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Lesson Of The Day: Don’t let incompetent media members do your bidding for you #MediaLivesMatter

Read this article from Patricia Babcock-McGraw at the Daily Herald

ARTICLEFines or not, WNBA got it right with this controversy

*FYI: This is the second version of this blog that I wrote. I deleted the first. It was definitely over the top and doing too much. This is the toned down version lol..

In response to several high-profile shootings of unarmed African-American men by law enforcement in recent weeks, many WNBA teams have stood in solidarity with the African-American community and the #BlackLivesMatter movement to acknowledge and show support for the plight and unfair treatment of Black-Americans in the United States…

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The New York Liberty, Indiana Fever, Washington Mystics, Minnesota Lynx, Seattle Storm, Dallas Wings and Phoenix Mercury chose to take stand in support of the African-American community. That’s cool.

The Connecticut Sun, LA Sparks, San Antonio Stars and Atlanta Dream have pretty much remained silent on the matter. That’s cool too.

Then there’s the Chicago Sky. The motherf*ckin’ Chicago Sky. The Sky coaches have already let us know where they stand, but Sky players were silent on all of this until today. In the article linked above, Jessica Breland comes out ACTIVELY AGAINST the efforts of her colleagues on other teams that have supported the #BlackLivesMatter movement. ACTIVELY AGAINST IT!

I mean… WTF?!!

Look, I’m never gonna knock anyone for NOT standing up. I’m never gonna knock anyone for NOT being an activist. It takes a lot to put yourself out there and take the kinda heat that some of these other players and teams have been taking. Everyone’s situation is different and I respect that. Heck, personally, I would never even think to wear a #BlackLivesMatter t-shirt to work. I probably would never wear one just walking the streets of Chicago either. That’s just not my style. But damn… I AIN’T GONNA KNOCK YOU FOR HAVING THE COURAGE TO IT!

Jessica Breland’s dumbass is on record saying that WNBA players shouldn’t be participating in this media blackout stuff because it’s bad for the league? Really?! I mean, are you *really* that ignorant, small-minded and shortsighted? I mean… like… for real?! You’re really gonna come out here and belittle and undermine the efforts of your colleagues that are fighting for… you?! For what? …because some oversensitive reporter hyped up on white privilege is butthurt by the idea that WNBA players would have the nerve to have a psuedo-media blackout over something so trivial as black people getting senselessly shot/murdered/assaulted/harassed by racist cops on an freakin’ daily basis? Oh ok, Jessica Breland. You can have several seats.

And to Patricia Babcock-McGraw… I am actually angry that I spent time reading that 762-word nonsense drivel that you wrote belittling the solidarity that other WNBA teams are showing in support of the African-American community.

I would really like to know what possessed you to write this article and to take the specific angle on it that you did…

Were you just trying to be different and this was just your pathetic attempt to get some attention by taking a new approach on the issue? …Or are you truly so damn self-centered that you’re trying to make this about YOU… as in, you’re personally offended by the disrespect of a “so-called” media blackout occurring on other teams? #MediaLivesMatter, eh?

I mean, real talk, Patricia Babcock-McGraw, the so-called “media blackout” that other, more socially-conscious teams staged simply meant that they would only speak to the media about the #BlackLivesMatter issue and not about basketball. They didn’t refuse to talk to the media altogether.

What’s the problem with that?

You literally wrote 762-words about how the players’ protests were ridiculous but only 370-words about the actual Sky/Sun game that was played the same night. Clearly, expressing your (warped) opinions on the protests was more important than reporting on the actual the game. The same goes for those players… their opinions were just the opposite of yours.

So again I ask… WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?!

Are you so damn arrogant that you think only the media should have the ability to dictate what is important and what isn’t? …that the players shouldn’t be able to control the message at all?

Or better yet…

Are you trying to somehow cover for all the socially-unconscious, tone-deaf, privileged players we have on our Chicago Sky team by saying that they’re doing the right thing by not getting involved in all this trivial #BlackLivesMatter stuff? Methinks this is probably the real reason. You’re trying to protect them… but, in reality, you have only succeeded in making them look worse. You made them look bad by writing this crap article then quoting a player and then tying the whole damn team into the warped view that you express in this article. Do better next time.

Patricia Babcock-McGraw and her cloak of white privilege can have several seats alongside Jessica Breland.

Aaaaand… if Patricia Babcock-McGraw is truly the mouthpiece for this team’s views on this issue, then I honestly hope that I NEVER hear the opinions of any of these Chicago Sky players on anything other than basketball. They’re all suspect and I don’t trust them not to say stupid, ignorant crap. I absolutely hate when people say this to athletes but… y’all really need to just shut up and play ball* *. Leave the real work of fighting for justice and positive social change to the players on other teams that actually have spines, backbones and, uh, common sense.

* *Well, except the Rookie. The Rookie can speak on anything cuz she’s clearly got some sense. 

Lesson Of The Day: Don’t let incompetent media members do your bidding for you.

We probably have a bunch of players on this team that either (a) dont care whats going on or (b) dont agree with whats going on… not because #MediaLivesMatter but because, well, #AllLivesMatter. So next time, PBM, please don’t try to explain their silence. Just let them be silent (well, unless of course they want to just come out in legit opposition to what’s going on, Sophia Young-style).

#WatchMeSayStupidSh!t

 

 

Game Notes: Sky 86, Mystics 84 (Best game of the season!)

Slooty with the GAMEWINNER! (source: Chicago Sky twitter)

BOX SCORE || PLAY-BY-PLAY || RECAP || PHOTO GALLERY

Prior to this game, the Sky were in the midst of a 2-game losing streak

The Sky had lost 5 of their last 6 games

And although the Sky have a pretty decent stretch of home games in July, the next several opponents will be very tough… Lynx (in Minny), Liberty, Phoenix and Sparks… in that order. Brutal.

To put it mildly, the Sky desperately needed this win.

The Sky knew it.

The fans knew it.

Both groups acted accordingly to ensure that the Squad came away with the big DUB!

Let’s start from the beginning…

Game 16 Team

Squad!

Let’ be honest… the Sky played poorly in the first half. The defense was weak and the the offense struggled mightily. Don’t get it twisted, the Sky appeared to be playing with high energy and intensity, but nothing went their way. However, the Sky continued to battle through it. They never let the game get away from them and were only down 10-points at the break.

Thank goodness for halftime!

I don’t know what was said or done at  during halftime, but a whole different team came out after the break! The Sky erased that 10-point deficit in the first 4 minutes of the 3rd quarter and  were up by 6 points with 3:30 minutes left in the quarter. That’s a 17-point turnaround in less than 7 minutes! The Sky’s defensive intensity turned ALL THE WAY up in the 3rd and shots started falling. Sky finished the 3rd quarter with a 4 point lead.

The 4th quarter was a classic grinditout backandforth battle between two teams that both desperately wanted to get the win. HUGE plays were made by both teams on both ends of the court. This quarter was the textbook definition of a “nail-biter.” I was hella nervous throughout and am pretty sure that I was literally biting my nails at times. The 4th quarter ended with the game tied.

Overtime was more of the same… 5 extra minutes of hard fought back-and-forth basketball. Sky were able to come up with the bigger plays in the final seconds of the game and that’s what got them the win.

This game was special because the Sky were FINALLY able to close out and win a CLOSE game by making great plays down the stretch. I feel like we’ve lost ALL of our close games this year. After the NY Liberty game last week, I had pretty much lost all confidence in the Sky’s ability to win close games. I had lost all confidence in Pokey’s ability to draw up a winning play. I had lost all confidence in the team’s ability to execute a winning play. I started to believe that we had no clutch players on this team and EVERYONE was just going to wilt under the pressure of every close game. I mean, that’s how it’s been all season, right? We’ve given away several games by just making silly turnovers in the waning seconds of winnable games or just not getting a decent shot off. It was SOOOOOO satisfying to see so many players step up and be clutch and make clutch plays. That was something that we hadn’t seen yet in any close games this season.

