Game Notes: Sky 65, Mystics 63 (In Piph We Trust…)

Box Score || Recap || Photo Gallery || Play-by-Play
Attendance: 4078

We’re on a 2-game winning streak, suckas! Yes, on this blog we ALWAYS celebrate even the shortest of winning streaks 🙂

This game ended up being ABSOLUTELY AMAZING, but, lets be honest…this was an ugly, sloppy, messy, train-wreck of a game with no flow or rhythm for most of the night. But hey, that’s to be expected when you have two of the top defensive teams battling each other, right? As long as the Sky win, I don’t care if the final score ends up being 1-0, ok? ok!

Anyway, lets break down the contributions of some key players…

Player of the Game = Epiphanny Prince. Piph single-handedly kept us in this game from beginning to end. Her offense was the only consistent scoring that we got the entire night. Piph drained 6 of 7 threes on the night, many (i.e. all) of them coming at clutch moments. Don’t get me wrong though, Piph wasn’t just launching from 3-point land all night. She had some beautiful “and 1’s,” played solid defense and got some timely steals. She was the epitome of C.L.U.T.C.H. all night long. Yes, basketball is a team sport so all wins are “team” wins, per se. But in reality, Piph won this game for us.

On the live access telecast, the announcers (Babcock-McGraw and some other guy whose name I can’t remember) debated a little bit whether this performance by Piph was the greatest individual performance by any player in Chicago Sky history. The announcers mentioned that Big Syl has had some dominant performances that could rival Piph’s performance last night. I disagree. Big Syl has put up some big numbers in the past, but she can’t “carry” us like Epiphanny did last night. Big Syl relies on others to get her the ball. Piph can just TAKEOVER without the assistance of anyone else. There’s a big difference there. That’s also why I’m hesitant to put any of Candice Dupree’s superhuman efforts on the list (although Candice carried this team more and could takeover a game more than Big Syl can). The only other individual performance in Sky history that I think rivals this is Jia Perkins’ 39-point explosion in a win over Sacramento several years ago. However, that was a triple-overtime game. Thing is, Jia was also C.L.U.T.C.H. down the stretch in that game. So, in my opinion, Piph’s 31-point and Jia’s 39-point explosions are the top-2 individual performances in Chicago Sky history.  What do you think?

One more tidbit on Prince. At the half, the sideline reporter (sorry, I don’t recall his name either), stopped to interview Piph on her way to the locker room. I dunno if Piph was just in a bad mood because of the overall crappy first half or if she is always that short, dismissive and curt in interviews, but the whole exchange was hilarious. She didn’t answer the guy’s first question then gave him  an awesome non-answer to the second question. In the past, I’ve always been at all the Sky home games so this is the first season that I’m watching home games on live access instead of in the arena. I’m having fun seeing the games from a little different perspective. So, is Piph typically like that in in-game interviews?  It was freakin’ hilarious though. If you were at the game and didn’t get to see it, go back and watch Piph’s halftime interview.

Ok, moving on…Big Syl was solid as always. Offensively and defensively. She had some timely buckets as well, including the game winner. Finished with 19pts, 16rebs and 4blks. Sky still have trouble getting the ball into her at times. You’d think after all these years, we’d have mastered this by now. Not sure if the problem is bad passing by the guards or bad positioning by Big Syl…probably a combination of the two.

TYoung and Cash had similar games tonight. Shots weren’t really falling for either of them but they found other ways to contribute. Their energy and intensity stays up the entire game regardless of the circumstances or the score. In my opinion, our offense and defense works best when Cash and TYoung are on the floor at the same time (..with Piph/Sloot at PG, Riley and Big Syl).

I wish Sloot’s shot would start falling. She gets really good looks, she just can’t knock ’em in. If/when Sloot catches fire, this team will be infinitely better than we already are. I genuinely feel like it’s just a matter of time before Sloot starts hitting outside shots. Her turnovers have remained low so it’s all good. During the live access telecast, the announcers mentioned that Sloot might be hurt or sick. I don’t think we ever got any real confirmation on that so we’ll have to see.

I dunno about Willingham. She really hurt us down the stretch with some missed chippies, turnovers and bad fouls. There was a brief stretch during the 4th quarter when EVERYTHING was going wrong for Willingham and it was absolutely killin’ us. Pokey made the right adjustments (i.e. bringing Riley back in; giving Big CSwords some minutes finally) and everything turned out ok.

Speaking of Big C., I thought she did well in her 3 minutes of play. I mean, Pokey put her in in clutch time and she did really well. It really baffles me as to why she hasn’t gotten more minutes this season. Feel free to give her Willingham’s minutes 🙂

Last person I want to discuss is Coach Chatman. I luv her. For real. As much as I loved Piph’s interview going into the lockerroom at halftime, Pokey’s interview coming out of the lockerroom was even more awesome. She’s so real and honest. I luv it. Not to mention, that final play was brilliant. Yes, Swin’s pass to Syl was fantastic. Big Syl’s catch and finish was on-point. But seriously, the play was brilliantly perfect. I assume Pokey drew that up. In the past, we don’t get this win because we don’t run that play.

Oh, actually, I have one more thing to say. This is awesome…

But did Ticha, like, lose a bet or something? Do we know why she’s wearing a red bow tie?!? LoL, SOOOOO RANDOM…I LUV THIS TEAM!

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Some other stuff…

* A R T I C L E * Sylvia Fowles’ layup with 0.2 seconds left lifts Sky to 65-65 win over Mystics (Chicago Sun-Times)

“I gave Swin a big target and it worked exactly the way we wanted it to work,” said Fowles, who finished with 19 points and 16 rebounds. “When I looked up, I didn’t see the red lights on the back of the rim and I knew it was money.”

Here’s what Piph said about the halftime interview…

Epiphanny Prince’s 31 points were a career high, surpassing the 25 she scored against the Connecticut Sun on June 23, 2011, but she was not happy at halftime and called herself out for her bad attitude.

“I was more disappointed in myself,” Prince said. “I was mad because I had to be the point guard and I was just being a baby and I knew I could do better.”

I dunno what she means when she says she was “mad because I had to be the point guard.” What is she referring to?

 * V I D E O Sky’s Prince on her team-high 31 points (Chicago Tribune) — click the link for a video of Piph’s post-game interview

 * V I D E O Sky’s Fowles on game-winning shot (Chicago Tribune) — click the link for a video of Big Syl’s post-game interview

* V I D E O Sky coach Pokey Chatman after win over Mystics (Chicago Tribune) — click the link for a video of Pokey’s post-game interview

For some reason, the Daily Herald continues to keep it’s Sky articles under lock-and-key. Looks like they have two articles about the game on their site so if you’re a Herald subscriber, check it out.

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 Sky got the ATL Dream coming up in a few!

Go Sky!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

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~ by audsquad on June 2, 2012.

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