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."
"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