Game Notes: Sky 51, Fever 58
I’m SOOOOO sick of the Indiana Fever!
Anyway, this was an interesting game. The Sky fell behind big in the first half because they could buy a bucket. And no, I’m not going to credit Indy’s defense because their “D” had nothing to do with it. The Sky just simply couldn’t knock down wide-open shots and layups. They got plenty of good looks, but nothing was falling.
The Sky ended the 1st half down 18 but, honestly, I wasn’t really too worried. Usually, when the Sky play poorly in the first half, they come out strong in the second half. When they start the game fast, that’s when I get nervous because then we typically end up with a massive 3rd/4th quarter or 2nd-half meltdown. I actually like it when the Sky start the game slow. Starting slow and finishing strong is better than starting fast and fizzling out.
Anyway, on cue, the Sky came out STRONG in the 3rd quarter, cutting Indy’s 18pt lead down to 2. A few minutes into the 4th quarter, the game was tied. The crowd was FIRED UP! But just as quickly as they turned it on, they turned it back off. Once again, the Sky got plenty of good looks over the course of the last ~7+ mins of the 4th quarter, but they just couldn’t hit shots. Layup after layup rolled off the rim.
Great effort by the home team but, in the end, they just couldn’t get over the hump. Perhaps they expended too much energy trying to get back into the game and didn’t have enough left in the tank to finish it out.
Let’s talk about some key players…
First and foremost, we gotta talk about Big Syl. In the first half, the Sky were trying hard to get the ball into Fowles and to have the offense run thru her. The problem was, most of the time, they turned the ball over before it ever made it into the post…or they turned it over while trying to get it into the post. Let’s fast forward to the 3rd quarter when Big Syl went into straight up BEAST MODE! She dominated and carried this team for a long stretch. When she was at the line taking free throws at the end of the 3rd quarter, chants of “MVP” were heard loud and clear throughout the arena. On the next trip down the court, she put an absolute monster block on Briann January. The arena damn near exploded! Great game from Big Syl. Too bad we couldn’t get the win to go with her 26pts and 18rbs!
I really like Tamera Young’s game. She does a little bit of everything. Her shot wasn’t falling, but she looked really good out there — gettin’ steals and playing solid D and taking good shots within the flow of the offense (…although she did pass up on a few open looks that she easily could have knocked down).
Mistie Bass is always in the right place at the right time. I’ve been meaning to give Bass some props for the last few games, but obviously, since I have been slacking so badly on the blog, I haven’t had the opportunity till now. I think it was a great decision by Key to replace Kraayeveld in the starting lineup with Bass. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kraayeveld, I just think having Bass starting is a better fit for this team at this point. I love Bass’s hustle — every play of every game. It’s great. Her positioning under the basket is impeccable. I absolutely love her game.
With regards to our guards, it was kind of a rough night. As already mentioned, no one could hit shots and our passes into the post were, uh, suspect the entire game. Canty, Perkins, Prince and Thorn all fought hard, but it just wasn’t happenin’ for them this game.
*QUESTION* Why was Coach White wearing a neck brace during the game? What happened?
Alright, here’s what the legit people had to say about the game…
* A R T I C L E * Fowles show only carries Sky so far (Chicago Sun-Times)…
”I was disappointed that we couldn’t use the energy from the third quarter that we created to pull off an upset,” Sky coach Steven Key said. ”Because the way we played in the first half, that’s all you could ever call it if we pulled this one out.
”It’s a little frustrating to play a team that was in the finals last year and you try to beat them by playing only one quarter in a game.”
* A R T I C L E * Sky can’t recover from bad start in 58-51 loss (Chicago Tribune)…
“When you make a hole that deep, it is hard for any team to come back,” Catchings said. “Sylvia, when she gets down there, she’s a beast.”
* A R T I C L E * Loss puts cloud over Sky heading into all-star break (Daily Herald)…
“I’m just happy we didn’t give up,” said Canty, who after Fowles was the Sky’s next leading scorer with just 7 points.
“I’d be even more upset right now if we did. I’m proud of my teammates for that. We kept fighting and showed a lot of character and a lot of heart.
“We just have to learn from this and play from the beginning. We used all of our energy coming back. It’s hard to keep that pace up against that kind of team.”
* A R T I C L E * In the WNBA, Chicago Still Can’t Break the Fever (Bleacher Report)…
“We’ve got one more shot at them,” Head Coach Stephen Key said. “We’ve got to beat them once. It’s likely we’ll meet them again in the playoffs at some point, and we will need the confidence that comes from knowing we’ve beaten them.”
Some info on Shameka Christon…
She [Shameka Christon] is scheduled for surgery on Friday July 9th, to correct a minor fracture near her left eye, resulting from a concussion. Her recovery will take 2-4 weeks.
* A R T I C L E * Fever beat Sky for 4th straight time (ChicagoBreakingSports.com)
* V I D E O * Post-game interviews with Big Syl and Coach Key (from ChicagoSky.net)…
* N E X T G A M E * July 11th (Sunday) — 3pm vs. NY Liberty @ *Madison Square Garden*
((Be there! …but you can also watch live on LiveAccess or CN100))
((Chicago Sky (8-10) vs. Indy Fever (7-9)))
~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~