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WNBA: Unbeaten Sky host resurgent Liberty in home opener

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The Chicago Sky will attempt to stay undefeated against the New York Liberty in their home opener on Sunday.

The Sky (2-0) have had consecutive encouraging outings, easily handling the Washington Mystics in the season opener, 70-56, on May 15 and edging out the Atlanta Dream (85-77) Wednesday night.

So far, Kahleah Copper has cemented herself as the Sky’s premier offensive weapon. Copper leads the club in points per game with 21 and defensive rebounds with 11.

Promising guard Diamond DeShields also has impressed. DeShields is averaging 5 assists per game after averaging 1.5 in 2020. The 2018 third-overall pick has shown strong chemistry with Copper so far.

“I think we’re doing a great job of just reading each other,” said Copper of DeShields.

“We’ve just been having conversations about finding each other a little bit better. We know in most of the games we’re gonna draw two defenders. So we’re just focused on finding each other, especially in transition.”

Despite winning only two games last season, the Liberty (3-1) are turning into one of the WNBA’s most exciting teams, thanks to Sabrina Ionescu. The No. 1 overall pick in 2020, she was limited to three games as a rookie because of an ankle injury.

Ionescu sank a game-winning three with 0.4 seconds left in New York’s season opener against the Indiana Fever on May 15. Three days later, the 23-year-old Ionescu became the youngest player to achieve a triple-double in WNBA history after recording 26 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists vs the Minnesota Lynx.

Rookie Michaela Onyenwere has proved to be another exciting young player. Onyenwere is third on the team in points per game with an average of 10.3. Less than two minutes into her WNBA debut, she hit a statement three-pointer, silencing critics who questioned her shooting throughout the pre-draft process.

“There were a lot of questions about (her 3-point shot) when we drafted her,” Liberty head coach Walt Hopkins said of Onyenwere. “We knew from watching her shot that we had no concerns.”

–Field Level Media

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