Game Notes: Sky 98, Shock 91 (Piph saves the day…again!)

Box Score || Recap || Photo Gallery || Play-by-Play
Attendance: 5019

The streak continues. Our amazing, heart-stopping winning streak has now reached 4 games.  Is this the Sky’s first time ever winning 4 in-a-row? For some reason, I seem to recall a 4-game streak in the past (..perhaps it was a 4-game HOME winning streak or something. I dunno for sure). Anyway, the Sky’s current streak has been done in spectacular fashion…and this game against the Tulsa Shock was no different.

This was my first time going to Allstate to see the Sky this season. It was Girl Scout Day or something so there were a lot of girl scouts around helping out with a lot of the game day stuff. This is my first year not being a Sky season ticket holder and I really missed the Sky atmosphere at Allstate. Live Access is great, but it really can’t compare to actually being in the arena (obviously :-)). However, I really wish the Sky switched things up a bit from year to year though. They don’t really add anything new to the on-court entertainment during timeouts, halftime and breaks. Even a lot of the video board stuff is the same as last year. Kinda disappointing. The most disappointing thing, however, is the Sky store. I was hoping for some new items…but it’s all the same stuff from last year (except they added jerseys for Cash, Penicheiro, etc). I guess I gotta wait for the end-of-the-season garage sale on Fan Appreciation Day to get all the cool stuff 🙂

Anyway, enough that random stuff. Let’s talk basketball. The Sky played poorly throughout most of the game but managed to stay ahead of Shock for the better part of the first 3 quarters. The Sky fell behind in the 4th. Down the stretch it looked like the 0-6 Shock were going to get their first win of the season  against us. The Sky committed horrendous turnovers repeatedly, allowing the Shock to come back and take the lead down the stretch. Although the Sky played poorly and made bad decisions and passes throughout the game, a lot of the credit can be given to Tulsa’s defense. They laid a full-court press on the Sky throughout the game that the Sky had a lot of difficulty breaking. The Sky repeatedly tried to dribble out of the press when they should have been passing their way out of it. The Shock also played the passing lanes very well and got tons of steals. The Sky finished the game with 27 turnovers (yes, TWENTY-SEVEN!). I believe that was a new franchise record for number of turnovers in a game.

Despite all of that, the game remained close down the stretch. The game seemed out of reach when the Sky went down 7 points with 30 seconds remaining in the game. However, as we’ve all learned over the course of the last few games, the game is NEVER out of reach when Epiphanny Prince on the court! Piph scored 8 points in the final 30 seconds, including the ridiculous running bank shot from 3-point land at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. Sloot also hit a big 3-pointer during that 30-second stretch to help get us back in it.

Once Epiphanny Prince hit the HUUUUUUGE shot to send the game into overtimes, the Sky FINALLY started playing how they should have played the entire game and CRUSHED the Shock in the extra period.

Obviously Piph was the player-of-the-game once again. She scored 32 points and dished out 5 assists. This was Piph’s 3rd straight game of scoring 30+ points! Amazing. She is so ridiculously clutch down-the-stretch. She can just completely take over a game and almost singlehandedly get us the win even under the most improbable circumstances. In Piph We Trust. We should totally get an “MVP” chant going every time she touches the ball at Allstate!

Big Syl didn’t seem to get many touches this game. We had difficulty getting the ball into her in the post due to Tulsa’s solid defense. However, she still managed to finish with her coveted double-double by scoring 14 points and grabbing a ridiculous 21 rebounds.

Sloot knocked down some shots this game (14 pts on 4-8 shooting) which always brings a smile to my face. As I mentioned earlier, she hit a HUGE three  with 13 seconds left in regulation that then set Piph up for her heroics at the buzzer. She had some difficulty with Tulsa’s press and many times got trapped in the corner after crossing half court. However, this wasn’t really Courtney’s fault. Overall, the Sky gotta have better spacing on their press break so that they can beat it with passing, not dribbling.

TYoung had a solid game, as always. She hit 5 of 12 shots for 16 points. She also had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. It is important to note that 2 of TYoung’s assists came in the final 30 seconds of the game. She assisted on Piph’s big 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining and also on Sloot’s big 3 with 13 seconds left. TYoung played 35 minutes off the bench! She better get some consideration for “Sixth Man of the Year” this year. I’m still ticked that TYoung didn’t seem to be in the conversation for 6th man last year. She better get some love this year, WNBA!

