We heard of big tries and big fours. Does the Chicago Sky have a big five?
Candace Parker, Courtney Vandersloot, Kahleah Copper, Allie Quigley and Diamond DeShields. It’s definitely a big try with Parker, Vandersloot and Copper. And on a good day for Quigley and DeShields, it might be a big five.
Of course, Azurá Stevens has the place of DeShields in the first five of the Sky, leaving the team on the bench with a star player. But, unlike the start, Chicago’s bench had some question marks ahead of its phenomenal performance in the fourth quarter in Game 3 of the finals.
In Game 1, Stefanie Dolson scored 14 points off the bench for Sky, but the rest of the team’s bench was kept without points. In Game 2, a defeat for Chicago, the bench was held at 10 points, with five from Dolson, three from rookie Dana Evans, and two from an underutilized DeShields.
Finally, in Game 3, the Sky Bank came to life. DeShields took the lead with 11 points, good for third place in the team. However, it is important to note that most of DeShield’s damage came late when Phoenix had very little chance of coming back. Still, there is very little chance if Diana Taurasi is in your squad, a good chance and DeShields has made sure Sky fans can relax while the match ends.
DeShields can close what Copper started.
– Swish Appeal (@SwishAppeal) 16 October 2021
Diamond DeShields on what was different in her approach tonight: ‘This is the final … I prepared. My teammates come to pick me up every day. I felt good tonight that I would focus on my defense, and all the others are extra. ” #WNBAFinal
-Dani Bar-Lavi (@dblfluidity) 16 October 2021
Evans scored nine points at the bench with three tries in the final 1:17 of the game. Granted, Sky’s fourth quarter would not have been as impressive had it not been for the tries, which came as ESPN’s Ryan Ruocco would say: ‘everything cosmetic’. But it’s still a good sign for the Sky that Evans has buried some long-range shots to boost her confidence. It was her first career game with more than two tries.
Lexie Brown, a talented guard who averaged 7.6 points per game for the Minnesota Lynx in 2019, was good for five points, including a try, from the Sky bench in Game 3. That’s a bit mysterious why Brown has not been given more playing time this season and she is definitely a solid weapon.
Then there is Ruthy Hebard (four points in game 3), who played 20 plus minutes in eight games early in the regular season, including three games with 30 plus and three doubles. Hebard’s role diminished thereafter when Parker returned from injury, but she is a capable second-year power forward who has been a phenomenal goal scorer at university.
Dolson added two points and Astou Ndour-Fall had one in Game 3, ensuring every Sky player scored. Dolson won a gold medal in 3×3 at the Tokyo Olympics last summer and wants another addition to her trophy cabinet. Ndour-Fall had a bit of a setback season this year, averaging 6.6 points per game in 17.1 minutes after averaging 3.5 in 11.6 for the Dallas Wings last year.
As with Mercury, the sky probably wants their fate in the hands of their stars. However, the bank could play a critical role if Game 4 is close. Will their 32-point performance in match 3 give them the momentum they need to do their job and help finish the final?
Fun fact: Dana Evans scored more points in 77 seconds last night than Diana Taurasi and Sophie Cunningham combined …
– Owen Pence (@OwenPence) 16 October 2021