Chicago wants to implement key strategies for improvement ahead of their marquee matchup against the Connecticut Sun and beyond.

Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon always a player at heart - Chicago Sun-Times

DEERFIELD, IL — The Chicago Sky are back at the drawing board after their 89-80 loss to the Atlanta Dream on Saturday. Chicago is preparing for a rematch against the Eastern Conference powerhouse Connecticut Sun on Wednesday. Head coach Teresa Weatherspoon and Dana Evans revealed key insight on how the Sky can improve their two-way play ahead of their marquee matchup

Teresa Weatherspoon, Sky outline recipes for improvement 

Chicago Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon reacts during the first half of a WNBA game against the Connecticut Sun at Wintrust ArenaKamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
One of Chicago’s thorns has been slow starts. The Dream outscored the Sky 29-15 in the first quarter on Saturday, which made it tough to come back and win. Teresa Weatherspoon outlined Chicago’s sluggishness as a key mistake to learn from.

“We have to get stops. We can’t allow people 27 points in the first quarter. That’s not good for us. You can’t be digging holes and trying to get out of them all the time because these teams are professional teams and very good at what they do. And when they get you in a hole, they like to bury you. We want to make sure we don’t have those types of starts. We’re learning some major lessons early and how to change it,” Weatherspoon said after practice on Monday.

As Weatherspoon mentioned, the key to not going down big early is getting stops. The Dream were on fire in the first half against Chicago, shooting 44 percent on three-pointers. The Sky must make defensive intensity a priority early to be successful. Of course, Chicago wants to be more efficient offensively as well. Dana Evans discussed ways for the Sky to have better flow with the ball.

“I would just say we have to be better moving the ball and being quicker,” Evans said. “We have good intentions. We’re trying to make something work … I think if we get more catch-and-shoot looks, our percentages will be better and we’ll get more quality shots.”

Furthermore, Evans spoke about her mentality as one of the team’s primary playmakers.

“I usually start the game off getting everybody involved, getting everybody touches, setting everybody else up to be successful. And that’s when I just insert myself. When I see an opening or if the play breaks down, that’s when I can get myself going. But it’s always team first and me last.”

The Sky will need every bit of Evans’ contributions as they prepare to rematch one of the best teams in the WNBA.

Chicago faces another tough task against Alyssa Thomas, Sun

Dana Evans understands the challenge that lies ahead of the Sky on Wednesday. The Sun possess a 9-1 record, which places them first in the Eastern Conference standings.  The veteran team boasts one of the most ferocious defensive attacks in the league and has proven offensive executors. Evans emphasized the need to keep Connecticut and MVP candidate Alyssa Thomas in check.

“[Connecticut is a] very physical team, really good defensive team. They love transition and they’re led by [Alyssa Thomas]. She pretty much does everything for them, so just keying in on her and making sure we rebound. They’re really good at getting their offensive rebounds,” Evans said.

The Sun outlasted the Sky 86-82 when the teams met for Chicago’s home opener on May 25th. Officials ejected Alyssa Thomas from the game for her controversial foul on Angel Reese, but DeWanna Bonner helped keep Connecticut’s foot on the gas. Chicago will need to keep Bonner, Thomas, and the rest of the Sun’s stout contributors at bay for a chance to win. With lessons learned from prior matchups, the Sky have what it takes to come out on top.