The San Antonio Stars are back in action, this time verses the visiting Chicago Sky.
It has been a tough go for the Stars this season, as the team is currently last in the WNBA with an 0-14 record. The Stars will also be without Monique Currie, who was traded back to the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday. Currie was one of the team’s top scorers, with an average of 11.8 points per game. With her gone, it frees minutes up for players like Nia Coffey and Kelsey Plum to prove themselves.
Chicago has gotten off to a rocky start as well. First year head coach Amber Stocks has struggled to find consistency within her rotations. As a result the Sky are 3-11, the second-worst record in the league.
These two teams met on June 10 with the Sky taking an 85-81 overtime win. Here are three things to watch.
Who will fill the void with Currie’s departure?
Currie was playing an average of 23 minutes per game. With her gone, that leaves a huge chunk of playing time to be distributed among other players.
Alex Montgomery has primarily been the starter, but typically plays about 20 minutes each game. Her minutes could increase some, but she has not been able to produce at a rate similar to Currie’s. With that being said, her minutes are unlikely to skyrocket.
Former Northwestern University standout Nia Coffey was taken with the No.5 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft. However, she has been sparingly used so far this season. With so many minutes now available, it’s reasonable to expect her to finally have an opportunity to show her abilities in game action.
Another alternative would be for head coach Vickie Johnson to utilize a small lineup featuring Moriah Jefferson, Kayla McBride and Kelsey Plum. Johnson has been hesitant to play all three at once despite much anticipation from fans and media. This move does free up space for this to happen, but it would ultimately sacrifice size on the perimeter going forward.
Can the Stars contain Stefanie Dolson?
The former Connecticut Husky absolutely scorched the Stars in their previous meeting. Dolson scored a game-high 25 points while shooting 73 percent from the field. She did most of her damage from mid-range, and the Stars did not have an answer.
To prevent the same from happening, San Antonio’s post players will have to step out to defend her shot. Dolson also has nifty moves in the post, so doing work down low early to prevent her from establishing good position will also be important.
Dolson missed Chicago’s last game due to sickness, but is expected to be back in action this game.
Will the Stars finally get their first win on the season?
The Silver and Black have come extremely close in several games this season, but have been unable complete the finishing touches.
The Stars are coming off an 87-78 loss to the Minnesota Lynx. San Antonio held a 62-55 advantage after three quarters, but were outscored 32-16 in the final period.
In the last matchup with the Sky, the Silver and Black battled back to send the game to overtime but ultimately fell short.
If the Stars can be consistent on both ends of the floor for a complete 40 minutes, a win is likely.
Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. CT from the AT&T Center.