The first day of the WNBA semifinals saw two road teams pull off upset wins. The No. 4 Storm edged out the No. 1 Aces, 76-73, and the No. 3 Sun, which lost all four of its matchups to Chicago in the regular season, beat the No. 2 Sky, 68-63.
Both games saw a handful of superstars rise to the occasion while others looked lost. Let’s review the questions we have heading into Game 2?
1. Can the Sun brace for a Sky comeback?
Connecticut shockingly threw the first punch a year after falling to the same team in the same round of the playoffs. The reigning champions played sloppy and shot the ball uncharacteristically well — which unto itself leads to the question of whether it was an off night or stellar Sun defense. Regardless, the Sky are going to come back strong. It’s what a championship team does and it’s what Candace Parker lives for. Are the Sun ready?
2. Was the Vanderquigs’ off night a fluke?
It relates to question one, but Courtney Vandersloot and Allie Quigley’s bizarre 5-of-18 shooting night for 12 points held Chicago back. Even stranger was Vandersloot’s two assists to two turnovers. Was this just an off day? Or is Connecticut causing problems?
3. Will A’ja Wilson get enough touches?
One of the biggest storylines of Game 1 was the favorite for MVP’s lack of shots. On just 10 total attempts, Wilson scored eight points, and she only took one shot in the fourth quarter. That’s how the Aces are going to lose games, but in the absence of Dearica Hamby, Seattle’s been able to help off the fifth player on the court and it’s throwing off Vegas’s offensive rhythm. How Becky Hammon and co. counter will be important.
4. Is Dearica Hamby coming back?
If Vegas falls in this series without her, a lot of the offseason will be spent thinking about what could’ve been if Hamby had played. The Aces are notably shallow after their five All-Star-level talents and they’re feeling the consequences against a deep Seattle team.
5. Is Gabby Williams coming back?
Williams’ concussion kept her out of Game 1, but if she’s ready for Game 2, Vegas could be in for even more trouble. While Stephanie Talbot was a star in her role in Game 1, Williams is a defensive menace ready to cause even more problems for an offense that has a laundry list of issues to correct already.
6. Is Breanna Stewart the most unstoppable scorer in the world?
Signs are pointing to yes, especially after this ridiculous fadeaway shot. The scoring champion has taken her game to another level in these playoffs, averaging 22.7 points with 4.7 assists and 9.3 rebounds in three games so far.