After a remarkable first game against Atlanta, Petro kinda came back down to earth this game. She had a few turnovers and made some mistakes. Thing is, you could see that these were correctable mistakes and that the skills are there. Given more time to adjust to the WNBA game, I truly believe that Petrovic will be a legitimate force to be reckoned with in this league. I mean, not only does she have a nice outside shot, she can also put the ball on the floor, drive to the basket and finish at the rim. This is exactly what she did to score her one bucket in this game. It was NICE move. I look forward to seeing more Petrovic every game.

 Speaking of players I look forward to seeing more of, WHAT DOES CAROLYN SWORDS HAVE TO DO TO GET SOME MINUTES! I mean, damn, Willingham is out there wearing blue and yellow but is clearly playing for the opposition. Can Swords please have ALL of Willingham’s minutes! Pretty please, Pokey! This is getting ridiculous. I honestly don’t see why Pokey can’t find minutes for Big C. Swords isn’t just a big body. She is a damn good baller. She sets good screens, is magnificent on the pick and roll (although no one ever passes to her when she’s WIDE open after setting the screen), always gets great positioning in the lane and has good hands. What more can you ask for out of a post player?!? Especially when we get NONE of that from Willingham.

Speaking of Willingham…WTF. Seriously, why does she play so many minutes? She played darn near the entire 3rd quarter and half of the 4th. The entire time I’m sitting there wondering why she’s STILL on the court. Every time someone went to the scorers table to check in, they checked in for someone other than Willingham. Once again…WHY?!?! I’d love to know Pokey’s reasoning behind this. I’d love to know what Coach Pokey views as Willingham’s main contributions to the team because I’m having a hard time seeing anything. Sorry for being so harsh.

Swin Cash. Hmmm…in talking to other fans during and after the game, it seems as if the general consensus is that Cash really isn’t living up to her billing. I dunno if I agree with that. Ok, so clearly Swin Cash of the Chicago Sky is not the same Swin Cash that played on the Detroit Shock…but that’s ok. I wasn’t expecting Cash to come in here and take over. The only thing that about Cash that irks me is that she can’t seem to make an interior pass into Big Syl in the post without it leading to a turnover. Once again, I dunno if that’s Cash’s fault or Syl’s fault, but I would expect a seasoned vet like Cash to make better decisions on those passes. Some of them really have no chance of reaching Big Syl at all. Other than that, I’m hoping Cash will eventually hit  her stride and start playing like an Olympian, but overall I think she’s doing fine and fitting in well.

I feel like I never mention Ruth Riley on this blog. I think that’s because she never really does anything (good or bad) to stand out. Once again, I really don’t have anything to say about Riley.

In case you haven’t heard

I think this has the potential to hurt us a little bit, especially since we are already down a guard (Ticha Penicheiro). Shay can catch fire and help take some of the scoring load off of Piph. I’ll definitely feel better once she’s back home and on our bench. But I definitely wish Shay the best of luck while she’s ballin’ in Montenegro 🙂

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This is really cool. The Sky put a great video of the post-game interviews with Pokey, TYoung and Piph on YouTube. Pokey and TYoung are insightful. Piph’s interview is so entertaining because it’s so darn awkward. It seems like she does that intentially though. LoL 🙂 Great video. Check it out…

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Oh, and yes, the Sky have had a 4-game winning streak in the past…back in 2010. However, I don’t think we’ve ever been 4 games above .500 before 🙂

Alright, that’s all I have for now. Sky play the NY Liberty on Sunday. I don’t think we’ve ever been on a 5-game winning streak so I’m really hoping we’ll be able to get this dub. Honestly tho, we always play like crap against the Liberty so I’m a little nervous. Anyway…

Go SKY!

~ Chicago Sky Hoops ~

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~ by audsquad on June 10, 2012.

4 Responses to “Game Notes: Sky 98, Shock 91 (Piph saves the day…again!)”

  1. Agree on Willingham. She seems so annoyed with the other players when they aren’t in the precise spot she wants them to be for a pass. But she was out of place several times on Friday, leading to turnovers.

    Speakiing of TOs, can we get them to under 18 a game?

    Go Sky!

    • Sky only had 12 TO’s against the Liberty yesterday so that was a HUUUUUUGE improvement. Hopefully we can keep them to under 15 a game, 18 is still kinda high 🙂

      Also, Willingham’s minutes were cut in half this game (20 mins vs. Shock, 10 mins vs. Liberty) so perhaps Pokey has finally seen the light on that one too lol

  2. Can I just say I love that photo and I hope someone gives it to Piph to frame.

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