MVP Battle a Side Note to Playoff Race

One of the top story lines of the 2011 WNBA season has been the battle between Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles and Connecticut’s Tina Charles. The two all-star centers have a history dating back to their college playing days and have already taken the court against each other four times this season.

While the two favorites for the league’s Most Valuable Player award have battled to a draw statistically and split the season series, winning two games apiece, the winner of the fifth matchup won’t care about stats as long her team gets the “W.”

Fowles and the Sky took the first and third matchups this season against the Sun, 78-75 and 107-101, at Allstate Arena, but the second and fourth meetings belonged to Connecticut, 83-68 and 77-66, at the Mohegan Sun Arena and Allstate, respectively.

The Sky has struggled of late, losing four of the last five, but still remain in contention for the playoffs due to their success earlier in the season. The Sun meanwhile won 6 of the last 7 before playing at Seattle on Friday night and is solidly in second place in the division.

While it is clear that Sylvia Fowles has every intention to give her rival everything she’s got, the question remains who else will help take Chicago over the top in this crucial game. Vandersloot did it in game one; Prince in game three. It comes as a no surprise that Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman hopes to find a new weakness in the Sun that she can exploit.

Said Chatman after the last game versus Connecticut, “When you play a team four times, it’s a chess match.”

Expect the Sky to come prepared with a few new wrinkles to get the job done.