Let’s talk about some of the brilliant individual performances that got us this dub…

EDD finished the game with 28 points, 11 boards (5 offensive!) 2 assists, 1 steal and 1 block. Monster stat line! EDD’s outside shot was off again this game, but she is MONEY from like 12-feet and closer. Her outside shots look good but for whatever reason, they all spin out in the same way like she’s putting some kind of weird spin on the ball with her release. I dunno. It’s weird… but it’s pretty much been like that all season. Anyway, EDD hit a HUGE shot in the 4th to send the game into overtime

And then there was this ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL layup that EDD hit in OT to tie the game…

Let’s see that from another angle…

Ok, so I honestly don’t think that either of those videos do that shot justice. I mean, the level of difficulty on that reverse layup was EXTREMELY HIGH. That was one of the most beautiful fastbreak finishes that I have EVER seen! At the last second on that play, EDD almost bypassed the hoop and her back was completely turned to the basket. She had to reach ALLLLLLL the way back to finish the reverse. It was such a difficult shot but she did it so smoothly and made it look so easy. It was an AMAZING play to see live. So sick. Justwow!

Game 16 DeSouza

DeSouza!

As mentioned earlier, the Sky played a FANTASTIC 3rd quarter to get themselves back in this game. DeSouza stepped up BIG-TIME in this quarter and was probably the main reason that the Sky dominated this quarter as they did. DeSouza came up with huge rebounds and hit a couple big shots in the paint. Her activity and energy on offense and defense got her teammates going and got the crowd hyped up as well. Oh, and not to mention, DeSouza made the GAME-WINNING BLOCK to seal the victory! Huge, HUGE effort from DeSouza tonight.

Gotta give mad props to TYoung for the defensive effort on Tayler Hill in the 2nd half. TYoung was LOCKED-IN on defense… her focus and intensity on the defensive end was phenomenal. And as always with TYoung, she doesn’t just give you the defense. She also dropped 10 points and grabbed 8 boards. Fantastic game from TYoung.

The Rookie put in another solid effort. Her shots weren’t falling with as much ease as they have the last few games, but she put in some good minutes. There was no bigger play for the ‘Rook than the HUUUUUUGE block of Tayler Hill’s shot at the end of regulation. The ‘Rook also had a great opportunity to win the game for the Sky in regulation as she got a great look at the bucket for the final shot of the 4th quarter. The shot rimmed out. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that in any other game, the ‘Rook hits that shot with ease and wins the game for us in regulation. I mean,that’s her shot and she has hit it at a ridiculous percentage the entire season. That was a great play and it’s a shame the shot just didn’t fall.

The Rook also had one of the most gangsta steals I have ever seen in 1st quarter. She was literally just like “gimmie dat!” and took the ball out of Tierra Ruffin-Pratt’s hands like Ruffin-Pratt was a small child that stole sumthin! LoL.. it was funny!

One more thing about the Rookie though… she’s gotta defend without flailing her arms so much. She got called for several fouls that were weak fouls but because she’s swinging her arms around so much, it’s an easy call for the ref to make time and time again. She needs to be more deliberate with her arm movements on defense. Go straight up. Don’t swing down. She’s making it too easy on the refs. Oh, and once ‘Rook gets her timing correct, she’s gonna be a SHOT-BLOCKING MACHINE! I absolutely LOVE watching the ‘Rook hoop.

Quigley and Faulkner both had solid games in limited minutes. Quigley hit 5-7 shots for 14 points in 12 minutes. Faulkner continues to ball out and finished with 7 points and 3 assists in 12 minutes.

Sloot did Sloot things out there. She finished with 14 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal. Oh, and Slooty hit the GAMEWINNER! …

Let’s recap all the super clutch heroics that took place this game…

EDD hit the shot to send the game into overtime

Rookie made the huge block to ensure overtime

Sloot hit the game-winning shot

Erika made the game-winning block

Not bad, Squad.. not bad 🙂

Another cool thing about this game was that the crowd was SUPER HYPED! It was a pretty average-sized crowd (attendance = 5310), but we were LOUD! The crowd knew that this was a big game for the Sky and we definitely fed off of team’s energy. Hopefully the Sky was able to also feed of of the crowds energy as well.

One last thing… real talk, WTF is “Diversity & Inclusion Night?” Seriously… WTF is that? Was calling it “Pride Night” too direct or something? I mean, I didn’t even know it was Pride Night until the players came out for warm-ups in the “Orlando United” shirts. In my opinion, “Diversity & Inclusion Night” sounds like an anti-bullying theme or something. The Sky be acting funny sometimes for no reason at all.

Game 16 Pride

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Highlights…

 

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Anyway, here are some articles about the game…

* Daily HeraldSky battles back for hard-fought win

“It was a hard-fought win,” Vandersloot said. “And there was a point in the second half where we made a run (and cut down Washington’s lead) and there was this energy from the bench. They all met us at half-court (when a timeout was called) and it was the best feeling.

“That feeling was way better than the game winner. Our team was connected and I knew right then that we were going to win this game.”

“Erika talked to me yesterday after practice about how she needs to do better for this team, with rebounding and defense,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “That’s a true pro who understands an area where she can help this team and then she followed that up with a big block at the end after sitting for a long time.”

* SB Nation Bullets ForeverMystics at Sky final score: DC loses in overtime, 86-84

* Swish Appeal: Delle Donne’s heroics, energetic fire elevates Sky

“This is a good Washington team. We needed this win.” Chapman, extremely proud of her team, went on to say, “The difference tonight was that I felt the energy. I heard all five players talking at once, if one player got beat, they trusted the other teammates to be there and make up for it without reaching in.”

* The Washington Times: Vandersloot hits game-winner in OT; Sky beat Mystics 86-84

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Next up for the Sky is the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday in Minneapolis. Sadly, the Sky have yet to get a win against any of the top teams in the league (…or even a team with a winning record) this season so hopefully this will change. Hey. I can dream, right?!

#WatchMeMakeItHappen

~ Go SKY! ~

Gameday! Liveblogging Sky @ Mercury

Game 9 Header

source: Chicago Sky twitter

Big game for the Sky today!

Although Phoenix has been struggling mightily this season (…and their win-loss record sucks), they have too many darn pieces/players for me not to fear this team.

Anyway, Sky won the last game I liveblogged this season so I guess the liveblog curse is over, right? Right! I guess we’ll see…

Let’s go Sky!

|| FIRST QUARTER ||
Griner wins the tip over EDD.
Taurasi hits the short jumper over Sloot for the first points of the game. That’s gonna be a tough matchup for the Sky but if anyone can make it work, Sloot can!
DeSouza with a drving layup over Griner to score Sky’s first points of the game.
Did DeSouza just block Griner? I dunno but it looked like it!
EDD crosses Penny up and hits a smooth 15-foot jumper in her grill! Pretty!
Breland with the nice drive and finish at the rim over Griner! OUR BIGS AIN’T SCURRED!
Sky’s offense is flowing… good give-&-go to Cappie from DeSouza for the wide-open layup.
I liked Petrovic in her one season with the Sky. Sucks to see her on this annoying Phoenix.
DeSouza finishes at the rim against Griner AGAIN! Nice dish from Sloot. No Fear!
DeSouza blocked Griner AGAIN! Griner kinda sucks this season, eh?
TYoung in the game.
EDD passes up the open three, drives and hits a short fadeaway over Griner.Great decision.
Griner just missed a point blank layup over DeSouza… LoL… Griner sucks!
De Souza with another nice bucket!
Sky played fantastic defense and Cappie hits a nice shot at the other end.
Time out Mercury.
Quigley with the nice pull-up jumper in the lane.
Mercury living at the free-throw line. Why are they getting so many calls?
Quigley hits 2-in-a-row!
Even Faulkner is going right at Griner! No respect. Fouled and makes ’em both.
Super ‘rook is in the game!
Why do the refs keep giving the Mercury these damn calls! Taurasi stays at the line. This reminds me of the LA game where Candace Parker took like 15 free-throws for no darn reason.
Quigley and Boyette almost link up for an end of the quarter buzzer-beater but the shot rimmed out. Great pass by Quigley.
End of 1st. Sky 25, Mercury 18

|| 2ND QUARTER ||
— DAMN! Faulkner just blew by the entire Mercury defense for a beautiful finish at the rim!
Boyette’s big presence in the lane alters Penny’s shot! Great defense from the ‘rook. No foul. Penny misses.
Boyette stuffs Mistie Bass on the jumper!
TYoung with the steal and wide-open fast break layup
DAAAAAANG… rookie with ANOTHER defensive stop in the paint! Our bigs (Boyette/DeSouza) are killin the Mercury bigs!
Sky’s defense is on-point! Haven’t seen th D look this solid in a minute. I hope it keeps up!
Griner just hit EDD with a block like she is a freakin’ an offensive lineman. WTF, you can’t do that! Shoulda been an offensive foul. Sky can’t get any calls.
Offensive rebound for Boyette off the TYoung miss.. and the putback is GOOOOD! Rookie out here killin’ Griner at her own game! Wow!
Soooo… DeSouza barely touches Taurasi and is called for a foul… OK.
Queen of the midrange! Cappie hits the beautiful step-back jumper!
Boyette with the solid defense on Griner. Griner airballs the shot.
Faulkner to Boyette for the easy layup.
Sky finally get a call… Petrovic fouls Cappie on the jumper.
Maaaan, Sky defense is looking so good!
These refs need to be slapped.
QUIGLEY FOR THREEEEEEEE!
Sloot with the steal!
Again, THESE REFS NEED TO BE SLAPPED! Cappie did not fould Bonner on that drive. Smh. Without all these bogus calls by the ref, the Sky would be up 20+ points.
Dang, Sloot drives and gets all the way to the rim for the finish!
Halftime. Sky 47, Mercury 36.

