I like to give the games at least a day to sink in and let the collective internet response bubble up.
Is Katie Douglas' poor shooting a serious concern? Can we expect more scintillating play from Shay Murphy? Can Coach Steven Key get more out of Shameka Christon? Should WNBA referees be calling more fouls on physical play inside the paint?
All this and more in the Sky/Fever addition of "Around the Web".
Game 2 Coverage
Shay Murphy had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Jene Morris and Briann January each scored 12 for the Fever, who improved to 13-4 all-time against the Sky, including 8-1 at Conseco Fieldhouse."There's not really a key to what it is," Catchings said of the Fever's dominance over Chicago. "I believe our rivalry for them is probably like our rivalry with [the Shock]."
But what the Fever got from their bench Sunday night might have exceeded their wildest expectations. Shay Murphy tallied game highs of 16 points and nine rebounds, and rookie Jene Morris added 12 points to lead Indiana to a 69-61 win over the Chicago Sky.
But her performance was not a surprise against the Sky as Murphy’s best games in the WNBA have come against Chicago. Her previous career-high came against the Sky last season when she scored 15 points. It seems to be the Sky brings out the best in Shay Murphy.
“Everyone makes jokes about it all the time,” Murphy said. “ ‘You know if every game was against the Sky you would be the leading scorer in the league‘ but I don’t really think about it. It is just a funny coincidence.”
The Fever stretched a five-point lead to 61-50 after Murphy's five straight points early in the fourth quarter.
Indiana guard Shay Murphy continued to be the bane of the Sky's existence by leading the Fever with 16 points, including making 80% of her free-throws from 18 inches behind the line. “I want to have a positive impact, no matter whether I’m scoring, rebounding or defending," said Shay of her approach this season. "I had a great year in Spain. I became more aggressive and attacked the basket.”
Then we get to the first four games of this season, where the struggles have gotten worse. Douglas is hitting only 34 percent of her shots and, get this, scoring only 7.8 ppg.
Seriously? Is this the same player we were arguing should be an Olympian just last year?
Justin Albers is concerned about Katie Douglas' bad shooting this season. I'm not. Watching the games, some of her shots were forced, possibly forced as a result of an out-of-sync offense. Once the kinks are worked out, she'll be more effective in getting higher percentage shots off. KT's defense is still savage, causing havoc and deflections everywhere. The last thing I'm worried about is Katie Douglas' shot.
The big difference-maker on the weekend was Shay Murphy. We saw glimpses of this last season, but her two performances against the Sky were just what this team needed heading forward.
As I argue in my recap, Shay Murphy's ability to rebound from the perimeter is something she's always had. Whether she can produce on other dimensions as well as she has against the Sky is something we'll have to see.
Game 1 Coverage
Catchings scored eight of her team's first 10 points in the extra session, including the go-ahead layup with 13.5 seconds left that gave the Fever an 88-86 lead.
Sky head coach Steven Key was both seen and heard arguing with referees on both ends of the court especially when, under her own post and amid a swarm of Indiana defense, Sylvia Fowles was taken to the hardwood and the entire crowd heard Key shout, “There’s got to be something there!” as the referees’ whistle did not signal a personal foul against the Fever.
Sky coach Steven Key's basketball mentality is still different from that of any coach Christon has encountered. Key wants his players to experiment on the court without worrying about boundaries and consequences. When they do eventually make a mistake, Key will explain what went wrong.
''We know defensively that we're very capable; we just can't give up easy layups,'' Key said.
''There is no defense for a turnover that leads to a layup.''
That's exactly what proved to be the dagger for the Sky.
Last night's game was a very big win for the Fever. And I'm not making that statement merely because the returning starters looked crisp together or because Indiana got it's first win of 2010. It was a big win because of the way it happened.
why is Cathrine Kraayeveld trying to defend Tamika Catchings 1-on-1 the ENTIRE game?
A good question. In Game 2, a number of Sky players all took turns covering Catchings.