Familiar Playoff Rivals
There’s little mystery about the semifinal series between the Connecticut Sun and defending WNBA champion Chicago Sky as this will be the third postseason in a row that the Eastern Conference rivals will square off.
Both teams had to go the distance in the first round of the 2022 playoffs. Chicago, looking to become the first back-to-back WNBA champions since the Los Angeles Sparks accomplished the feat in 2001 and 2002, lost the first game to New York with an epic late-game meltdown before taking the final two contests. Connecticut lost Game 2 to a Dallas team playing without leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale. A strong second half in Game 3 enabled the Sun to reach the semifinal round for the fourth season in a row.
Chicago has the second-best odds at +325 to win the WNBA championship according to the WNBA playoff odds. Connecticut isn’t far behind at +375. Chicago leads the way at -140 in the series price in what should be a highly competitive series. Connecticut’s series odds are +120.
Sun Seeking to Take Next Step
Since advancing to the WNBA finals in 2004 and 2005, getting past the semifinal round has been an issue for the Connecticut Sun.
Whether it was called the conference finals or semifinal round, Connecticut has lost four of the last five series when a trip to the WNBA championship series was on the line.
The Sun have once again persevered despite missing a key figure. Last year, it was Alyssa Thomas not returning until late in the season. This season, it has been veteran point guard Jasmine Thomas who has been sidelined since suffering a torn ACL after playing in just five games.
With Natisha Hiedeman moving into the starting lineup to replace the injured Thomas, the Sun brought in some experienced backcourt players to try to help out.
Bria Hartley played in just three games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Odyssey Sims was signed late in the regular season. She averaged 6.9 and 2.9 assists in seven regular-season games compared to 4.7 points and 2 assists in the three playoff games.
Connecticut is 6-1 against the WNBA betting lines over its last seven games.
Sky’s Copper Again Saving Best for Postseason
Certain players have the ability to raise their level of play when the most is on the line.
Kahleah Copper of the Chicago Sky would certainly fit that description.
Copper has been a very good player in the regular season since the start of the 2020 campaign, as she has averaged 15.0 points in 85 games. Her scoring average has jumped to 17.9 points in 14 postseason games during that time.
Copper played a starring role in Chicago’s surprising run to the franchise’s first WNBA title a season ago. She dialed things up a notch in this year’s playoffs with back-to-back 20-point efforts followed by a 15-point performance in the clinching game against New York.
On a team where five players, all members of the 2021 title-winning team, are averaging at least 13.7 points in the postseason, it is Copper who took the most shots during the series with the Liberty.
Copper led Chicago with an average of 17.5 points in last year’s series against Connecticut. She is on the receiving end of plenty of passes from Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot, two of the WNBA’s all-time leaders in playoff assists.
Whether it’s regular season or postseason, Ace is ALWAYS going find a way to get her teammates involved.
— Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) August 24, 2022
Something to consider for those who bet online: The total has gone under in four of Chicago’s last five games.
Sun vs Sky Game Information
- Game: Sun 25-11 vs Sky 26-10
- Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago
- Day/Time: Sunday, Aug. 28, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Sun vs Sky Live Stream: WNBA.com
Sun vs Sky Betting Lines
Sun vs Sky Prediction
Chicago has won the last six games against Connecticut and that includes all four meetings this season. Four of those last six matchups have been decided by four points or less so this is not as one-sided of a rivalry as it might appear.
Chicago has scored more than 85 points in four of the last five home games against the Sun. Chicago has won six straight home games against Connecticut.
Candace Parker averaged 15.3 points on 54.8 percent shooting against Connecticut in the regular season. She added 7.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.8 blocked shots.
Jonquel Jones leads Connecticut in scoring (16.3 points) and rebounding (9.8) in the four games against Chicago.
Chicago is just 2-6-1 against the spread in the last nine home games. Until Connecticut proves otherwise, it is hard to pick against the Chicago Sky in a series that they have recently dominated.
The 165½ total is an interesting number considering that two of the last three playoff meetings between the teams went under that total while both teams scored at least 90 points in each of the last two matchups during the regular season.