|| HALFTIME ||
EDD interview at halftime…
Sooooo… Elena’s shy? Who knew??! But heeeeey… we have that in common. Shy people are the best people 🙂  …oh, and I’ve never viewed EDD as “unapproachable” in any way, shape or form. I mean, I don’t know that from any first-hand experience or anything because I’ve never approached her because, I’m… well… shy! LoL 😀
Oh, and wouldn’t it be funny to see EDD “right-hook” somebody! I mean, the 10+ game suspension that followed wouldn’t be funny, but damn, I wouldn’t be mad if she knocked out one of these annoying Mercury players (DT!) in the second half.

|| 3RD QUARTER ||
SLOOT FOR THREEEEE to start the 3rd!
Petrovic hits a three to answer.
EDD with the pretty pull-up jumper in the paint.
MOOOOOOOOONBALL from Breland!
EDD and Breland scrap with the Mercury and ends up with and an AND-1 for EDD.
Taurasi feelin’ it… hits another three with a defender right in her face.
Back-to-back AND-1’s for EDD! She’s strong, ya’ll. Taurasi shoulda gotten T’d up for that bratty move (i.e. throwing the ball aggressively against the basket stanchion). Taurasi must be paying off the refs or something.
Sloot beats Tarausi backdoor for the easy layup!
DeSouza continues with the solid defense on Griner!
MOOOOONBALL again for Breland. That thing barely touched net. Sooooo smooth!
Bonner goes coast-to-coast for the fast-break layup.
OMG! Boyette just blocked the SHHHHHHHHHIT outta Bonner! Wow!
Cappie with the pull-up midrange in transition! Nice assist from Faulkner.
Taurasi shot that from three from like 40 feet. Completely unnecessary. Misses badly.
Taurasi redeems herself and nails it the next time down the court. Three.
End of third. Sky 67, Mercury 64.

|| 4TH QUARTER ||
TYoung missed a wide-open layup but Breland gets the offensive rebound and hits another MOOOOOOONBALL’esque shot.
Faulkner with another beautiful drive thru the entire Mercury defense for the easy finish at the rim!
EDD for THREEEEE! She was open for like 5 minutes in the corner.
Taurasi is hittin’ threes with like 2 or 3 people in her face.
Bonner is a problem.
Sloot with the pretty drive. Sky guards at so good at this.
Sky gotta take better shots down the strecth.
Refs are in love with Tarasi. These calls that she is getting are ridiculous.
Taurasi is ridiculous. She’s hittin’ these Steph Curry’esque shots.
Cappie responds with a bad shot.
TYoung misses another wide-open layup. Sky desperately needed that bucket.
Refs are trying to give the Mercury this game… and the Sky aren’t doing much to prevent it at this point.
Damn. Bonner hits 2 free-throws and the Mercury have their first lead.
Griner with a big offensive rebound and putback basket. Sky now down 3. Not looking good.
Timeout Sky.
Cappie with the hard drive and hits the shot on Griner. AND-1!!!
Refs bail out the Mercury AGAIN! Bonner to the line and hits ’em both.
SKY CAN’T GET A DAMN REBOUND!
Dupree hit 2 free throws. Sky down 4 with 28 seconds.
Quigley with a good look at a three after a big offensive rebound… but misses.
Taurasi hits 2 more free-throws.
Phoenix wins. Sky 80, Mercury 86.

BOX SCORE

Game Notes: Sky 98, Mystics 72 (Sky extend winning streak to 3 games with well-balanced team effort)

Game 8 Header

source: Chicago Sky twitter

BOX SCORE || PHOTO GALLERY || PLAY-BY-PLAY || RECAP

This game was fun.

The offense was flowing and on-point.

The defense was relentless.

The usual suspects had nice games, but so many others also stepped up big.

Six players scored in double figures.

  • EDD = 18 points
  • Cappie = 16 points
  • Allie Buckets = 16 points
  • Breland = 10 pointsGame 8 Team
  • TYoung = 10 points
  • DeSouza = 10 points

Three players had 5+ assists

  • Faulkner = 9 assists
  • EDD = 6 assists
  • Sloot = 5 assists

Three players had 5+ rebounds

  • DeSouza = 7 rebounds
  • EDD = 6 rebounds
  • Dos Santos = 5 rebounds
  • Breland/Sloot = 4 rebounds

That’s some AMAZING balance right there, folks.

Sky scored 60 points in the first half. 60! …and held Mystics to only 36 points.

Sky had 30 assists and out-rebounded the Mystics 37-25.

Dominant.

First I gotta give props to DeSouza on a stellar performance. She started the game strong, hitting shots and going into absolute BEASTMODE on the offensive boards! DeSouza finished with 7 total rebounds, 6 offensive. If I remember correctly, most, if not all, of those came in the first quarter. She set the tone early and got the Sky started off right.

Game 8 DeSouza

DeSouza boxing out Dolson for the board…

Vintage Allie Buckets made an appearance tonight! The only thing that gets me more hyped than an Allie Buckets three is a BIG Allie Buckets block! We were treated with BOTH tonight! Quigley was 2-for-2 on three-pointers and had a HUGE block on Tayler Hill. Like, that block was ridiculous. She did ‘ol girl dirty on that one. Awesome all-around game for Allie Buckets. Quigley was by far the most exciting player to watch tonight.

The 3rd block in this montage is Quigley’s huge block on Hill…

ALLIE BUCKETS FOR THREEEEEEEEE!

So… how about our rookie, ya’ll! I get absolutely giddy watching the ‘Rook play because there is so much freakin’ potential there! All of the skills that she brings to the table ARE EXACTLY WHAT THE SKY NEED right now to get them to that legitimate championship level. If the ‘Rook continues to develop at the same pace the rest of the season as she has these first few weeks, then we have all the pieces we need. I mean, she’s a solid shot-blocker in the paint which improves our interior defense tremendously. Most surprisingly, the ‘Rook has great hands and footwork on the offensive end and can hit tough shots in the paint. Like, for real… who knew?!!

Game 7 Boyette

‘Rook vs. Mystics on 6/1 in DC

The ‘Rook took 3 shots tonight and hit ’em all! Her first shot was an ugly looking jumper from the corner. It’s wasn’t a pretty shot so your first thought is.. that was lucky buuuut, she’s been hitting those fugly-lookin’ shots every game so it ain’t luck! It’s not pretty, but it goes in. That’s super exciting to see!

‘Rook’s second bucket was even more impressive. She caught a tough pass from Cappie in the paint and spun and finished at the rim all in one fluid motion. That was beautiful! She made it look easy, but the degree of difficulty on that shot was VERY high. The catch. The gather. The spin (i.e. footwork). The finish. Wow. Just wow.

‘Rook’s third shot was a short little one-handed jumper in the lane off of a nice assist from Faulkner on a fast break. Again… the catch, the gather (…she stopped on a dime!), the soft finish… all impressive. It’s gonna be so much fun watching the ‘Rook develop. I hate this cliche but… THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!

Video of ‘Rook’s third bucket…

Cappie continues to play well and had a really nice all-around game. Same thing with EDD. TYoung too. Definitely good to see Sloot out there as she works her way back from injury. Faulkner continues to do a great job running the offense and is still leading the entire league in assists.

Loved this beautiful assist from Cappie to EDD

Sweet shot by Cappie from just inside the three…

The only downside to this game was the injuries. TYoung got hurt and left the game for a little bit with a groin injury, but returned. EDD got hit in the face and had to leave the game for a little bit with a bloody nose/lip/mouth… I dunno what it was exactly. It was actually entertaining to see EDD get so angry that there was no foul call on the play (F*CKIN’ BULLSH*T!!! lol 🙂 ). EDD was tended to by the trainers to stop the bleeding then returned to the game. The most serious injury of the night was Laney. I didn’t see the play when it happened, but there was a loud, hollow thud that I thought was Laney’s head hitting the court. Then it appeared that it was an ankle injury. Final word has been that it was a left-knee injury. Laney was carried to the lockerroom but returned to the bench later on crutches. I hope she’s ok and has a speedy recovery.

