Improved Sky host Dream

The Chicago Sky will look to stay unbeaten when they host the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday afternoon at Wintrust Arena near downtown Chicago.

Chicago (2-0) is coming off back-to-back wins over the Indiana Fever and the New York Liberty to start the year. The Sky are averaging 81 points a game while giving up an average of 70 points a game.

After finishing 12-22 last season, the Sky look like a much-improved team in the early going.

“The balance of returning and new players, veterans and youth, and inside and outside skill will all combine to create a unique and special chemistry with this team,” Sky general manager and coach Amber Stocks said to the team’s official website. “The young players are in good hands with the vets.”

One of the team’s top veterans is guard Allie Quigley, who scored 22 points in a narrow win over the Liberty in the Sky’s first game in their new building. Quigley notched 15 points in the second half, including two free throws in the closing minutes that helped Chicago re-establish a three-point lead.

Sky guard Jamierra Faulkner also will look to maintain her hot play off the bench after tallying 14 points, five rebounds and five assists in 22-plus minutes on Sunday evening. She hit 6 of 9 shots, including 2 of 3 from deep.

On the opposite bench, Atlanta (0-1) will go for its first victory of the season after an ugly 101-78 loss against the Dallas Wings in its season opener. The Dream were led by three players who scored 14 points apiece, including backcourt mates Tiffany Hayes and Renee Montgomery, along with reserve player Brittney Sykes.

The Dream equaled the Sky with a 12-22 record from a season ago.

Atlanta rookie Monique Billings hopes to make a bigger impact in her second game. She grabbed two rebounds but did not score in more than nine minutes off the bench in her WNBA debut.

“I feel really good,” Billings said to the team’s official website. “I think I’ve been making a lot of progress. I have a lot of good vets to look up to, and that has helped me to see what I need to do because I just try to model my game after them.”

Forward/guard Angel McCoughtry serves as one of Billings’ mentors. The 31-year-old recently eclipsed the 5,000-point mark for her WNBA career. A four-time All-Star, she scored 13 points in Atlanta’s season opener.