Can the Chicago Sky earn their first win against rookie star Caitlin Clark and the Indiana Fever on Sunday?

The Chicago Sky are still struggling to understand the Indiana Fever. The clubs may be tired of one another by the time they tip off on Sunday at Wintrust Arena. It will be their second meeting in eight days and their third in four weeks. The burden is on the Sky to repay the Fever for their two-game winning streak in their first home game of the season series.

It’s a tough challenge, the Clark one. Averaging 16.2 points and 6.2 assists per game, Caitlin Clark is competing with Angel Reese for the title of Rookie of the Year. The guard has been the focal point of the Fever’s winning run of four games, their first since 2015. Additionally, she’s the

Clark didn’t provide much of a threat in the first encounter, scoring 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting from the field on June 1. In the second game on Sunday, she scored 23 points and dished out nine assists, demonstrating a return to shooting form. Although Clark’s spectacular scoring efforts aren’t the reason the Sky is losing these games, every defensive strategy against the Fever starts with the star guard. The Sky have experimented with switching up Clark’s 1-v-1 defensive assignment, but Sunday’s Chennedy Carter matchup is most likely.

The defense will concentrate on two things as a unit to slow Clark down: When she goes to the rim, take the ball out of her hands and avoid fouling her. Although Clark, who is 17th in the league in attempts made from the free-throw line, is still learning how to get there, she took six in her most recent game against the Sky. Another significant obstacle for the Sky in stopping Clark is her developing relationship with center Aliyah Boston, who has settled in after a rough beginning. As the Fever struggled through a losing streak, Boston’s early-season troubles became a focus point. But this month, everything started to make sense. Boston shot 18.4% on average and

With Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso

in front of them, who got used to the WNBA quickly, the Sky are usually at ease in a frontcourt showdown. In order to support the offense through cleanup points, the two have successfully established their presence on the offensive glass, ranking first (Reese, 4.9) and third (Cardoso, 3.1) in the league. However, neither player possesses the kind of smooth offensive connection with a guard that Boston has discovered in Clark, which results in strong looks in dump-off, spray-out, and pick-and-roll combinations that can trick opponents. Reese and Cardoso are still not positioned to replicate that inside-out game on the other end of the court, even if the Sky frontcourt should be well-positioned to defend against the combination. As the Sky is creating links between its

Getting the Fever to make mistakes early on will be crucial. In their most recent game, the Sky caused 16 turnovers, which was a vital source of scoring. With 5.6 turnovers per game on average, Clark’s ball protection issues persist. The Sky’s transition game will generate the downward momentum required to get Carter, Marina Mabrey, and the frontcourt clicking offensively if they can catch the Fever off guard early.

In the end, there are more on the line in this clash than in a regular-season game. The stars at its core, Clark and Reese, were the top two rookies in the initial round of All-Star voting and continue to be hot topics of conversation throughout the league, which contributes to some of the anticipation around it.

In addition, the Sky and the Fever are expected to compete for one of the last postseason slots amid rebuilding seasons that are dominated by first-year players. With a 5-9 record going into Sunday, the Sky is a half-game behind the Fever for the final postseason slot.
Postseason standings are still too early to be concerned about. However, Sunday’s encounter will offer the Sky a chance to pull away from the bottom third of the league as they look to end a slump and climb back above.500. They’ll have to go through Clark to do this



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