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Good morning, Chicago!
If the current state of Chicago sports have taught us anything, it’s that we can’t take any playoff appearance for granted.
And a title defense with a genuine chance of repeating?
Well, that should be valued even more.
So here we go! The Sky begin the defense of their WNBA title at home on Wednesday when the New York Liberty come calling to start a best-of-three series. Survive three rounds and they’ll become the first Chicago team to successfully defend a title since the 1997-98 “Last Dance” Bulls.
A quick primer on the team for those looking to jump aboard the bandwagon:
- The Sky finished the regular season with a 26-10 record, the best mark in franchise history and tied with the Las Vegas Aces for the best in the WNBA this year.
- They’ll enter the playoffs seeded second out of eight teams. The Aces took the top seed by virtue of their 2-1 record against the Sky in 2022.
- The first round is best-of-three while the semifinals and finals are best of five.
- You probably know Candace Parker as the face of the team, but they’re far from a one-woman squad. Last year’s Finals MVP Kahleah Copper led the team in scoring this season with 15.9 points per game and the married duo of Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot is looking to add another ring to their storied careers.
- The Sky weren’t complacent in the offseason. Three new additions — Emma Meesseman, Julie Allemand and Rebekah Gardner — could be big reasons the team repeats.
- The WNBA is arguably more competitive than ever and it won’t be easy to repeat. The last back-to-back champion were the Los Angeles Sparks in 2002.
But hopefully the Sky have another month-long run in them. They’ve stayed relatively healthy and have James Wade, one of the best coaches in the business, running things. Make sure you’re following Janice Scurio and Subria Whitaker of the CHGO Sky Podcast as the team attempts to run it back.
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The Week Ahead
- Short week for the Bears, who travel to Seattle on Thursday night for a nationally-televised matchup against the Seahawks. That means we don’t have to wait as long to see the five Bears who impressed Will DeWitt the most during Saturday’s preseason win over the Chiefs.
🎧 : The CHGO Bears crew broke down every aspect of the Kansas City win
🔒 : CHGO Members: 53-man roster projection after Saturday
- A sweep of Detroit gave the White Sox another 4-3 week, although they got there the hard way after dropping three of four in Kansas City to start. Escaping this week with the same record would be a big accomplishment. Houston is in town for four games, followed by a three-game trip to Cleveland. The Sox are three games over .500 for the first time since the season’s ninth game.
- The high point of the Cubs season is probably in the rearview mirror with Thursday’s win over the Reds at the Field of Dreams. They’ll travel to Washington for three and get a makeup date in Baltimore on Thursday before returning home for a weekend series against the Brewers.
- The Mallory Pugh-less Red Stars dropped their third game in four tries with a 1-0 loss to Angel City on Sunday night. The club has dropped to sixth place in the NWSL, but a Saturday trip to face last-place North Carolina awaits.
- The Fire’s hot streak came to an end with a 4-1 drubbing by conference-leading Philadelphia on Saturday. They get NYCFC in Bridgeview next Sunday, sparking off a four games in two week stretch.
Hand these men an Oscar! 🎭
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