The Chicago Sky, fresh from a victory in the first round over the Dallas Wings, travels north to the Minnesota Lynx in the second round of the 202 WNBA playoffs. The game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2, with a tip that will take place Sunday at 5 p.m.
If the results of the regular season are an indication, WNBA fans are spoiled. The Sky and Lynx split their season series into one game, while the road team won and scored more than 100 points in both outcomes. Chicago led by 27 points as it advanced to a 105-89 victory on June 15, while the Lynx took revenge on August 21 through double-digit attempts by six players in a 101-95 victory.
Such scores are clearly high by WNBA standards, although many of them can be shot to hot, with the Lynx a 65.1 true shooting percentage in August and the Sky a true shooting percentage of 68.1 in June. Both games were also fairly fast, more than 85 possessions; no WNBA team averaged more than 82.5 possessions per 40 minutes in the Ordinary season 2021.
Will Sunday’s do-or-die playoff game between Chicago and Minnesota still be a scourge? Even if the two teams do not scorch the nets as in the regular season, but there is still potential for an exciting and thrilling game full of interesting storylines.
Candace Parker vs. Sylvia Fowles is a great place to start. The two biggest names in the 2008 WNBA draft are still going strong, especially with the Lynx’s Fowles, who were averaging a doubles for the seventh time in their careers. Fowles was recently in a Swish Appeal staff table as the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year in 2021; if league award voters agree, Sunday’s game is an ideal time to honor her.
There’s also the head coach-coach of Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota, and James Wade in Chicago. Wade was an assistant under Reeve when the Lynx won it all in 2017, and although he was named WNBA Coach of the Year in 2019 after leading the Sky to a 20-14 record, he is just 1-6 against Reeve since he was appointed as Chicago’s head coach.
A win on Sunday will, of course, make Sky’s recent battle against Minnesota seem insignificant. They will have to give their best against third-seeded Lynx, who finished the regular season with 17 of their last 20 games and will be well rested after scoring a play-off in the first round.
Nr. 6 selected Chicago Sky vs no. 3 selected Minnesota Lynx
When: Sunday, 26 September at 17:00 ET
Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN
How to watch: ESPN2, TSN5
Air Injury Report: nothing
Lynx Injury Report: Damiris Dantas (out for season; right foot), Rennia Davis (out of season; stress fracture to left foot)
Keys to the match: It’s hard to look past Parker and Fowles as the biggest stars in their respective teams, but Sunday’s game will be far from a one – woman show on either side of the track. With shooters like Kayla McBride, Aerial Powers and Bridget Carleton, the Lynx can space the floor effectively, and they do not have to rely on one player to warm up to get an effective attack. Chicago, on the other hand, has one of the best shooters in the game in Allie Quigley, though the Sky will have to set the pace of the game in their favor and get easy transition baskets from athletes Kahleah Copper and Diamond DeShields in a good position to win. Rebounding is another thing to look at: Minnesota was the third best defensive rebound team in the WNBA during the regular season (73.6 percent defensive rebounding percentage), while Chicago was the third weakest (69 percent defensive rebounding percentage) .