'I'm on Kamilla's time': Why the Chicago Sky are anticipating rookie Kamilla Cardoso's WNBA debut

The Chicago Sky are inching back to getting No. 3 overall selection Kamilla Cardoso on the court.

It's not a moment too soon, but Sky head coach Teresa Weatherspoon said before the Sky's game against the Seattle Storm on Tuesday that Cardoso is working her way back from the preseason shoulder injury that was supposed to sideline her for four to six weeks.

Cardoso is targeting a June 1 return against the Indiana Fever, and the coaching staff is allowing her to dictate when she'll return.  

"I'm on Kamilla's time," Weatherspoon said. "We're super excited to have her on the court, and the smiles that she's having."

The biggest thing to the staff, however, is the development that Cardoso is now pain free in her shoulder.

"She's pain free," Weatherspoon said. "That's the most important thing."

Weatherspoon said Tuesday morning that if Cardoso says she's ready to play, she'll play.

Now, the Sky can focus on her return. That will add a defensive-minded center to the Sky's rotation and a high-percentage shooter in the post on offense. 

That is a massive boon, because the Sky are already excelling in those areas.

As a team, the Sky are second in the WNBA with a 59.9 field goal percentage on 2-point shots. The Sky are also fifth in the WNBA in blocks per game, averaging 5.3 blocks per game.

The Sky are also averaging 42 points per game in the paint.

Cardoso, a 6-foot-7 star center at South Carolina, will allow the Sky to play bigger lineups utilizing Elizabeth Williams and Angel Reese, too. She'll also help the Sky space their offense with high-post screens and a commanding post presence.

One aspect where the Sky have struggled is entry passes into the post. Teams are beginning to key more on Reese and Williams, both players who are effective in the post so far. 

Having a player that's 6-7 will help entry passes, too.

Cardoso has the wingspan helps eliminate the space it takes the ball to get to the post. That helps point guards Dana Evans and Lindsay Allen, as well as Diamond DeShields and Marina Mabrey.

Cardoso averaged 2.1 blocks per game and shot 57.5 percent from the floor across her four-year college career.

The biggest thing is trust, and Weatherspoon is trusting Cardoso's evaluation of her own body in tandem with what she sees out of the rookie at practice.

It remains to be seen if Cardoso will feel ready enough for Thursday's game against the Los Angeles Sparks, but her debut will come soon.

And when she finally hits the court, she'll fit perfectly on a team that's built to use her talents.

"She's excited to be back," Weatherspoon said. 


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Reese, who has been one of the best players in the league aside from being a star rookie, welcomes that. She wants to be uncomfortable. It's why she's standing out four games into her career.