Whenever reigning WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne misses time for the Chicago Sky it's a big blow to the team. However, the timing of her current injury could be especially damaging for the Sky.
The Sky announced on Monday that Delle Donne is scheduled for surgery on her right thumb on Tuesday. They did not indicate a timetable for her return.
The Sky (16-15) have already clinched a playoff berth, but are jockeying for playoff position with three games remaining in the regular season. The Sky are currently tied with Indiana and Atlanta for the No. 4 spot, which earns a first-round bye in the WNBA's new playoff format this season.
Delle Donne suffered the injury Sept. 7 in a loss at the Washington Mystics and has missed the Sky's past two games, a loss at Indiana and a win at Connecticut. The Sky's regular season finale is Sept. 18 and the playoffs start Sept. 21, meaning the playoff opener could be eight days from her surgery.
Delle Donne currently shares the league lead in scoring at 21.5 points per game.
The first year of the post-Elena Delle Donne era for the Chicago Sky did not go well.
The Sky limped to a 12-22 record without the former WNBA MVP and scoring champ. As the Bulls are about to experience, the upside of a losing season is a high draft pick the next year.
The Sky had the third and fourth picks in the draft, which took place on Thursday, and snagged a pair of players from powerhouse programs in women's college basketball.
At No. 3 the Sky picked up Diamond DeShields from Tennessee. She led the Lady Vols in scoring in the 2016-17 season, but that was her junior year. She elected to sign overseas with Cukurova in Turkey instead of playing out her final year of eligibility. The New York Times profiled her just ahead of the WNBA draft.
Oh, and she's also the daughter of former major leaguer Delino DeShields and her brother, Delino DeShields Jr., is currently an outfielder for the Texas Rangers.
At No. 4, the Sky picked up UConn forward Gabby Williams. Williams started every game in each of the last two seasons for the Huskies, which went undefeated in the regular season and made the Final Four both of those seasons.
ROSEMONT — Jonquel Jones scored 19 of her career-high 23 points in the second half and finished with 21 rebounds to help the Connecticut Sun beat the Chicago Sky 97-79 on Sunday night.
Jones, who set her previous career best of 20 rebounds on May 13, became the 12th player in WNBA history with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game. Alyssa Thomas had 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals and Lynetta Kizer scored 16 with seven rebounds for Connecticut (1-4), which won its first game of the season.
Kizer’s jumper midway through the first quarter made it 14-13 and the Sun led the rest of the way. Jessica Breland hit two free throws to pull Chicago (1-5) within four with 4:37 left in the third, but Jones scored seven points during a 10-3 run over the next three-plus minutes and the Sky got no closer.
Tamera Young led Chicago with 17 points. She has at least one made 3-pointer in each of the last five games after going nearly five calendar years (June 23, 2011) since her last 3.