There’s one other thing I wanna say… how do the Sky (…or any other team, for that matter) choose when they wear their blue jerseys and when they wear the yellow? The Sky/Mystics basically had a Wednesday/Friday home-and-home series, but both teams are wearing the same uniforms in both games. Sooooo, when looking at pictures, it’s difficult to determine which game the pictures are from. What’s the deal with this? Why can’t we just have standard home and away jerseys like normal? I really like the Sky’s yellow jersey (…although I think they’ve only worn them, maybe… once?) and some of the other non-traditional colors worn by other teams (i.e Tulsa; not you, New York and your hideous sea-foam green), but if the jerseys are just gonna be random with no regard for home/away, then I would just rather go back to the traditional white home jerseys. The randomness of the jersey color selection is hella annoying.

ANYWAY, great game for the Sky. The squad is back to .500 and looking good. They have a week off before playing the Fever on Friday in Indianapolis. It’s crazy, but the Sky start a 4-game road trip and don’t play another home game for TWO AND A HALF WEEKS!

Highlights…

A few articles about the game (click picture to read article…)

Game 8 Daily Herald

Daily Herald

 

Game 8 Chicago Now

Chicago Now: Sheri On Sports

 

Game 8 Swish Appeal

Swish Appeal

 

#WatchMeDominateTheMysticsTwiceInThreeDays

~ Go SKY! ~

Gameday! Liveblogging Sky @ Wings…

Game 6 Header

Ok, so I didn’t even bother to blog about the Sky’s last game vs. the Stars because, well, the game was so bad that I really wouldn’t have had anything productive to say. The Sky shoulda easily won that game by 20+ points and we ended up losing by one. Craziness.

Anyway, usually LiveBlogging is a curse for the Sky so I typically try not to liveblog games anymore, but after that last game, I figure, how much worse can it get right? Right!

So here we go..

|| FIRST QUARTER ||
Starting lineup for the Sky remains the same as the last few games: Faulkner, Cappie, EDD, Breland and de Souza. However, Sky tweeted this a few minutes before tip:


Yay! That means that there’s actually a possibility that we will win this game!
Paris vs. EDD for opening tip. Paris wins it.
Faulkner with the first bucket of the game.. but damn, how did she get so open for that layup? Poor defense, Wings.
PONDEXTER HITS HER FIRST SHOT! It’s a THREEEEEE! That’s a good sign…
Ok, Faulkner just did it again with the wide open drive. Perhaps its not bad defense, per se, just that Faulkner first step is just too quick and Wings don’t have an answer.
Sooooooo… de Souza can hit the 15 footers but not layups!? Lemme stop being a jerk.. she hit her layups last game.
Paris is sooooo effective at everything. Deceptively effective. Luv her game.
The trey is still fallin’ for EDD! Nice!
Again Faulkner with the drive all the way to the rim! …but she misses the layup. Sweet move again tho.
EDD lost the jump ball to Courtney Paris again? C’mon now! That shouldn’t happen… although, like I said before, Paris is deceptively effective at all aspects of the game.
Faulkner cutting thru the Wings defense and getting to the rim on almost every possession… but has missed the last two layups. Beautiful moves though. Those shots usually fall for her.
Cappie hits again! ..baby hook in the lane.
Cappie with the miss but de Souza with the offensive rebound and easy put back.
EDD with the nice steal.
Timeout. Wings up 16 to 15.
TYoung comes into the game and immediately hits a 15-footer from the corner on a nice pass from EDD.
Cappie hits again. Warms my heart seeing Cappie playing well!
TYoung with the steal and easy layup on the other end.
Sky in the midst of a 10-0 run.
SLOOT IS IN THE GAME!!! I repeat… SLOOT IS IN THE GAME! So nice to see her out there. Sloot, you’ve been missed.
Nice move but missed layup for de Souza
Jordan Hooper just hit a shot. Greatest name in basketball.
Cappie again! Pondexter = Master of the Mid-range jumper!
Aerial Powers is a pretty darn good basketball name as well. Wings has a monopoly on cool names.
Sky just got an 8-second violation. C’mon Allie Buckets..
QUIGLEY FOR THREEEEEEE! Luv seeing that.
The ‘Rook is in the game! I repeat: The ‘Rook is in the game! Damn, these are Boyette’s first minutes in like 3 games.
‘Rook immediately commits a turnover tho. Settle down…
End of the 1st Quarter. Sky 28, Wings 20.

|| SECOND QUARTER ||
Faulkner starts the 2nd how she started the 1st… nice drive all the way to the bucket for a nice finish at the rim. Wings have no answer for her.
‘Rook with the really nice pass to Quigley but Allie Buckets missed the short turnaround jumper
‘ROOK WITH THE BLOCK!
Ooooo… nice pass to Breland from Cappie. Breland with the nice finish in traffic.
‘ROOK WITH THE STEAL! …Quigley finishes on the other end with a nice layup.
Sky lookin’ good!
Timeout Wings. Sky 34, Wings 20.
Allie Buckets gets to the bucket on a nice little drive from the baseline.
‘ROOK WITH THE BUCKET! Great catch and finish, Boyette! Props to Allie Buckets for the nice pass into the post.
Oh DAMN… ‘ROOK WITH ANOTHER BUCKET! Beautiful little turnaround jumper in the lane on a pass from EDD.
Faulkner to the rim again! Damn, Wings can’t check her.
EDD with the strong move to the bucket… finishes with contact… AND 1!
Sloot shoulda taken that shot. Turnover.
EDD with another longball! THREEEEEEE!
Sloot hits the 15-footer. Pretty much the same play from moments ago but this time Sloot makes the right decision and takes the shot instead of trying to make the pass.
Timeout. Sky 51. Wings 34
Sims with the trey.
Paris out here dominating our bigs the last couple plays. Got the offensive rebound from EDD on one end then shut down Breland on the other end. Paris is a beast.
Sky scramble leads to a nice de Souza layup off the pass from Breland.
EDD misses the 3 but follows her shot and gets the offensive rebound… only to have Faulkner turn it over. Turnover leads to a Sims layup on thee other end.
Halftime. Sky 55, Wings 47.

|| THIRD QUARTER ||
WTF! Horrible turnover for Faulkner to start the half… leads to a fast break bucket for the Wings on the other end.
Next time down the floor, offensive foul on Cappie. Sky not starting the half well.
Sky then miss 3 attempts at the bucket (2 point blank) and Wings score again at the other end. Horrible start continues…
Timeout Sky. Sky 56, Wings 51.
Breland with the MOOOONBALL! We needed that.
AGAIN Sky miss 3 point blank attempts at the bucket. Two misses for de Souza and one for Breland. Focus and hit these chippies!
Cappie with another midrange jumper! …de Souza with the nice pass out the post.
‘ROOK WITH THE BIG BLOCK! Boyette out here killin’!
Cappie with ANOTHER midrange jumper.. this time from the baseline! When Cappie’s hitting, it opens things so much.

