Sky must balance maintaining defensive intensity with avoiding foul trouble

Coach/general manager James Wade said he wants his players to continue being aggressive and has no plans to try to hold them back.

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There haven’t been too many things the Sky have emphasized changing after winning their first two games. Staying out of foul trouble was the priority before their home opener Friday against the Mystics.

In the Sky’s first two games, Kahleah Copper and Rebekah Gardner were the players most affected by foul trouble. Against the Lynx, both had three personal fouls. Against the Mercury, Copper had four and Gardner five. The Sky, meanwhile, yielded 21 free throws to the Lynx and 24 to the Mercury.

But as much as Gardner emphasized avoiding foul trouble, the Sky must walk a fine line because their defensive intensity will be a catalyst for their success this season. The Sky had 19 steals and forced 41 turnovers in their first two games.

Coach/general manager James Wade said he wants his players to continue being aggressive and has no plans to try to hold them back.

‘‘I’m not going to stop what we’re doing,’’ Wade said. ‘‘I would love to see [Rebekah Gardner] play more than 14 minutes, but when you have three fouls in two minutes, that’s not possible. I want Rebekah to be as aggressive as she’s been. Her defense has been really good. She’s one of the best defenders in the league, and I’m not going to tell her to not defend.’’

Putting on a show

The Sky’s home opener was made to be a party, and the director was Los Angeles-based house producer and DJ HoneyLuv.

The Sky approached her on social media to help them set the tone they are trying to establish at Wintrust Arena. It’s one that they want to match the high-energy personalities of the players.

It was a dream realized for HoneyLuv, who grew up with plans to play in the WNBA.

‘‘Basketball was my life since I was 6,’’ HoneyLuv said. ‘‘I stopped playing at 19. During high school, I tore my ACL twice. By the time I got to college, it was hard for me to keep up with everything because I was in pain 24/7. I thought, ‘Maybe it’s time for me to move on.’ ’’

Music always had been an outlet for HoneyLuv. So when her basketball career ended, she jumped into a music career. After years of developing her craft while in the military, working the turntables in the barracks she called home, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue a professional DJ career. Two years in, HoneyLuv is playing venues all over the country.

Coming to Chicago wasn’t only special because of her love for the WNBA, either; it’s also the birthplace of house music.

‘‘I always want to be around crowds that know the history and just appreciate the music in general,’’ HoneyLuv said. ‘‘Not a lot of places in the U.S. are like that. To be able to come back to the home and immerse myself in the culture is really exciting.’’

Injury update

Guard Marina Mabrey was available against the Mystics after missing the game Sunday against the Mercury with an ankle injury. Wade said she didn’t think she needed to be on a minutes restriction, but they planned to err on the side of caution.

Wade also gave another update on injured forward Isabelle Harrison. After saying earlier in the week that Harrison had surgery to repair the meniscus in her left knee and would be rehabbing in Dallas, he said she might not be available at all this season.

‘‘We’re not counting on her for this year in particular,’’ Wade said of Harrison, who signed a two-year, protected-veteran contract in free agency.

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