14-20, .412 (6th in East)
2007 Starting Lineup
2007 Key Reserves
2007 Draft Recap
2008 Key Losses
The 2007 season was Chicago’s second year as a WNBA franchise and featured a drastic improvement, as the team’s record went from 5-29 in 2006 to 14-20 in 2007. Still a young team, Chicago remained in the middle of the pack throughout the season and just barely missed the playoffs despite a late surge.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
Bo Overton became the new head coach/GM prior to the 2007 season and in an early-season trade sent Monique Currie to the Mystics in return for center Chasity Melvin. It turned out to be a smart move on Overton’s part as Melvin was steady all year down low, averaging 9.9 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. While teammate Candice Dupree took part in only her second year in the league, she played beyond her years, performing well from both inside and on the perimeter. The two-time All-Star led the team in scoring -- averaging 16.5 points – and also paced the squad in rebounding (7.7 rpg). Defensively, she led the team in blocks with 1.24 rejections per game.
Armintie Price turned in a solid showing in her inaugural WNBA season, playing with heart and energy on her way to earning the Rookie of the Year award. At the starting guard position Price saw an average of 26.3 minutes per contest, while posting 7.9 points and 2.9 dimes. An aggressive defender, she also compiled 6.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals per contest.
Veteran Stacey Dales provided the team with leadership and experience. Having played with Overton in the past at Oklahoma, she was able to help guide the team by playing a variety of roles and averaging 10.3 points per contest.
WHAT WENT WRONG
While Melvin and Dupree were solid inside and Price and Jia Perkins showed flashes of greatness, Chicago needed more consistency and better shot selection. The Sky had the second-lowest field goal percentage in the league, making only 41 percent of their shots. Also, free throws were an issue for the Sky as they only hit 68 percent of their freebies, making them the weakest team in the league from the charity stripe.
Playing in just their second year, the Sky were also hampered by inexperience. While Overton was solid in the head coaching position, the team needed time to get accustomed to his coaching style. In addition, Overton was faced with the task of learning his players' strengths and weaknesses in a short, hectic WNBA season. And with several new key additions to the roster, the team was still developing chemistry.
Overton resigned in the off-season, meaning the Sky will have their third head coach in three seasons in Steven Key. But Key, formerly an assistant with the Sky, has been with Chicago since its inception and knows the players well, which should allow for a smooth transition. It remains to be seen though how Key will handle his first draft as captain of the ship. While the No. 2 overall pick seems like a no-brainer (unless Chicago decides to trade it, which seems unlikely), selections in the second and third rounds will require more thought.
With its core players returning, there’s little doubt that the franchise will be able to build upon the progress it made last season just by being together another year. While the Sky lost Carla Thomas to the Atlanta Dream in the expansion draft, her absence likely will have little effect as she only played in 17 games -- averaging 7.2 minutes – and the squad remains strong up front.
Chicago managed to retain Perkins – the team’s energizer off the bench in 2007 – but the team could stand to benefit from more depth in the back court, especially at point guard.
That said, there are no glaring holes for the Sky at the moment, just plenty of spots where the team could use upgrades if they hope to continue to improve and compete with the powers in the East.