Dana Evans was a highlight of the Sky’s season opener

Sky coach/GM James Wade has mentioned since preparation for his staff’s title protection started that this yr shall be about development.

There’s no concern on the staff’s finish over the season-opening time beyond regulation loss to the Los Angeles Sparks when there are 35 extra video games to be performed and so they’re nonetheless with out two starters. Past the controversial foul name within the fourth quarter and the Sky’s 25 turnovers, there have been optimistic takeaways from opening evening.

They begin with Dana Evans.

“We heard numerous questions on Dana’s skills after we bought Julie [Allemand],” Wade mentioned. “Folks sort of counted her out. Dana is a very good participant and she or he has a chip on her shoulder.”

Friday Evans was tapped to make her first WNBA begin and she or he saved her deal with going into the sport relaxed. After shootaround Friday morning, she went residence, showered and binged a few of her favourite tv. Her intention was to maintain her thoughts off basketball so she didn’t overthink the second.

Her plan labored. Evans got here out and made it a profession evening, ending with a career-high 24 factors, scoring 17 of them on 7-for-8 capturing within the third quarter.

Her protection was one other spotlight of the evening, selecting up the Sparks guards full court docket and grabbing 4 steals. The expectation is that Evans will come off the bench when Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper return to the beginning rotation.

Quigley mentioned she expects to be obtainable by Sport 3 and Copper is ending up her abroad commitments and shall be in Chicago by Could 17.

Within the meantime although, Evans shouldn’t be solely dependable she’s spectacular. Friday evening’s recreation offered a glimpse of the depth on the Sky’s roster with everybody obtainable.

“All of us have an excellent understanding of our roles and what we will do nicely,” Evans mentioned. “For this staff, everyone seems to be so gifted. You get in, the place you slot in.”

The Sky’s turnovers have been probably the most notable concern of the opener, however many got here off of misreads, together with on an inbounds play with six seconds to go and a three-point lead. The turnover in the end led to Jordin Canada’s three made free throws, sending the sport to time beyond regulation.

These shall be cleaned up because the staff develops extra chemistry. The Sky noticed two vital departures in 2022 free company when Stefanie Dolson signed with the New York Liberty and Diamond DeShields was moved in a sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Mercury. Whereas the addition of 2019 WNBA Finals MVP Emma Meesseman is an undoubted improve, there have been moments in Friday’s recreation that confirmed the staff continues to be discovering synergy.

Monday morning Wade waived Kaela Davis who was signed to a alternative contract within the absence of Rebekah Gardner.

Gardner participated in her first Sky apply Monday afternoon and seemed good within the units she ran with the Sky’s starters. She was the final participant left capturing after apply concluded.

Copper, Allemand and Li Yueru are the one remaining gamers absent from the Sky’s roster. The most recent anticipated arrival for Allemand is the primary week of June. Wade mentioned Li has a visa appointment on Tuesday and expects her arrival quickly.

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