Defending champs visit Allstate Arena

To be the best you have to beat the best, and the Chicago Sky will have that opportunity on Tuesday night when the Seattle Storm visit Allstate Arena for the first of two matchups this season against the Sky.

The Sky do not have to worry about facing Lauren Jackson because the reigning WNBA MVP recently underwent surgery on her left hip and will not suit up for the game. It is a big break for the home team because Jackson averages 20.1 points per game against Chicago in her career, good for fourth best all time against the Sky.

What Chicago will have to prepare for is the other two stars on Seattle’s roster, Sue Bird and Swin Cash. Bird has averaged 15.5 points per game this season along with 5.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Cash has led the Storm in scoring with 16.4 points per game and in rebounding with 6.5 boards per game.

The two teams split the season series last year one game apiece with the Sky winning the first matchup 84-75 at Allstate Arena and the Storm taking game two 80-60 in Seattle. The Sky set a franchise record for most blocked shots at Allstate Arena with nine in the first game, and Sylvia Fowles scored 19 points to lead Chicago to victory. The Storm offense was too much to handle in Seattle as they dropped 55 points in the first half to run away from the Sky early on.

Playing the world champions will be a good test for the Sky, but playing at Allstate Arena where the Sky are 6-2 this season, may be an even greater test for Seattle.