The Aces got a bit of a break this week. After playing four games in seven days at Michelob Ultra Arena, Becky Hammon’s team finally got some time to get back in the gym and focus on themselves.
“Doesn’t feel like there’s been days off honestly,” forward Dearica Hamby said. “Obviously thankful we were able to go 4-0 at home and have a few days to reset mentally, but we’ve got an important three games coming up.”
Hammon’s squad enters this weekend trying to maintain their five-game winning streak. However, the Aces know their record and bright start to the season aren’t guarantees of future success.
Three of their seven wins came against a Phoenix Mercury team missing Brittney Griner — still detained in Russia — and the Aces’ only loss has been to the Washington Mystics, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
The Aces (7-1) have some big tests on the horizon, starting noon Saturday with a nationally televised game at the reigning champion Chicago Sky at Wintrust Arena.
“It’s definitely a test against a good team,” point guard Chelsea Gray said.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, Gray said the Aces had several high-intensity practices before flying to Chicago. They were able to implement many of the lessons learned from film sessions during the past week and add small wrinkles to the game plan as well.
Fourth-year wing Jackie Young said the team has been able to really push themselves in practice this week. The former Notre Dame star said the drive has been evident since training camp, and prevents the Aces from becoming complacent.
“Every time we set foot in the gym, we’re always competing,” Young said.
While the Aces are looking forward to playing the reigning champions, before returning home for two games against the Connecticut Sun — currently the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference — Gray said the Aces know they can’t compare themselves to other teams. Instead, she believes they must hold themselves to their own high standards.
“I think our measuring stick is not necessarily against other teams we play, but how we feel we’re playing and if we’re playing the right way,” she said.
Who: Aces (7-1) vs. Chicago Sky (4-2)
When: 12 p.m. Saturday
Where: Wintrust Arena, Chicago