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Prospects of WNBA: Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky, Dallas Wings

The Chicago Sky (10-8) and Dallas Wings (8-9) meet Friday at 20:00 ET in a rematch of a Wednesday game that the Sky won, 91-81. The Sky is trying to break away from the 4 to 11 series that was a fixed point in the WNBA standings this season. Currently, fourth-place Sky is just 2.5 games ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks and Atlanta Dream, which is tied for tenth-place finish. Meanwhile, the Wings are trying to start a new winning streak, hoping it will last longer than three games this time around, so they can truly complete their turnaround and become a Top 4 team ahead of Chicago.

In another action, the Las Vegas Aces (12-4) will handle matters against the Sparks (6-9) for the second game in a row and the Seattle Storm (12-4) slips a two-game slip, their first losing streak of the season. Seattle plays another team that is 6-9 in the Dream. If the Storm wins and the Aces lose, the Storm moves back to first place.

Game information

Chicago Sky (10-8) vs Dallas Wings (8-9)

When: Friday 2 July at 20:00 ET

Where: College Park Center in Arlington, TX

How to watch: CBS Sports Network or BSSW + or The U

Key to the match: Diamond DeShields vs. Marina Mabrey. DeShields and Mabrey have combined to score just 21 points in their last two games. Whoever breaks out of his slump will give his team a head start. Mabrey has been held six times to ten points or less in her last eight outings, including two two-point performances and a pointless effort. She did mix a 28-point outing into it. She’s such an important part of the Wings’ psyche. When she was a Top 10 scorer alongside Arike Ogunbowale, confidence in Dallas was sky high. Of course, DeShields is also an X-factor. You know what you’ll get from Courtney Vandersloot and Candace Parker. DeShields could elevate Chicago to the next level.

Air Injury Report: no

Wing Injury Report: no

Marina Mabrey (with ball) and Diamond DeShields (defending)
Photo by Bryan Lynn / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Las Vegas Aces (12-4) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (6-9)

When: Friday 2 July at 22:00 ET

Where: Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA

How to watch: CBS Sportnetwerk or Spectrum SportsNet or MYLVTV

Key to the match: Chelsea Gray vs. Erica Wheeler. Due to injuries, the Sparks do not have the foreland to hang out with A’ja Wilson and Liz Cambage. They lost the points in the paint fight 52-30 against the Aces on Wednesday. So they will have to get something out of their backyard, namely Wheeler, who was an All-Star snubber. Wheeler is probably one level below Gray in terms of passing skills – she averaged 4.3 assists per game to Gray’s 6.6 – but still scores 1.4 points per game. She’s also just as clutchy as Gray, but that would only be relevant if she could keep the Sparks close.

Bait Injury Report: Angel McCoughtry (out of season; knee)

Flag Injury Report: Kristi Toliver (out; eye), Jasmine Walker (out; knee), Chiney Ogwumike (out; knee), Nneka Ogwumike (out; knee), Maria Vadeeva (out; overseas)

Los Angeles Sparks vs. Las Vegas Aces

Erica Wheeler (center) makes a pass past Chelsea Gray (left) and Riquna Williams (right).
Photo by Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Atlanta Dream (6-9) vs. Seattle Storm (12-4)

When: Friday 2 July at 22:00 ET

Where: Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, WA

How to watch: Twitter of JoeTV

Key to the match: Sue Bird. She has scored just seven points in each of her last two games, so this is her best performance. If she can score on the young, fast-back of Atlanta, it’s just going to take care of Breanna Stewart, and it could be a blow. But if the Dream Bird can close and force a huge effort from Stewart, they may have the chance to keep it close.

Dream Injury Report: Tiffany Hayes (outside; knee)

Storm Injury Report: no

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