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2019 Season Review: Chicago Sky

Finishing the 2019 season with a 20-14 record, the Chicago Sky posted their best record since 2015 and reached the postseason for the first time since 2016. After a 105-76 Round 1 victory against the Phoenix Mercury, the Sky were eliminated in Round 2 by the Las Vegas Aces at the hands of Dearica Hamby’s miraculous game-winning shot.

Considering this, let’s look back at the Chicago Sky’s 2019 season.

Record: 20-14

Finish: 5th

Leaders: Points (DeShields, 16.2); Rebounds (Lavender, 6.9); Assists (Vandersloot, 9.1); Steals (Vandersloot, 1.4); Blocks (Parker, 1.2)

Storylines

Dimes on Dimes

Since entering the league in 2011, Courtney Vandersloot has continued to improve her game each and every year. Breaking the single-season assists record in 2018, Vandersloot one-upped herself and broke her own single-season assists record again in 2019, pouring in 300 assists and averaging a record-breaking 9.1 APG. Vandersloot’s impressive 2019 campaign earned her a spot in the WNBA All-Star Game for the second time in her career.

At 30 years old, Vandersloot has established herself as one of the top point guards in the league and appears to be entering her prime now. If history is an indication of anything, Vandersloot could be on track to break her assists record yet again in 2020.

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Selected No. 3 overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft, Diamond DeShields enjoyed a solid rookie season in which she earned a spot on the WNBA All-Rookie Team. In 2019, DeShields averaged a career-high 16.2 PPG and 5.5 RPG, becoming the Sky’s go-to scoring option in just her second season. As a result of her exceptional play, DeShields appeared in her first WNBA All-Star Game and won the WNBA All-Star Weekend Skills Challenge. Just two seasons into her WNBA career and at just 24 years of age, DeShields seems like a franchise player for the Sky moving forward.

Coach of the Year

After serving as Head Coach and GM in 2017 and 2018, the Sky relieved Amber Stocks of her duties prior to the 2019 season and hired longtime WNBA assistant James Wade to serve both roles. With much of the same roster, Wade took a team that won 12 games in 2017 and 13 in 2018 and helped them win 20 games in 2019. As a result of his quick turnaround and success with the Sky, Wade was named 2019 WNBA Coach of the Year. Although he only has one year at the helm under his belt, it appears that the Sky have found a winning coach.

Looking Ahead

The Sky will look to be a championship contender again in 2020. Falling just short of appearing in the Semifinals, the Sky will carry over much of the same roster next season, including their dynamic backcourt of Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley, along with young star guard Diamond DeShields. The Sky will also look forward to seeing further development of 2019 WNBA Draft No. 4 selection Katie Lou Samuelson, who missed multiple games in 2019 with a hand injury. Chicago holds the No. 8 pick in the 2020 WNBA Draft and will look to add more youth to an already promising young roster.