Facing Elimination, Don't Count Out the Sky Just Yet
CHICAGO, Ill. -- It's win or go home for Chicago Sky, but if this postseason is any indication, they might have the Phoenix Mercury right where they want them.
The Sky have faced elimination three times in the 2014 Playoffs, and all three times they came away with victories. They stormed back for a historic comeback in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the top-seeded Atlanta Dream and defeated the Indiana Fever in Games 2 and 3, after falling down 1-0, in the Eastern Conference Finals.
“Nobody wants to go home," Chicago guard Allie Quigley said. "We don’t want to stop playing. We came this far and we just want this really badly, so I think that’s gonna show tomorrow.”
Game 3, which will be played at UIC Pavilion and not the Sky's regular home arena, AllState Arena, is Friday night at 8PM ET on ESPN2.
After Games 1 and 2, where the Sky lost by 21 and 29 points, respectively, they know they are in a tough spot.
"Now we got our backs against the wall," Sky center Sylvia Fowles said. "We are going to have to punch our way out and keep on fighting. It's not over."
It should be noted that it wasn't until the end of the Sky's media availability on Thursday that they became aware of Brittney Griner's status, who is listed as a game-time decision for Game 3 after undegoing a outpatient procedure to correct a retinal issue.
Being without a key player or two has become commonplace for the Sky this year, even into the postseason. Even so, they have found ways to perserve through the adversity and also learn from the journey.
"We've faced elimination in round one and round two and somehow we found a way to win," Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot said. "We've been through a lot this season, we're going to figure it out. We have fighters on this team. We're not happy with just being in the Finals. We need to be better tomorrow and we're going to find a way to be better tomorrow."
Several members of the team acknowledged that they are not happy with their performances in the first two games in Phoenix, but also noted that it's nothing scheme-wise that needs to changed, they just need to execute better and "want it more" since they are the team facing elimination.
"For any competitor, you dont want to stop playing," Quigley said. "And when your faced with a game that says if you lose you're going home or you win you keep playing, it's going to bring something out of you."
If one thing is for certain, it's that the city of Chicago will be behind the Sky. In fact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn stopped by Sky practice on Thursday. Watch below.