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Yahoo Sports WNBA writer Cassandra Negley takes a look at the surprising run by the 6th-seeded Sky to the championship series.
CASSANDRA NEGLEY: What the heck just happened? The number six Chicago Sky pulled an upset for the ages by dropping the number one Connecticut Sun in the WNBA semifinals and taking only four games to do it. This Sun team was a team so hot that they had won 14 regular season games consecutively coming into the playoffs, and they were keeping opponents to fewer than 65 points per game.
Well, the Sky weren't having it. When Yahoo Sports spoke to Candace Parker heading into the final weekend of the regular season, she said the key for Chicago would be to play good basketball consistently. And that's exactly what we've seen for six games in these playoffs. They're shooting 46% overall and shot nearly 50% from three-point range in games three and four. That's hard to compete with.
Chicago played their style, and defensively they shut down the MVP Jonquel Jones and most improved in Brionna Jones. Everything is clicking and this team is coming together at the right time, which is a tough thing for opponents to handle. It is not at all surprising, then, that the number six team came into the finals for the first time since the format changed in 2016.
Now these pieces have been there for years, and James Wade had said they were knocking on the screen door of a championship. Then they signed Candace Parker in free agency, and they're in the house. She's done a little bit of everything needed, from scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, blocks, and energy. And her leadership cannot be overlooked for this team, particularly because she's won a championship before while with the Los Angeles Sparks.
This one would be even more special to bring the first WNBA championship to Chicago, her hometown. It is really nice to see Candace Parker thriving and beaming after that final buzzer of game four, as she brings her hometown to the brink of a title. You know, rather than wondering why she's on the bench during an elimination game. Game one is on Sunday on ABC, and playoff basketball returns to Chicago on Friday, October 15 for game three.