Point guard Courtney Vandersloot, who led the league in assists for the fifth consecutive year, averaged 9.7 assists per game in this year’s playoffs heading into Game 4. regular season – in game one of the semifinals, joining Hall of Fame Sheryl Swoopes as the only player in WNBA history with a triple-double in the playoffs.
Other Sky players have also enjoyed great success.
Vandersloot’s wife, Sky guard Allie Quigley, was averaging 14 points per game in the playoffs heading into Sunday, the team’s second tallest. The top scorer was forward Kahleah Copper, who averaged 18.6 points per game.
Sunday’s title culminated with a remarkable rise for Copper, the 7th pick in the 2016 Washington Mystics Draft. Copper was traded to Chicago ahead of the 2017 season as part of a deal that sent Elena Delle Donne, the former Sky superstar at Mystiques. The copper started in just 12 games from 2017 to 2019, fading behind Vandersloot, Quigley and DeShields.
She had a breakout season in 2020 as she moved up to a starting role, further doubling her minutes per game – to 31.3 in 2020 from 14.8 in 2019 – and points per game – to 14. 9 against 6.7. Copper has since established itself as a star in the sky and made the difference in this championship series.
“You have players who work, but you have players like Kah who really, really work, and you can see it,” Chicago coach James Wade said after Copper scored 22 points, a game-high 3.
It’s a disappointing end to the season for the Mercury, who last won a championship in 2014, when they swept Sky for their third franchise title.
Phoenix has had a solid season behind Diana Taurasi, career WNBA goalkeeper, Brittney Griner, one of the league’s top crosses, and Skylar Diggins-Smith, who has been a fearless scorer and playmaker. his entire career.
But while they’ve kept Phoenix alive in so many critical games so far, on Sunday they couldn’t do enough to extend their season for one more game.