Thus far, the 2015 WNBA Most Valuable Player, Elena Delle Donne, has been largely held in check by the Fever and five-time WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Tamika Catchings. Delle Donne has been held to just 25 points through two games, well below her per-game average from the regular season.
Thankfully for Chicago, other players have risen to the occasion. Guard Allie Quigley has proven why she took home her second consecutive Sixth Woman of the Year honors. She scored 22 points in the Sky’s Game 1 win, and followed that performance up with a 14-point performance in Game 2.
Point guard Courtney Vandersloot has been rock-solid orchestrating the Sky offense and has dished out 11 assists in the two games played. But she’s also looked for her shot. Vandersloot scored 17 points in Game 1 and topped that performance with 19 points in Game 2.
All in all, Chicago has just been matched against an Indiana team that is clicking at the right time. Chicago had Indiana’s number all season long, but it’s no surprise that when the playoffs arrived, it was Catchings and the Fever that were firing on all cylinders. That’s been the norm in the Eastern Conference for years.
In fact, a win Monday night would put the Fever in its fifth consecutive Eastern Conference Finals. If Catchings has anything to say about it, that will be Indiana’s fate when the game is over. So far she’s been one of the more dominant players in the postseason, dropping 21 points in the Game 1 loss before scoring 22 in the Game 2 win.
In typical Tamika Catchings fashion, though, she’s making an impact on the defensive end of the floor, too. She’s helped slow Delle Donne and has gotten her hand in the passing lanes as well, recording seven steals through two games – including a five-steal effort in the second game of the series.
Monday night will provide a test for both squads. Can head coach Stephanie White’s Fever team make the Eastern Conference Finals in her first season at the helm? And can they do it on the road?
Can the Chicago Sky get past the Fever and return to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they would be looking to defend their title as Eastern Conference champions. By the end of tonight, all of those questions will have an answer.
The stage is set for the WNBA’s first winner-take-all of the postseason, and when you combine the star power of Elena Delle Donne and Tamika Catchings, it’s a recipe for must-see television.