Faulkner to Pondexter fastbreak was SWEEEET! Nobody can stop that.
TYoung came barreling into the lane outta control and gets called for the charge. Good call.
Quigley with the nice baseline drive and short floater over Paris.
Paris tried to post up the the ‘Rook and got BLOCKED! Awesome defense ‘Rook!
Allie Buckets hits with the THREEEEEEE!
Allie Buckets misses a couple shots down the stretch and Wings hit a couple shots to cut into the Sky’s lead to end the quarter.
End of third quarter: Sky 69, Wings 63.

|| FOURTH QUARTER ||
‘Rook just hit the 15 foot baseline jumper! ..didn’t even know she had that in her repetoire! Wow.
Breland with the nice little turnaround jumper in the lane… nice assist from EDD.
Faulkner just hit a jumper right in Phillips’ grill. Looked so effortless that I don’t even think Faulkner jumped!
That was a nice move by Sims.
3-point play for EDD
— ‘Rook doing a great job protecting the paint.
8-second violation for the Wings. Good to see we’re not the only one to get called for that during this game.
Nice pick ‘n roll from the ‘Rook. Couldn’t finish it but drew the foul.
Wide open baseline layup for TYoung on the in-bounds play. Not sure if that was what Pokey drew up, but hey, it was nice.
Jack Sikma mention during the braodcast! I don’t know anything about his time as a Supersonic but he is a fellow Illinois Wesleyan alum so I got luv for that dude.
‘Rook with the nice finish in lane on a beautiful dish from Faulkner!
Nice fastbreak for the Sky… EDD to Tyoung again.
Oh damn! TYoung with another nice assist to ‘Rook for ANOTHER bucket! Nice roll and finish, Boyette!
Faulkner gets to the rim AGAIN for another easy lay-in. Red Sea all night for Faulkner. Wow.
‘Rook with the MONSTER block on Sims! Get that weak ‘ish outta here! How many blocks does the ‘Rook have now? Gotta be at least 4 or 5, right?
Timeout Wings. Sky 88, Wings 75.
3-point bank shot from Jordan Hooper. Lucky.
Cappie with ANOTHER mid-range jumper. Master of the Mid-Range. That’s what I’m gonna call her on here from now on.
Bogus offensive foul call on EDD. Flop.
Glad this game is only 36 seconds from being over because the Sky are desperately trying to give it away.. and it there was mire time, I’m sure they would.
SKY WIN!!! 92-87!

BOX SCORE || PLAY-BY-PLAY || RECAP 

Game 6 Header 2

This game was fun to watch!

So many contributions from so many people. Six Sky players ended up in double figures…

Cappie (i.e. Master of the Midrange) = 18 points || 5 assists || 2 rebounds
EDD = 14 points || 6 rebounds || 3 assists || 2 steals
Faulkner = 13 points || 9 assists || 3 rebounds || 2 steals
Allie Buckets = 13 points || 2 rebounds || 1 assists
‘ROOK! = 10 points (5-5 shooting!) || 8 rebounds || 4 blocks || 2 assists || 1 steal
TYoung = 10 points || 4 assists || 2 rebounds || 2 steals

So much great stuff on social media from this game…

Highlights…

_____________________________________________________________

The ‘rook absolutely KILLED IT today. She hit all of her shots and showed beautiful touch around the basket. For good measure, the ‘Rook was even kind enough to host a BLOCK PARTY!

_____________________________________________________________

This play was funny…

_____________________________________________________________

EDD takes the contact and hits the shot… AND 1!

_____________________________________________________________

Faulkner got ’em like this at least 5+ times…

#WatchMeWin

~ Go SKY! ~

Game Notes: Sky 80, Sparks 93 (Good try, Good effort…)

Game 4 Header

source: Chicago Sky twitter

BOX SCORE || PLAY-BY-PLAY || RECAP || PHOTO GALLERY || HIGHLIGHTS

This game shoulda been epic. EPIC!!!

Game 4 EDD CP3

source: Chicago Sky twitter

Ok, clearly I’m being overly dramatic.

It’s a little too early in the season for epic per se, but it at least shoulda been, umm, entertaining, right? I mean, it’s LA vs. Chicago. EDD vs. Parker. Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe were in the house. Primetime on ESPN2. This game seemingly had it all.. but it failed to live up to the hype.

Quite frankly, the Sky played bad and got beat. They didn’t get blown out or get beat in spectacular fashion.. they simply lost. They didn’t make any big runs down the stretch to make it interesting.. the game was just pretty much out of reach the entire 40 minutes.

Game 4 Team

source: Getty Images

Yeah, Parker had a nice stat line.. but all of her points seemingly came from the free throw line. It felt like she just stayed shooting free throws the entire night. So yeah, Parker had monster stats, but not a super dominant or monster game, in my opinion.

It wasn’t just Parker though. All the LA bigs absolutely feasted on us the entire night. Parker finished with 26pts and 9rbds. Ogwumike finished with 19pts and 9rbds. Lavender dropped a cool 16 on us. Craziness.

There were some bright spots for the Sky though…

Faulkner had a MONSTER game! Her stat line was impressive (17pts and 10asts) but that

Game 4 Faulkner

HUGE game from Faulkner! (source: Getty Images)

doesn’t even come close to telling the whole story. Faulkner was out there just making the Sparks interior defense look silly. She just blew by Sparks defenders with ease all night to get layup after layup after layup. It was nuts. At one point in the 3rd quarter she just waved EVERYBODY off so that she could take her defender one-on-one. She EASILY blew by Belyakova initially.. but then proceeded to slice through the other 4 Sparks defenders in the lane to get all the way to rim for a beautiful finish. That was the play of the game, in my opinion.

Faulkner put up points, but unlike the last game, she also dished out some assists… lots of ’em! Ten, to be exact. A dimes worth of dimes. There were so many amazing dishes, but this one was probably the best one of the night simply due to degree of difficulty…

The angle on that video is kinda awkward so you really can’t fully see or appreciate just how impressive of a pass that was in heavy traffic. Props to Breland with the nice finish there as well.

Gotta give it to Faulkner though, she really stepped up this game. Our offense overall still looked hella suspect like 85% of the time, but Faulkner was legit and brought her A game. She played with a lot of heart.

Another bright spot for the Sky was Tamera Young. She hit her shots which is always great

Game 4 TYoung

TYoung made things happen on both ends of the court! (source: Getty Images)

to see. But honestly, the most poignant thing about TYoung this game was her hustle. In a game where nothing was really going right for the Sky, TYoung continued to play hard no matter what. Like, she crashed the boards HELLA HARD on EVERY SINGLE POSSESSION.  I was like, damn, what got into you?! TYoung’s play really stood out in this game. She finished with 15pts and 9rebounds.

Breland had a nice stat line of 16pts, 9rebs and 2 blks. However, the LA bigs killed us so badly in the paint on both ends of the floor that it was almost like Breland’s numbers/efforts weren’t nearly enough to even come close to making a difference in this lopsided matchup in the paint.

Cheyenne Parker played a few minutes in the first quarter and was effective. She hit all 3 of her shots in only 4 minutes of play.  Why did she play only 4 minutes? I dunno. She probably made a small mistake and got pulled for the rest of the game. For real though, Pokey’s gotta give our young bigs more opportunities. What’s the point of giving de Souza 20+ minutes in a game where she is completely ineffective on both offense and defense? Why not go with Parker? Or give Dos Santos some more minutes? Or *gasp* give the ‘rook  Boyette some run? I will never understand Pokey’s logic with this. Why is she so damn stingy with minutes for our young bigs?!! If our post situation is gonna improve at all this season, its gonna be because of the development of Parker, Dos Santos and Boyette… it ain’t gonna be because De Souza finally starts hitting layups or figures out how to defend somebody. Sorry to be harsh… I’m just sayin…

If our young bigs aren’t developing fast enough to earn meaningful game minutes, perhaps we should invest in a REAL POST COACH to coach them. Anyone else think that the reason our bigs aren’t living up to their potential is because there’s no one on our

Game 4 Coaches

source: the internet

coaching staff to actually coach them? I mean, Pokey and her coaching staff have had a ton of success developing guards. They are really good at that. Sloot, Quigley and Faulkner have all come a loooooong way under their guidance/direction. But think about this.. has this coaching staff even come close to developing a young big yet? Nope. Not at all. Fowles has been in Minnesota less than one season and already she has figured out how to (a) get good position in the post, (b) catch an interior pass, (c) pass out of the post, (d) catch interior passes, (e) utilize good footwork and postioning to get easy buckets and (f) finish strong around the basket. FOWLES AIN’T NEVER DONE ANY OF THAT SH!T HERE! Meanwhile, here in Chicago, our bigs can’t figure out how to hit open layups or defend without fouling. I don’t think this one is on the players, folks… I’m just sayin’…

Anyway, sorry about that tangent

I thought Allie Buckets also had a decent game. Sparks put a lot of pressure on her whenever she was handling the ball. Sparks hit us with the full-court press on several occasions to try and rattle Quigley, but overall, I thought she handled the pressure well. I can’t wait for Allie Buckets to start hitting shots again like the last 2 seasons. I really miss
seeing Allie hit the long ball.

EDD and Cappie had forgettable nights. Happens to the best of ’em. They’ll both bounce

Game 4 EDD 2

AWESOME PIC! (source: Getty Images)

back, I’m sure. Ogwumike played solid defense on EDD, but honestly, EDD’s shot was just off. She missed open shots that she would normally make so I’m not gonna give Neka the title of “EDD Stopper” just yet. Besides the scoring woes, EDD contributed in other ways with 6rbs, 3asts and 2blks. Similar to last game, with Sloot out, EDD brought the ball up a lot and initiated the offense. I hoped for a better EDD/CP3 showdown, but hopefully we’ll get that next time around.

