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Can Sylvia Fowles and Swin Cash parlay Olympic gold into a playoff berth?
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images

Season Outlook

The Chicago Sky jumped out of the gates with an impressive 7-1 start to the 2012 WNBA season, but when top scorer Epiphanny Prince went down with a fractured foot, the squad stumbled, resulting in a 8-9 first half record going into the Olympic break.

On the plus side, Chicago's two Olympians -- veteran Swin Cash and relative newcomer to the National Team scene Sylvia Fowles -- had a terrific time in London, helping Team USA to a gold medal. With Prince tentatively scheduled for a second half return, Cash thinks a strong start right away is crucial to the Sky's goal of making the playoffs in 2012.

"Especially since alot of our first games will be at home, we have to take advantage of our opportunities," Cash told NBA TV's GameTime. "In the first half of the season we got the injury bug early and we weren't able to recover as fast as we'd like to."

Cash thinks with Prince's return on the horizon, there could be a sunny outlook for the Sky in the second half.

"I think the second half, we're healthy right now," said Cash. "I had practice ... and we're feeling really good. For us it's about capitalizing on every opportunity because it's gonna get tough down the stretch."



Player to Watch


Prince
With Fowles fully recovered from a foot injury sustained on Olympic duty and Cash seemingly invigorated by another Olympic gold medal, the player to watch in Chicago is clearly Epiphanny Prince. The Rutgers product averaged a whopping 22.3 points per game for the Sky before her injury, but it's not just her offensive output that the team should benefit from upon her return.

"It's vital that we have Epiph back," explained Cash. "She commands double-teams, people have to play her honest, which opens it up for Syl [Fowles] inside and allows me to be able to flash and do the things that I do."

Cash also pointed out the only possible positive aspect of Prince's injury: the vital experience gained by others on the roster and the potential added depth as a result.

"I think alot of players that got those minutes when Epiph went down, they built alot of confidence up so I know coming off the bench they're gonna be ready to go," said Cash. "They understand their role and bring alot of energy to our team. That's why I'm excited to get this second half started because we're finally going to have a full team ready to go and healthy. Let's see what we can get done."


Jim Reilly, WNBA.com



2nd Half Opener

Aug. 17 vs. Atlanta, 8:30 p.m. ET - Tickets

2012 Leaders

PPGEpiphanny Prince22.3
RPGSylvia Fowles12.4
APGCourtney Vandersloot4.9
SPGEpiphanny Prince2.0
BPGSylvia Fowles1.2

2012 Team Stats

Team Record 8-9
Points Scored 74.9 (9th)
Points Allowed 75.1 (2nd)
Field-Goal Percentage.440 (3rd)
Opponents’ FG% .418 (4th)

Advanced Stat

Prior to Epiphanny Prince's injury in the team's ninth game of the season, the Sky were 7-1. After her injury, the Sky went 1-8 to finish the season.

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