Some thoughts on opening weekend…

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to watch much basketball this weekend. Basically, I saw the first half of the LA/PHX game and the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of the Sky/Liberty game. I missed the Sky/Sun game in it’s entirety. Anyway, to recap…

~ Sky vs. Sun (5/15 @ Mohegan Sun)Sky lose 61 to 74 ~
Sounds like this one was pretty bad. Glad I missed it. I glanced at the box score but I really didn’t bother to gather any more info or anything about this game.
Box Score || Recap || Photo Gallery

*ARTICLE* Charles scores 17 as Sun beat Sky 74-61 in opener (Daily Herald)
*ARTICLE* Charles bests idol Fowles (Sun-Times)
*ARTICLE* Sky drop season opener to Connecticut (Sun-Times)

~ Mercury vs. Sparks (5/15 @ US Airways)Mercury win 78 to 77 ~
I watched the first half of this one before leaving for work. Dupree looked really good for Phoenix offensively. She had some really nifty moves around the basket that Sky fans all know and love. She struggled at times with turnovers, but that was likely due to (a) nerves and (b) trying to get comfortable in a new system (…although some were clearly just careless mistakes). Candice ended up leading the Mercury in points and rebounds with 17 and 10. She had 8 turnovers! Overall, the Mercury looked pretty good, even with a struggling Taurasi.

Regarding the Sparks, Candace Parker looked really good. She was pretty unstoppable down low…although the Mercury aren’t necessarily known for playing stellar defense. I don’t know about Toliver on this team. The Sparks seem to have more guards than the Sky. Not to mention, they Sky have a hot-shot rookie guard in Andrea Riley that will likely take minutes (and shots) from Toliver. From game to game, the Sparks will likely go with whichever young guard is hitting shots. In her two minutes on the court with the Sparks, Toliver looked out of sorts and the game looked entirely too fast for her. That’s expected knowing she had just gotten traded two days prior and who knows what time she got to LA. I’m sure she didn’t even have single practice with the team. I don’t know if this LA team is necessarily a good fit for Toliver though. Anyway, I’m hoping Toliver does well in LaLa Land but, uh, Andrea Riley looked really good.
Box Score || Recap || Photo Gallery

~ Sky vs. Liberty (5/16 @ MSG)Sky lose 82 to 85 ~
Ok, first of all I’d like to send out my deepest apologies to Sylvia Fowles for questioning her abilities in my last post. Big Syl was in BEAST MODE on the offensive end during this game. She had several nice moves in the post and even passed out of the post a few times! I swear, whenever I say something on here, the exact opposite happens! I mean, I say that Big Syl shouldn’t be the focus on offense and she comes out with a career-high night, dropping 23 points on 10-17 shooting. I say that Fowles is a defensive juggernaut and then, 39 year old Taj McWilliams-Franklin lights her up for 20 points on 6-8 shooting. Clearly I’m not good at this basketball analysis stuff :-). Anyway, after just one game, my confidence in Big Syl increased a lot. Cautiously optimistic is how I’m rollin’ now…

Erin Thorn needs to play the entire game. I’m serious. Every time the Sky started getting all frantic, panicked and turning the ball over at a ridiculous rate, Key would put Thorn in and law and order would be restored to the Sky offense in a split second. Erin Thorn was BY FAR the most important factor in this game. She was the only reason the Sky didn’t fall behind big in the 2nd quarter after they started the quarter horribly. She was the only reason that the Liberty’s lead didn’t balloon to 20+ when NY went on that 3rd quarter run. And she’s the only reason the Sky were able to mount that 4th quarter comeback. It’s not about the box score numbers with Thorn. She’s just a calming influence on this team when she’s on the floor. Until the Sky get their bearings, Thorn needs to be on the court as much as possible to direct traffic…even if that means someone like Tamera Young has to sit a little more than usual. Although TYoung coulda had some of Christon’s minutes because she seemed kinda off during the entire game.

The ‘rooks. I loved what I saw from both of the rookies. Olajuwon looked good in her minutes in the post. I liked her aggressiveness and her skills in the paint. She showed no fear going up against the veteran bigs in NY. Sure, there’s a lot of room for improvement, I guess, but her learning curve seems exponential to me. Every time I see Abi play, I like her more and more.

Epiphanny Prince had a solid game. She was given the ridiculously difficult assignment of trying to guard Cappie 1-on-1. She definitely put in the effort, but that’s a losing battle for even the most seasoned veterans. I kinda wish Prince looked for her shot more because we all know she’s a scorer, but I assume her focus right now is to continue to develop those PG skills. Prince was brilliant at playing the passing lanes and getting steals. The box score indicates that she had only 2 swipes. I seem to remember at least 3-4 steals. Just like Olajuwon, there’s definitely room for improvement but she seems to be a quick study. Both of the ‘rooks are gonna improve at a rapid rate.

Overall, this was a really good game. This Sky team is fun and exciting to watch. We have a nice balance of young players and seasoned vets. It might take a minute for the Sky get into their flow this season because we have rookies playing significant roles at two of the most challenging positions…PG and center. As they grow and improve, the team will improve as well. So yeah, we’re 0-2 right now, but I don’t feel too bad about that because I know this team is just going to get better and better as the season progresses.
Box Score || Recap || Photo Gallery

*ARTICLE* Pondexter leads Liberty over Sky 85-82 (Daily Herald)

*NEXT GAME* May 22nd (Saturday) β€” 7pm vs. Fever @ *ALLSTATE ARENA*

Home opener…see ya there!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

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~ by audsquad on May 17, 2010.

4 Responses to “Some thoughts on opening weekend…”

  1. I’m inclined to believe that Shameka was still confused. “Wait, what am I doing on the road team here? Who are you people claiming to be my teammates?” Don’t worry, she’ll be all right.

    • completely understandable that this would be a difficult and emotional game for Christon. I’m just stating that TYoung prob coulda gotten at least a few of her minutes cuz she struggled at times.

  2. Hi Audrey, I’d like to trade notes about the upcoming weekend winless Sky vs. winless Fever.

    I should be at Fever’s practice Thursday to talk to the team about the upcoming home-and-away games this weekend between the two teams.

    Contact me via email and we can talk about it.

    Thanks a lot!

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