Game 4 Cappie

source: Getty Images

Did Alana Beard defend Cappie the whole game? I don’t remember. If so, that would explain Cappie’s struggles. Beard is a beast on defense and is really having a great year with LA so far. Has she been injured the last few years? ..because I really thought she was pretty much done (or close to it) the last couple years but she’s back this year looking young, spry and healthy. Good to see, for sure.

I know the Sky aren’t at full strength right now, but I’m a little nervous because our offense is looking significantly weaker this season than the last 2 seasons. It’s almost like, we focused on defense all throughout training camp and preseason and didn’t really work so much on offense. Now, our defense is still hella suspect (good try, good effort) and now, so is our offense! Ugh! I hope it all starts clicking for us soon.

Oh, one last thing… the refs were BOGUS this game. They didn’t even try to call to call the game evenly. The Sparks lived at the line and the Sky couldn’t get a single call. It was ridiculous.Sky shot 11 free-throws last night, Sparks shot 32. 32! C’mon now!

#WatchMeGetADubOnFridayBecauseWeReallyNeedOne

~ Go SKY! ~

 

Game Notes: Sky 81, Dream 87 (Did we *really* freakin’ lose to an ATL team that starts Layshia Clarendon at PG?!!)

Game 3

source: Chicago Sky twitter/instagram

BOX SCORE || RECAP || HIGHLIGHTS || PLAY-BY-PLAY

I apologize for being a jerk with regards to the title of this post… but, c’mon, for real? FOR REAL!? And to answer the question — yes, unfortunately we did.

The biggest thing to make note of with regards to this game is this: Sloot did not play. Sloot sprained her ankle at some point over the course of the last few days (not sure if it was in the last game or in practice — that information was not given to us during the League Pass telecast). Sloot is day-to-day according to Pokey’s post-game comments.

Sky starters = Faulkner, Cappie, EDD, Breland and De Souza.

The Sky started the game looking like they were going to coast to a semi-easy win. This wasn’t so much due to the Sky starting the the game extremely well, it was more due to the Dream just looking out-of-sync with lots of silly turnovers and extremely poor guard

Game 3 Box

Source: wnba.com

play (yeah, I’m looking at you, Clarendon). Sky built a nice lead early in the 1st quarter but Atlanta was able to come back and was only down two points at the end of the 1st. The 2nd quarter was pretty much a repeat of the 1st and the half ended with the Dream down 4 points. The 3rd quarter is what killed the Sky. ONCE AGAIN, the Sky stated the quarter strong and extended their lead. Then the Sky’s offense went stagnant and the Dream hit some shots. The Dream took the lead for good with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter and then just continued to play solid throughout the 4th to hang on for the dub.

Sky had a lot of really good individual performances

Cappie started the game hot and was very aggressive on offense. Cappie got us going early and set the tone early.

Game 3 EDD

source: Getty Images

EDD had a block party all afternoon and finished with 4 blocks (…it really was probably more like 5 or 6 but the bogus refs called some bogus fouls that took away some of her blocks). EDD probably needed to get more touches on offense, especially down the stretch in the 4th.

Breland also hosted a block party of her own (3 blocks) and was M.O.N.E.Y. on all of her moooooonballs.

TYoung hit a couple of timely buckets.

Allie Buckets hit her first trey of the season. Oh, and then there was this beautiful block on Cortijo…

Game 3 Cappie 2

source: Getty Images

 

Four Sky players scored in double figures:
Cappie = 17pts (6/15)
EDD = 16pts (5/13)
Faulkner = 15pts (6/10)
Breland = 14pts (6/8)

Sky out-rebounded Atlanta 45-35 and had 14 offensive rebrounds. Breland, TYoung, EDD and De Souza all had big rebounding games.

Sky had 11 blocks in the game.

So what went wrong? How/why did the Sky lose this game?

The answer is this: They were missing Sloot. That’s it. If Sloot played today, this game would have ended up just like season-opener against the Sun. Sky would have coasted to a solid win. You can look at the box score and say that, well, Faulkner started in Sloot’s place and had a nice game. That’s kinda true. Faulkner put points on the board and we desperately needed every single one of those buckets. But Faulkner had one

Game 3 Faulkner

source: Getty Images

assist. ONE! That right there is indicative of the problem the Sky had the entire game. Yes, on one hand, several players played well. On the other hand, everything was one-on-one. It was like, there was no offense being run at all. During the broadcast, the Dream commentators wanted to talk about how good the Dreams defense was and how they locked us down down the stretch. That’s bogus. The Sky made bonehead plays and bad passes trying to go one-on-one time and time again. This made the Dream’s defense look good, but it really wasn’t. Put simply, the Sky didn’t have anyone to run their offense.

In addition, the Sky’s bench was non-existent. The only players that saw significant time

Game 3 Quigley

source: Getty Images

were Allie Buckets and TYoung. Allie backed-up Faulkner at point. Allie’s not a point guard, sooooo…. yeah. Either the refs hate Parker therefore she can’t catch a break from them or she really can’t do anything without fouling. I dunno, but she was completely ineffective. The ‘rook Boyette looked like, well, a rookie, out there. Lots of mistakes and miscues in her 2 minutes of play. That’s expected though and I’m just glad she got some minutes. I’m baffled as to why Dos Santos didn’t get more minutes. I mean, she’s more versatile than De Souza and can, um, hit layups. There’s gotta be a reason why she only played 3 minutes, right?

Bottom line: Sky can’t win games without Sloot. In my opinion, Sky have a better chance winning games without EDD than they do of winning without Sloot. That is, unless Cappie becomes your

Game 3 Cappie

source: Getty Images

primary ball-handler and point guard in Sloot’s absence. If you’re depending on Faulkner or Quigley to run your entire offense, it ain’t gonna work. Sorry. Don’t get it twisted, Faulkner is a FANTASTIC back-up point guard. She fills in for Sloot amazingly every game. But, if Sloot’s gonna miss any significant time, Cappie has gotta be our starting point guard; then start TYoung or Laney at the 2 and keep the rest of the starting lineup the same. Let Faulkner remain as the back-up point guard and Allie Buckets as the 6th man.

Anyway, let’s just hope that Sloot is ok and renders this whole discussion moot and irrelevent. Sloot is the one player that the Sky really, really, really cant afford to lose.

Game 3 Claredon

source: Atlanta Journal Constitution

Oh, and just because I was a jerk to Layshia Clarendon with regards to the title of this post, let me say a little something about her game. Thru the first 3 quarters, the Sky pretty much always got their big lead when Clarendon was on the floor. Then, when Cortijo came in, the Dream would close the gap. However, Clarendon killed us in the 4th quarter. Overall, Clarendon is playing *better* in Atlanta than she played in Indiana. I mean, Atlanta really doesn’t have a choice so she’s just thrown into the fire. More good than bad from Clarendon? I dunno. In this game specifically, it was pretty much zero-sum — what she gave them was pretty much equal to what she cost them. Atlanta got the dub so, regardless, they/she gets the last laugh.

_________________________________________________

Highlights

Let me also just drop this here to make up for the awful title of this post…

___________________________________________________

Here are a few articles about the game (click the picture to read…)

Chicago Tribune

Game 3 Tribune

Swish Appeal

Game 3 Swish Appeal

Atlanta Journal Constitution

Game 3 AJC

Anyway, Sky play the undefeated LA Sparks at home on Tuesday so it’s not getting any easier.

#WatchMeWork

~ Go SKY! ~

 

 

 

 

Game Notes: Sky 93, Sun 70 (Well-balanced attack and new-found defensive prowess leads short-handed Sky to big win in 2016 season/home opener!)

2016 Game 1

source: Chicago Sky instagram/twitter

BOX SCORE || RECAP || PLAY-BY-PLAY || PHOTO GALLERY || PHOTO GALLERY 2

Welcome back, Sky fans!

After a really loooong off-season that felt like it dragged on forever, the 2016 Chicago Sky season officially tipped off last night.

Yes, I realize that this blog has been MIA for the past several months, but with the

2016 Game 1 Sky Guy

Enter a caption

official start of a new season (and the WNBA’s 20th season!), this seems like the perfect time to get this little blog back up and running.

With that said, the Sky’s season/home opener last night against the Connecticut Sun was a great game. The Sky played so well that, once the game started, I literally forgot that they were missing a HUGE piece of their team.

