Chicago Sky: Angel Reese the Two-Way Rookie

The WNBA rookie class is very talented and is making some major headlines. However, the question is has Angel Reese been the best and most impactful rookie so far this season? There’s certainly a case to be made due to her play. Other rookies have also made a significant impact on their respective teams.

Angel Reese is one of the rookies who has been very impactful through the first month of the season. What more can anyone expect from the LSU product and former National Champion? The Chicago Sky are currently 4-9 on the season, which is toward the bottom of the standings. The most encouraging thing despite their record is how every game has been very competitive. Reese has been arguably the biggest X-Factor for the Sky as she continues to improve and compete at a high level.

When Reese declared for the 2024 WNBA Draft, there were a lot of mixed reactions and emotions. There was no doubt that she would have a very productive career. However, many questioned how her game could translate at the professional level. The biggest area of improvement in Reese’s game has been offense as she needs to develop a true post-game and a mid-range jumper.

Angel Reese Early Tenure with the Chicago Sky

While those are certainly areas of improvement for Reese, the one thing you can’t teach is passion and effort. Reese has showcased her nonstop motor and toughness to be an elite competitor since stepping into the WNBA. She takes every challenge personally which every coach and team loves and needs on their team.

Going to Chicago as the seventh pick was great for Reese. Many questioned (including myself) why she wasn’t a top-five pick in the Draft. However, fit matters. Reese could have shined for any other team that drafted her. But playing in Chicago under first-year head coach Teresa Weatherspoon is perfect and will benefit her in the long run. Weatherspoon is a former WNBA player who understands the journey of what it takes to be great. She understands the value of having Reese on her team and pushes her to her maximum potential.

Angel Reese Early Season Two-Way Impact

Reese has already been battle-tested early in the season. He faced off against high-level frontcourt players in Breanna Stewart, Jonquel Jones, Alyssa Thomas, Tina Charles, Nneka Ogwumike, Dearica Hamby, Teaira McCowan, Kalani Brown, and Aliyah Boston. Reese has been holding her own and has been able to overcome and shine in a lot of these matchups.

Reese is averaging 12 points and 10.2 rebounds per game (per WNBA Stats). She currently leads all rookies in rebounding, steals, double-doubles, offensive rating, win shares, PER, double-digit scoring, and rebounding games. She’s the only rookie averaging a double-double and is No.2 in points and in defensive rating amongst rookies.

Reese is really starting to accumulate in the league, as she’s been the most impactful two-way rookie thus far. Over the last five games, she’s averaging 14 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 3.2 steals per game. Reese’s last five performances:

  •  Vs. the Washington Mystics: 16 points, 11 rebounds, and five steals
  • Vs. the Atlanta Dream: 13 points, 13 rebounds, and five steals
  • Vs. the Connecticut Suns: 20 points and 10 rebounds
  • Vs. the Washington Mystics: 10 points and 14 rebounds
  • Vs. the Indiana Fever: 11 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists

Rookie of the Year Race

As the season continues, the Rookie of the Year race will continue to be tight. Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink, Rickea Jackson, Kamilla Cardoso, and Angel Reese will all have significant moments and make their marks as the season progresses. Reese can continue to stand out, by continuing to be a two-way force.

The Sky are a team that has something special brewing. With Reese being one of the X-Factors and two-way forces, they can continue to be competitive and emerge as a respected team in the WNBA.

Main Image: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

5 1 vote
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
5 1 vote
Do you agree with this article? Let's see your vote!
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x