know Connecticut loves to pack up. Hitting those threes gives the Sky better looks for their twos.

Can Diamond DeShields and Candace Parker have a good game together on Wednesday? Both have played well in moments, but DeShields has had a lackluster season and Parker has played fine but hasn’t been a superstar overall in this series. If both can get things rolling in Game 4 it’s tough to imagine the Sky losing. A dominant Parker means Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, and DeWanna Bonner are having trouble containing her and a strong DeShields performance means the Sky are getting amazing production from their bench. The closest the Sky have gotten to this formula was Game 1 where DeShields had nine points in her 22 minutes of play and Parker had 22. We’ll see if they can reach that level of production in Game 4 or if we’ll be heading back to Connecticut for Game 5.

Game Information

No. 6 seed Chicago Sky vs. No. 1 seed Connecticut Sun

When: Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL

How to watch: ESPN

Key to the matchup: The rebounding battle has been intense and will continue to be. The Sky actually won the rebounding battle in Game 3, 35-30, and they needed to because those late-game rebounds sealed the victory. If there’s a huge disparity in rebounds, expect the team on top of that gap to win. Benches have been key all series. The team that gets the most producion from its bench puts themselves in the best position to win. The Sun are only going eight players deep so they need those three bench players to be positives and the Sky with a firing-on-all-cylinders bench are a bit too much to handle.

Sky injury report: None

Sun injury report: None