Owners of three straight wins, the Chicago Sky have pushed themselves into the middle of a crowded Eastern Conference pack.
But after the Sky had a week off, will they continue to soar upon returning to action Friday night against the Indiana Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis?
Both teams are 4-4, with Indiana coming off a win of its own, 88-77 at hapless Connecticut on Sunday. Friday night's winner takes over second place in the conference behind Atlanta, which owns a two-game lead.
"We take it one day at a time and work on avoiding slippage," Fever coach Stephanie White said Thursday during practice. "We have to share the basketball or we're not a good team. Chicago is a great team that has a lot of offensive firepower."
The Sky displayed a great deal of their offensive skill on June 3 in a 98-72 pasting of visiting Washington, shooting 54.9 percent from the field and drawing a whopping 30 assists off 39 made field goals. Elena Delle Donne led six players in double figures with 18 points, adding six rebounds and six assists.
Chicago blitzed Washington off the opening tip, establishing a 60-36 halftime lead and cruising through the second half as it achieved a season high in scoring.
Delle Donne, a 6-foot-5 forward from Delaware, is the league's fifth-leading scorer at 18.4 points per game. Guards Cappie Pondexter and Jamierra Faulkner are contributing 13.0 and 10.3 ppg, respectively, with Faulkner also doling out 6.6 assists per game.
Indiana is being paced offensively by rookie Tiffany Mitchell. The South Carolina product averages 15.1 points per game and fired in 21 in a reserve role during the victory at Connecticut.
Shenise Johnson is scoring 11.2 ppg and Tamika Catchings, who plans to retire at season's end, is hitting for 11.1 along with 4.8 rebounds.
This is the year's first meeting of the conference rivals, who see each other twice more, including what could be a critical matchup on Sept. 9 -- the next-to-last weekend of the regular season.
"It's always a good rivalry between Indiana and Chicago," Fever forward Lynetta Kizer said. "It's just a matter of being more aggressive and playing Fever basketball."