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2021 WNBA Finals: How and what to watch for Sky-Mercury in Game 1

In a rematch of the 2014 WNBA Finals, the Phoenix Mercury and Chicago Sky will meet up in this year’s edition of the WNBA Finals.

Candace Parker #3 of the Chicago Sky looks on before the game against the Connecticut Sun during Game Three of the 2021 WNBA Semifinals on October 3, 2021 at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Kena Krutsinger/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2021 WNBA Finals are officially set as the No. 6 seed Chicago Sky will travel out west to take on the No. 5 seed Chicago Sky in Game 1 on Sunday. The game is scheduled at 3 p.m. ET and will be televised on ABC. There will be a live stream available at WatchESPN.

Both the Mercury and Sky took the hard-fought path to get to the Finals as they had to play two elimination games in the first and second round. Then, the Sky defeated the No. 1 seed Connecticut Sun in four games in the semifinals. As for the Mercury, they went down to the wire with the No. 2 seed Las Vegas Aces, but came away with a three-point victory in Game 5.

The Sky are led by future Hall of Fame forward Candace Parker, who has been outstanding in her first playoff run with Chicago. Parker is averaging 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. However, she has a great team around her in Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Azura Stevens, and Kahleah Copper. Copper has been one of the best players in the WNBA playoffs and been a spark plug for the Sky’s offense. She is averaging 18.2 points on 53.2% shooting from the field, to go along with 5.2 rebounds per game.

The Mercury are led by their big three of Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, and Skylar Diggins-Smith. Griner has been playing outstanding basketball this season and has carried that over to the playoffs.

She is averaging 21.0 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. Along with her offense, Griner has a force inside the low post on defense and making life difficult for opposing teams. Diggins-Smith has done her part on the perimeter, averaging 14.6 points per game. Lastly, Taurasi is averaging 19.7 points per game on 37.7% shooting from three-point range.

Sky vs. Mercury, Game 1

Date: Sun, Oct 10
Time: 3 p.m. ET
Channel: ABC
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Odds: Mercury -3, O/U 166

This should be an exciting series that could go the full five games between the two veteran teams. Phoenix has the edge right now being three-point favorites at home. However, the Sky will not just quit as we saw them play the Sun tough in all four games. This season, the Mercury have been okay at home against the spread with a record of 8-10-1. But they are 5-1 ATS in their last six games.

When these two teams played each other in the regular season, Phoenix swept the three-game season series. As for the Sky, they’ve been road warriors this season with a 10-8-1 record ATS. In their semifinal series against the Sun, Chicago was listed as an underdog in all four games, but covered three times. I like the Sky to continue that trend against the Mercury, who just played on Friday night in a tough Game 5.

Pick: Sky +3

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