The 2022 WNBA Playoffs are in crunch time as just four teams remain. One of the two matchups features the defending champion Chicago Sky and the third-seeded Connecticut Sun. This is a rematch from last season’s semifinals, where the sixth-seeded Sky upset the top-seeded Sun in four games. Chicago is now the favorite, and Connecticut will look to turn the tables on them. Here are three bold Sun predictions for this playoff matchup against the Sky.
Connecticut Sun 2022 WNBA Semifinals Predictions
3. Jonquel Jones will average 17+ points per game
Big-time players step up in big-time moments, so expect the reigning WNBA MVP to do just this. Jonquel Jones saw a dip in her scoring production this season, with last year’s total of 19.4 points per game slipping to 14.6 this year. This has changed in a positive direction through the beginning of the playoffs, as she notched 16.7 points per game during the three games in the opening matchup against the Dallas Wings.
Expect Jones to continue asserting herself in the second round and further grow her offensive production. The 6-foot-6 forward attempted 10 or more shot attempts in all three games in the first round and led the team in this area in Game 2. While she will be relied upon as a key rebounder as well, look for Jones to make sure she stays involved offensively.
During the regular season, Jones saw some great success against the Sky despite it not translating to team success. She poured in 24 points in a June matchup against them and has made an impressive impact when working out of the post. Look for the Sun to cut out some jump shots and play a more post-oriented style of play in this series and for Jones to be a key part of this game plan.
2. Alyssa Thomas will rack up 1.8+ steals per game
While Jonquel Jones may have gotten the shine of MVP of the league in 2021, it is tough to deny how Alyssa Thomas is the heart and soul of the Connecticut Sun. She led the team in minutes per game at 32.1 this season. Thomas has a well-rounded style of play and does the little things necessary to win. During the regular season, she averaged 13.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.7 steals.
Her two-way ability will be tested as Connecticut looks to match up with the dangerous Chicago Sky offense. Look for Thomas to assert herself on this side of the ball and make life difficult for the opponents. She saw her steal numbers dip slightly in the opening round with just three across the three games. These types of forced turnovers can make a game-changing impact, so expect Thomas to be fully locked in and increase this number.
1. Sun pull off the upset
It is no easy task to take down the defending champions. Furthermore, the Sky defeated the Sun four times already during the season and hold the better seeding due to their 26-10 record.
However, the Sun have the weapons equipped to win this series and get their revenge to advance to the WNBA Finals. The franchise has done nearly everything to prove itself as legitimate contenders this season, and taking down the Sky will be the next step in this. Connecticut held a 25-11 record on the season and went 8-2 following the All-Star break.
It will take a complete team effort from the Sun, but they should not be counted out in this series the way many seem to be labeling them. Look for them to embrace the underdog role and find a way to take down the champs. Coach Curt Miller told reporters just this by putting it, “This group wants to take another step, and there’s not one person that’s going to pick us to beat Chicago. So we’re going to go with the underdog mentality and give it our best shot.”
Look for the Connecticut Sun to pull off a surprise and reach the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2019.