WNBA playoffs: In the season opener, the Chicago Sky take on the Dallas Wings

WNBA playoffs
Source: Skysports

On Sunday night, Diamond DeShields made WNBA playoffs history in the Chicago Sky’s regular-season finale.

Can DeShields and her teammates make franchise history by opening the WNBA playoffs at home against the Dallas Wings in a single-elimination game?

Chicago has never won a league title and has only appeared in the final series once when they were swept by Phoenix in 2014. The Sky’s season record of 16-16 isn’t very outstanding, but their skill pool is, as is their record when former two-time MVP Candace Parker is healthy.

Parker’s injury sidelined the Sky for seven games in May and June, resulting in a seven-game losing run. They’ve gone five games over.500 since her comeback, proving they can beat anyone in the league.

They ended the regular season with a 98-87 home win over Indiana, with DeShields tying her career-high with 30 points off the bench. She became the first WNBA reserve to score at least 30 points, five rebounds, and five assists in a game.

The challenge now is to slow down Dallas’ high-powered offence, which has dominated Chicago in two of their three meetings this season. This includes a 100-91 decision in Arlington, Texas, on July 2.

“I think the transition and restricting them to one shot at the goal will be the keys,” Sky coach James Wade said. “We can’t afford to give them second or third chances, and we must be ready to guard one-on-one. We must stick to our plans and avoid turning the ball over.”

The Wings (14-18) are coming off an 87-84 win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday, which eliminated them from playoff contention.

Despite their sub-.500 record, Dallas’ ability to hit three-pointers makes them a formidable opponent. The Wings hit ten triples on Sunday, the tenth time this season they’ve hit double digits in that statistic.

With 18.7 points per game, Arike Ogunbowale leads the Wings. She scored 20 points for the 17th game this season on Sunday, and she will be a big scoring threat for Dallas for as long as they continue in the playoffs.

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