The Chicago Sky season ended in spectacular fashion on September 15th. They lost to the Las Vegas Aces 93-92 on a controversial call and a missed desperation three from Astou Ndour after the Hamby Heave, a play with its own shirt. This loss broke WNBA twitter with players, fans, and journalists alike tweeting about the controversy, the quality of the game, and the heartbreak the Sky experienced.
Despite a disappointing end to the season, the Chicago Sky had a fantastic year. Coach Wade won coach of the year, the Sky had three All Stars, clinched a playoff berth and won a playoff game. If anyone predicted these results at the start of the season, they would’ve been laughed out of the room. The Chicago Sky exceeded everyone’s highest expectations.
James Wade had a phenomenal year. He was named the Coach of the Year and did a great job as GM. Virtually every decision he made as a coach and Gm was a positive one. He took a risk by changing Gabby Williams’ position and moving her to the bench. He traded for Jantel Lavender who became a starting center. After Lavender went down with an injury, he moved Astou Ndour from a third string big to a starter. The Chicago Sky had great success this season and James Wade had a huge influence on that.
The Bench Mob
The Sky’s starters were great, but the Bench Mob were the unsung heroes of the season. Time and time again, the bench stepped up and rose to the occasion. Players like Kahleah Copper were consistent throughout the year. In fact, Copper had her best game against the Aces in the playoffs, scoring 16 points off the bench. Gabby Williams and Cheyenne Parker would be starters on most teams and out played the second string players on other teams on a consistent basis. The Sky starters were All Star players and were the biggest factor in the teams success. But without the bench depth, the team wouldn’t have the success it had throughout the season.
The Sky had far too many turnovers in 2019. They had a whopping 519 turnovers, which is the fourth worst in the league. Turnovers are bad for a multitude of reasons. They waste an offensive possession, give the opposing team a possession, and potential a fast break opportunity. It’s no surprise that the biggest offensive possession of the Chicago Sky’s season ended in a turnover, which lead to the game winning three the Aces scored to win the game.
Overall, the future is bright for the Chicago Sky. Still, they have a few key questions that need to be addressed during the off season and into next year. Can Katie Lou become a rotation player? She was drafted very high by James Wade and is a point of contention for many fans. Some wonder why she is talked about so much and others demand she gets an opportunity. Either way another season will hopefully resolve the question of if Katie Lou is a rotation quality player.
Is Point Gabby a starter?
We all love the point god Courtney Vandersloot, but having Gabby Williams move to the point leads to the question, Is Gabby the future or a solid backup option? Seeing her development at the point guard position and how she fits in with the team next year will be a factor to keep an eye on in 2020.
Can the Sky take the next step?
Every team dreams of championships. The Chicago Sky took some big steps this year to the ultimate goal. Can they take the next step and become a top two regular season team in 2020? Can they establish themselves as one of the teams to beat, and reach the ultimate goal of winning a championship? There are still many questions about the Chicago Sky’s future, but one thing is clear. The future looks bright.