At times this season, it seemed like the Chicago Sky was anything but lucky.
In some close losses, the ball often didn’t bounce the Sky’s way.
And in the injury department, the Sky had more misfortune than fortune. The top two players on the team, Epiphanny Prince and Sylvia Fowles, missed big chunks of the season: eight games for Prince in the first half and nine games for Fowles in the second half.
Clearly, the Sky was due for some luck, and a decent amount actually came its way Wednesday at the ESPN Studios in Connecticut.
“We beat the odds,” Sky coach and general manager Pokey Chatman said. “I’m really excited that a couple of those little (ping-pong) balls bounced our way.”
The Sky received the No. 2 pick in the 2013 WNBA draft lottery, despite having the worst chance of any of the four non-playoff teams of getting a top pick.
The Sky, which finished its season on Saturday with a 14-20 record and was alive in the playoff race through its second-to-last game, had a 10 percent chance of getting the No. 1 pick and should have finished with the fourth pick based on the odds. But the Sky leapfrogged the Tulsa Shock and the Washington Mystics, who got the No. 3 and No. 4 picks, respectively.
The Mystics (5-29) finished with the worst record and had the best shot at the No. 1 pick, but that went to the Phoenix Mercury (7-27). The Shock’s final record was 9-25.
“We’ve definitely put ourselves in position to immediately improve our team,” Chatman said. “We’ve got some nice options.”
The 2013 draft class could be one of the most impactful in WNBA history, especially the players likely to be chosen with the first three picks.
Brittney Griner has gained national attention for her ability to dunk with ease. The 6-foot-8 center led Baylor to the NCAA national title in April.
Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins is the best point guard in the country. She and the Irish lost to Griner and Baylor in the national title game.
Although not as well known as Griner and Diggins, Elena Delle Donne of Delaware is a versatile hybrid who is tall enough to play inside at 6-foot-5, but she can shoot the lights out from long range. She led the nation in scoring last year at 28.1 points per game.
Conventional wisdom says that the Mercury will jump on the Griner jackpot, but Chatman isn’t ruling anything out.
“You never know what could happen,” Chatman said. “Trades are also on the radar. All I know is that people have been talking about this draft class for a long time. We’re going to get a good player no matter what.”Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.