Anyway, lets start from the beginning

The announcement of the starting lineups were actually really cool. I was expecting the Sky to do the same thing they’ve done the last few years which was have each player come down the stairs thru the crowd with the spotlight on them when they are announced. But this year, the Sky brought a Windy City Limousine convertible party bus thingy into the arena with all the players on it. Each player emerged from the bus as they were announced. It was different. It was cool. Way to change things up, Sky!

Connecticut Sun v Chicago Sky

Source: ChicagoSky.net

Check out behind-the-scenes footage from the intros last night!

A video posted by WNBA Chicago Sky (@chicagosky) on

 

The starting lineup was… Cappie, Laney, Sloot, De Souza and Breland.

The opening night crowd was big. The box score says the official total was 6719. The lower bowl looked mostly full with the exception of the ends and corners. Not too shabby.

I’m not even gonna lie. When I didn’t see EDD out there with the team warming up before the game I got a little nervous. When I heard that she was out sick and wasn’t going to play, I really thought the Sky were gonna struggle. I mean, preseason games don’t really mean much, but Connecticut was the only team that we lost to in the preseason.

2016 Game 1 Faulkner (4)

Awww… SQUAD! Source: Chicago Tribune

Thing is, the moment the game started it was clear that the squad would do just fine without EDD. The Sky came out confident and full of energy. Like I said earlier, once the game started, I really didn’t remember that EDD wasn’t there. I mean that in the sense that, it really didn’t feel like the Sky were missing anything. It didn’t feel like there was gaping hole in their offense or defense with her absence. Don’t get it twisted: I’m definitely not saying that EDD wasn’t missed. I’m just saying that the Sky looked so smooth and cohesive on both ends of the floor  that her absence wasn’t really noticeable this game.

The most exciting this about this game was the Sky’s play on the defensive end. They looked SOOOOO much better on defense last night than they did at any point in the season last year. Their defensive rotations were on point. They got so many deflections and steals. It just seemed like they seemed more locked-in on defense than they were last year. Crazy that the defense looked so good and it was only the first game. Rebounding was solid too. I guess we know what they focused on in training camp and preseason.

Regarding individual performances

Sloot (a.k.a. BEST POINT GUARD IN THE LEAGUE Part II) was fantastic last night. I

2016 Game 1 Faulkner (5)

Enter a caption

mean, Sloot has got to be the hardest working woman in basketball when on the court. She’s the ultimate floor general. Beautiful, on-point passes. Fearless drives to the hoop. Fighting thru screens. Directing traffic. Such a fantastic leader for this team. Sloot was all-around amazing. She totally looked to be in mid-season form. Sloot scored the first points of the game/season on 2 free throws and finished with 14pts (4-8 shooting), 7 assists (only 1 turnover!), 3 boards, 1 steal and 1 block. Beast mode.

The rest of the starting lineup was solid as well. Cappie was aggressive on offense and active on defense; pressuring the perimeter and getting steals and deflections. Cappie finished with 13 points, 2 boards and 2 assists.  Breland did all the little things and was a monster on the boards with 9 rebounds. She only hit one mooooonball from the free-throw line extended but scored several nice buckets in the paint. I really liked Laney’s aggressiveness on offense. Her shots did not fall like she would want them to, but she took good shots. DeSouza was solid in the paint, hit her chippies, played solid defense and blocked some shots.

In the first quarter, Pokey went with the mass substitutionsswitching up the entire 5 on the court at the same timeTYoung, Dos Santos, Allie Buckets, Boyette and Faulkner all entered the game together. This was a great move. The second unit came in and didn’t miss a beat. They picked up right where the starters left off.

2016 Game 1 Pokey

Source: Chicago Tribune

Dos Santos is following in the footsteps of Breland and has developed a reliable-looking shot from the free-throw line extended. That is a wonderful addition. I absolutely LOVE Dos Santos’ game and she is one of my favorite players on this team. Dos Santos is the perfect combination of skill and toughness.

Parker looked like a completely different player. All the potential that we saw last year

2016 Game 1 Faulkner (3)

Enter a caption

(good hands, good footwork, soft touch around the basket) was on display during this game. With increased confidence this year, Parker is able to use these skills and make positive contributions on the court. I will say this though — Pokey is still really quick to pull Parker when she makes a mistake.

The ‘rook, Boyette, had a really nice first game. When she first came into the game she had a really nice offensive rebound that led to a great second chance bucket for the

2016 Game 1 Boyette

Boyette. Source: Chicago Tribune

Sky. A few possessions later, Faulkner found her for a nice lay-in. When Boyette came back in the game in the late 4th quarter (the game was pretty much already decided at that point), it seemed like Boyette picked up a couple fouls and made a few mistakes and got a little frustrated. But real talk, Boyette is gonna be super important to this team. Her size and ability to protect the rim and get rebounds is EXACTLY what we need. Rookie or not, players are gonna thing twice before trying to challenge 6’7′ in the paint. Her presence alone will improve our interior defense. And once she gets that timing right to block shotsIT’S OVER! I’m so excited to have her on this team. With that said, I think it’s so weird that we only have one rookie on the team this year. Last year practically 50% of our team was rookies!

I really, really, really like what Faulkner did this game. She has always been solid for us, but something was different last night. She still plays at a blazing fast speed, but it was more controlled and deliberate. Great decisions. Great passes. Great finishes. I mean, damn, Sky BY FAR have the best guard rotation in the entire league, right?! Sloot/Faulkner at point and Cappie/Allie Buckets at 2-guard. Ain’t nobody else has that kinda depth on the perimeter! Many teams are struggling to find ONE decent point guard and we got TWO fantastic ones!

2016 Game 1 Faulkner

Faulkner. Source: Chicago Tribune

Allie Buckets has only been back in the United States for a few days after winning a championship in Turkey, but she had a solid game. Even without much of a training camp or preseason, Allie fit right in. Hit some tough shots. I was waiting for a Quigley 3-ball, but never got one…

2016 Game 1 Faulkner (6)

Allie Buckets. Source: Chicago Tribune

Actually, the Sky didn’t hit a single three the entire game! …they only took six of ’em tho. Think about this for a second… the Sky put up 93 points without EDD and without a single 3 pointer. The offense was so balanced that Sloot and Cappie were the only players in double-figures but 7 players had between 7-9 points. That’s awesome.

I guess it really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that this team came out looking so good last night. I mean, this is essentially the EXACT SAME team from last year with the only change being that Boyette was swapped for Gemelos (…I wish the roster coulda been 13 so Jackie could still be on the squad 🙁 ). The chemistry that they developed in the 2015 season totally carried over to this 2016 season. It’s like they just picked it up right where they left off last year and are in mid-season form.

With regards to Connecticut

Banham was able to get away from Sky defenders and hit a few good lookin’ threes. She’s gonna continue to get buckets in this league just like she did in the NCAA’s. She does seem to have more skills than just being a three-point specialist so I really hope she doesn’t get pigeon-holed into being that kind of one-dimensional player.

Banham was really the only player on the Connecticut Sun worth watching. Everyone else was just kinda “eh.” Local kid, Morgan Tuck, is a rookie on the Connecticut Sun. She was ok. She hit a three but that was pretty much it on the offensive end. If you’re a post player and your only field goal is on a long-ball, you didn’t do your job. Tuck did have several boards tho.

I guess I thought the Sun would be better because Chiney Ogwumike is back this season after missing all of last season due to injury. She was pretty much a non-factor this game. Gotta give her more time to get back in her groove.

Sky were in control of this game pretty much from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Connecticut made a few runs in the second half to get the lead down to maybe 12 or 14… but that was it. Sky finished strong and won the game by 23.

A few external articles about the game (click picture to go to article)…

Swish Appeal…Game 1 SwishAppeal

 

The Bulletin…Game 1 Norwich Bulletin

 

Chicago Now…Game 1 SoS

 

Chicago Tribune…Game 1 Tribune

 

Daily Herald…Game 1 Daily Herald

Great 1st game, SKY! Way to start the season strong!

Get well soon, EDD!

Article: (Perth) Lynx star draws inspiration from art…

Perth Lynx player Betnijah Laney enjoys art as well as basketball Picture: Simon Santi The West Australia

Perth Lynx player Betnijah Laney enjoys art as well as basketball
Picture: Simon Santi The West Australia

Ok, so I really, really, really enjoyed this article about Laney from an Australian paper called The West Australian

Perth Lynx Star Betnijah Laney Draws Inspiration from Art:
https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/29947638/perth-lynx-star-betnijah-laney-draw-inspiration-from-art/

Lots of interesting tidbits about Laney in this article that I was previously unaware of. For example…

But it is more traditional craftiness away from the court which is helping the Perth Lynx star American recruit deal with the challenges of living her sporting dream some 18,000 km from home.

