Sky in good hands with backcourt duo of Julie Allemand and Dana Evans

The pair has a chance to harmonize with All-Star Courtney Vandersloot out.

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Sky guard Dana Evans moves the ball during a game against the Storm in May.

Sky guard Dana Evans moves the ball during a game against the Storm in May.

Ted S. Warren/AP

Sky coach/general manager James Wade had a few ways to “Say Say Say” what he thinks of his young backcourt duo of Julie Allemand and Dana Evans, and he started with Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney.

The pop icons recorded three songs together in the early 1980s, but it was their hit single in 1983 — and the accompanying music video in which they work together in a traveling vaudeville show — that Wade referenced when describing the two guards.

It’s not the sort of comparison that would immediately jump to most people’s minds, but it was instant for Wade.

“They really complemented each other in that song and video,” he said. “Kind of like Julie and Dana.”

Wade went on to describe Allemand as an organizer, similar to All-Star Courtney Vandersloot, who gets to spots on the floor and facilitates for her teammates before involving herself. Allemand has been tapped to fill in at starting point guard in place of Vandersloot, who’s in concussion protocol and will miss Wednesday’s game against the visiting Storm.

Vandersloot’s injury also changes the role of Evans, a knockdown three-point shooter. Wade has often used her in late-game situations alongside Allemand, playing off the ball and at certain times running point. Without Vandersloot on Saturday, Wade used Evans as a sub for Allemand in addition to pairing them in the backcourt in an 89-81 victory over the Wings. Allemand had eight assists and no turnovers in 29 minutes, while Evans went 1-for-5 and grabbed one rebound in 11 minutes.

“When one of them is doing something and you need a change of pace, you can put the other one in,” Wade said.

Allemand is averaging 3.7 assists and 2.7 points in 15 minutes while Evans is shooting 35% from three-point range and averaging 5.2 points in 12.8 minutes.

Wade believes their confidence will allow them to thrive while Vandersloot is out. Neither has yet shown reservation in big moments. That includes Allemand, in her first start Saturday, maintaining composure as the Wings took the lead in the third quarter.

Vandersloot has progressed in her concussion recovery, participating Tuesday in activities that included riding a stationary bike ahead of practice. Wade didn’t specify how close she was to rejoining the team in practice but said she was feeling good.

Without her, he thinks the Sky are in good hands.

“When you have that cushion of having the best point guard in the world sitting on the bench, you can always say, ‘OK, I can probably get her back in,’ ” Wade said. “Now I’m forced to say, ‘Let’s get it done with [Allemand and Evans].’ It makes me a better coach.”

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