Sitting at the dining table at her new Scarborough home, surrounded by doodlings which reveal another serious talent, Laney explains how she has turned back to a childhood passion for art to help her fend off regular bouts of homesickness.

“It’s a very long way from home and I miss it a lot, all the time,” Laney, who plays for Chicago Sky in the WNBA, said.

“So I try to do things like art to occupy my time to help me not think about home so much. It just relaxes me and takes my mind away from any worries I might have. It’s something I can turn to in my times of need and this time is giving me the chance to grow up and get better on and off the court.”

I had no idea Laney was an artist. Then there’s this…

She prays and reads the bible every day and has a tattoo on her left bicep with writing in Hebrew that means: Walk by faith.

She also has a black rose on her thigh representing rebirth and building a better life and a sparrow sporting messages of hope, love and faith.

And this…

Laney wanted to be a cheerleader and hated basketball until she took up the game at the age of 10.

Do they actually eat kangaroo in Australia? …or is that just one of those myths?

She said that as a beach lover she had embraced her Scarborough home but admitted she was also a picky eater and was dreading the possibility of being confronted with a meal featuring kangaroo meat.

All-around cool article. I love learning new stuff about my favorite athletes.

The only thing missing from this article is a sampling of some of Laney’s art. I’d like to see what she has created.

Maybe next time…

~ Go SKY! ~

Random Stuff: Birthdays, Nike commercials, Halloween and lots of cool pics…

Squad

Ok, so it’s been like 2 weeks without an Overseas Update on this site. There are a couple reasons for that…

(1) A little over two weeks ago, the Sky started doing an overseas update on the official site. That immediately rendered my updates obsolete and unnecessary 🙂 . So hey… make sure you check out the Sky’s Official Overseas Update to see how the squad is doing around the world.

(2) Honestly, those overseas updates take a looooooong time to do. Each one of those took me at least 7 hours.. and that was before half the team even started playing overseas and before EuroLeague and EuroCup games got in full-swing. If I were to do a full overseas update now, it would take at least 12 hours to complete. I got overwhelmed by the prospect of this.. and quit. My bad.

Anyway, follow the Sky’s official overseas update and twitter page for everything you ever wanted to know about the Sky’s overseas hoop adventures.

With that said, when I come across cool stuff, I’m still gonna update this blog.

There was a lot of cool Skyrelated stuff going on across the web these last few days…

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First of all, there were TWO Sky birthdays this week… TAMERA YOUNG (10/30) and BETNIJAH LANEY (10/29). Anyone else find it weird that their games are so darn similar and their birthday’s are only one day apart? That’s pretty cool in my opinion. Laney turned 22 on Thursday. I never realized that she was so young. She is BY FAR the youngest on the team by over a year! Parker was the 2nd youngest and she’s a year and 2 months older than Laney. Wow. TYoung turned 29 on Friday. It’s her last year in her 20’s before she hits the big 30! Haha! A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY shoutout to both of them!

TYoung birthday

source: Chicago Sky twitter

Laney birthday

source: Chicago Sky twitter

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EDD is still out here doing cool stuff on a semidaily basis. The latest from EDD was this…

Awesome Nike commercial with EDD and a bunch of other athletes. Honestly, on first watch, the only other people I recognized outright were Paul George, Draymond Green and Sydney Leroux. Then I was like, yeah, I know Gronkowski and Carli Lloyd. Other than that, I dunno who any of these other people are (actually, I obviously know who Ben Rothlisberger is, but I didn’t actually recognize him in this commercial)Ndamukong Suh, LeSean McCoy, Luke Kuechly, Odell Beckham Jr., Ben Roethlisberger, Paula Findlay, Antonio Brown, Marlen Esparza, Eric Weddle, Lauren Fisher, Marcus Mariota, Le’Veon Bell, Eugenie Bouchard, Steven Stamkos, A. J. Green.

Here’s some cool behindthescenes footage with EDD and the rest of them…

And here’s one more video about this commercial and the gear from this article

Great spot! Way to rep the WNBA and the Sky, EDD!

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Yesterday was Halloween, so I’m gonna put this here…

EDD Halloween

Ok, so maybe I’m hella slow or my reading comprehension is bad… but is this caption saying that EDD was 5 years old in this picture?! That’s a TALL 5 year old!

Anyway, my real reason for even posting this pic of EDD was to have a good reason to post this picture of Tina Charles from the same article. Five year old Tina Charles as Barney is literally the cutest thing I came across on the internet all week so I put it on here even though (a) She doesn’t play for the Sky and (b) I’m not a Tina Charles fan. That doesn’t really matter though. Total freakin’ cuteness right here…

TCharles Halloween

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So earlier this week, there was this Wall Street Journal article: Basketball’s Best Free-Throw Shooter Isn’t in the NBA. Obviously, this is an article about EDD. Here’s the accompanying video…

And some excerpts from the article…

The first thing Delle Donne does when shooting a free throw is look for the dot—sometimes it’s a nail—that marks the middle of the free-throw line. She lines up her right foot with the dot. After she bounces the ball three times, she places her index finger on the ball’s air pinhole. She bends her knees slightly and makes an L-shape with her shooting arm.

“From there I just lift and flick, and a little bit of ankle pop,” Delle Donne said.

Dang, EDD just shared her freethrow shooting secrets… now will everyone shoot 90%+ from the charity stripe? Naw, doubt it 😉 .

I thought this little tidbit was very interesting

But there is one oddity that occasionally disrupts her free throws, when the Sky play the Connecticut Sun in Connecticut. That gym doesn’t have a dot in the middle of the free-throw line. Delle Donne went 21 of 24—a mere 87.5%—from the line in three games in Connecticut this year.

“It really bugs me,” she said. “It shows how mental foul shooting is. You need to know where to line up.”

Who knew?!!

Here’s a related article that pretty much just breaks down the Wall Street Journal article a little more: Elena Delle Donne’s 7 Steps to a Perfect Free Throw (source: Stack.com)EDD free throws

1. Find the “Dot” in the Middle of the Free-Throw Line

2. Take Three Dribbles

3. Place the Index Finger on the Pin-Hole

4. Bring the Front Elbow to 90 Degrees

5. Bend the Knees

6. Lift, Flick and Pop

7. Tell Yourself It’s Going In

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Sky players have posted a lot of cool pics and videos these last couple weeks on their personal twitter and instagram accounts. And although I’m obviously not gonna steal them and post them here, I do wanna link to some of my favorites

Cool in-game pic of Parker hoopin’ in China from her instagram page

Cappie with her Besiktas teammates from her instagram page

This is a cool pic of Cappie rockin’ TYoung gear from her instagram page

Awesome pic of Cappie rockin’ Besiktas gear from her instagram page

Coach Sides and Sky Guy at the American Cancer breast cancer walk on the lakefront from the Chicago Sky’s twitter page…

Coach Sides Breast Cancer Walk

Suuuuuper cute throwback picture of Allie Quigley (looks like she’s about 12 years old) from the Chicago Sky’s instagram page

Cute pic of Erika with Lindsey Harding and Alex Bentley either before or after their teams played each other from Erika’s twitter page

Elena preparing for her Delle Donne Academy Elite Camp in Delaware from EDD’s instagram page (that giant backdrop is all sorts of AWESOME).

Cool video of EDD breaking an egg over her head for charity posted to her instagram page

Wrigley dressed as a shark for Halloween posted to EDD’s instgram page

Sloot with her Orduspor teammates posted to her instagram page

Adorable pic of TYoung after practice in Puerto Rico (…is it acceptable to call a grown person adorable? LoL 😀 ) posted to her instagram page

Another adorable pic of TYoung with her Morovis coach posted to her instagram page

In-game pic of Breland in China posted to her instagram page

Jacki’s awesome tattoo? I mean, I’m assuming that’s her leg… I really have no idea; posted to her instagram

Is this the ONLY picture in existence of Faulkner where she isn’t mean-muggin’ the camera? LoL, just kidding… there’s at least ONE other pic on her instagram page with a smile 🙂

In-game pic of TYoung from the Chicago Sky’s twitter page. I really like these jerseys…

TYoung morovis

Alright, that’s all I got for now!

Later, Sky fans…

~ Go SKY! ~