Disorganized Liberty Routed By Sky

Just the Facts, Ma'am: Five Chicago players went into double figures, led by Epiphanny Prince's 15 points, and the Sky never trailed as they knocked out the New York Liberty 89-57 in a preseason matchup. Shey Peddy and Carolyn Swords each had 14 off the bench for the Sky, with Swords notching a double-double with ten rebounds. Plenette Pierson led the Liberty with 14 points.

For a lack of chemistry, a need for nametags, the urge to go bra shopping, OH GOD MY EYES, and a cute kid in a Kym Hampton jersey, join your intrepid and successfully caffeinated blogger after the jump.

Slower than the MTA at rush hour! More ponderous than a locomotive in molasses! Able to leap to giant conclusions in a single game! It's... the Game Notes of Doom, back from their brief hibernation and cranky like a night owl in the morning!

So far, I am pleased with their choice of the center sections, or at least part of them, for the season ticket holders. We were placed pretty much dead center. I am much less pleased with the new floor. The first problem is that the endcourts and sidelines are now seafoam green. The second, much larger, problem is that Spoon's number is missing from the floor. Look, guys, you couldn't even properly respect her number by putting it in the rafters- now you don't even leave it in its perverse place of honor? I have my issues with the Tropical Skittles color scheme, and with this gods-awful cover of Kurtis Blow that is playing right now. But forgetting your own history... that's a bigger problem.

If this were Blaze, I would assume they were thinking of new ways to hack off the season ticket base. But this isn't Blaze. This is a regime that was supposed to be better. The Detroit Shock were better than this. The Monarchs were better than this. It doesn't make any damn sense. (According to data garnered from Melissa {our season ticket rep, henceforth known as "that poor unlucky wretch"}, the decal will be back for the regular season, so we're standing down from orange alert, but it's still not great forward thinking.)

I like the new shield design on the Sky shirts.

I try not to jump to conclusions based on preseason games, but it's very hard not to. And if those conclusions are true, then we're on an express train to Failville, with only the promise of a lottery pick that doesn't quite fit waiting at the station.

Rosters only given out to season subscribers of a certain level, I suspect, since Melissa, that poor unlucky wretch, stopped by and never gave us one. Kind of a bummer when you don't know who everyone is.

Carolyn Swords came off the bench and went into the paint like her life depended on beating up the New York Liberty. Professionally, it probably does, but it looked like there was a lot more at stake. She was very physical, which is about dang time, as far as I'm concerned. Shey Peddy did a lot more than I realized while looking at the floor; every so often I looked at the stats and did a double-take when I realized she was in double figures. (I think I was mixing her up with Epiphanny Prince. You can smack me upside the had later, Sky fans.) Ticha Penicheiro looked a lot older than she did last year. Still has a little of the old magic, but only in very brief flashes. Tamera Young's giant elbow sleeve was a bit distracting, and she still has that bizarre hitch in her shot. Otherwise, she is who we have always thought she was. Felicia Chester got a fair bit of time, especially in the second half, and I don't remember her being so much of a slue-footer/tripper, but I think she's playing for her career. I don't think it's going to work, based on that game. Sydney Carter played a bit, but her primary goal seemed to be to get Plenette Pierson into a frothing fury.

I have come to a surprising conclusion, one that I suppose has been building for a few years and through quite a bit of travel: I really like Eshaya Murphy. She seems to be in the right place at the right time. She's a hustle player. She seems protective of her teammates. At least from what I've seen on the court, she seems like someone who would be a good locker room presence. She probably shouldn't have been taking as many shots as she did, and that's her fatal flaw. Ruth Riley set screens and boxed out. She seems to have recognized what her role will be when Sylvia Fowles comes back. Epiphanny Prince was a nightmare for us on the offensive boards, and her shots always seemed to be coming from late in the clock or unlikely positions that resulted in a general deflation of the screaming kiddies. Le'Coe Willingham mostly played in the first half, and somehow managed to sink what I felt was the dagger- her second three was an off-balance mess of a shot that managed to catch nothing but net, and I knew we were pretty much toast if that kind of thing was going in for Chicago. Courtney Vandersloot disappointed me. She looked unsure of her teammates and unsure of herself. As old as Ticha looked, she's going to have to shape up in a hurry when Options 1 and 2 return from National Team duty.

A team with Courtney Vandersloot and Ticha Penicheiro shouldn't be committing two eight-second violations and a shot-clock violation. I'm just saying.

Kelley Cain, you have three reasonable options and one less reasonable option: 1) lose a bit of upper body weight; 2) gain strength and bulk in your calves; 3) let mama drag you and Kara Braxton to Orchard Corset so at least you won't be falling out; 4) do nothing and eventually break some part of your lower body because you are top-heavy. She's got the ability to board, and she's certainly got the ability to be physical- her first play was to check Penicheiro into the stanchion- but I fear for her durability, especially when the West Coast Swing Of Doom approaches. Maybe I'll be more optimistic about her when her team actually knows who she is. Laura Broomfield played long enough to miss a couple of shots, get a couple of offensive rebounds, and generally show that she wasn't going to have a place on this roster. Raffaella Masciadri didn't look half-bad for someone who just arrived. I'm usually impressed with someone whose first touch results in free throws. She does seem to be primarily a shooter, so if she can't play Whiz's defense she'll be gone no matter what we in the stands thought of her. Alex Montgomery looked awful. Unless the Knicks and her buddy Iman exert a metric ton of pressure, she's gone. Kelly Miller was better defensively than I remember, but she didn't look like the point guard we needed. Also, I fear that someone's going to stage an intervention for what's left of her legendary bangs. The horror, my friends. The horror. Plenette Pierson played well in fits and starts, but she was whaling on Sydney Carter something fierce. I've come to the conclusion that Carter must have been whispering a constant stream of "Gig 'em" at her. Essence Carson looked like one of the few players who gave a genuine damn about the game for the Liberty. Don't let the +/- fool you. She was playing pretty good defense and getting on the boards.

I don't know if Nicole Powell didn't play because she had a hand problem, because Whiz already knows he's keeping her, or because she was pretty bad today. But except for one shot and the first rebound of the game, she looked pretty awful. Which, sadly, is what we have come to expect from Nicole Powell. Kia Vaughn oscillated between being a presence in the post and a decorative light fixture unable to go after a simple rebound without screwing it up. I do wish she'd get it together already, though. DeMya Walker looked a little fuzzy at the start of the game, but then she got her offense going and starting hitting the floor with her usual regularity. (It's been a while since we've had a Libkid. Zachara's adorable and seems ready to steal Liberty fans' hearts.) Leilani Mitchell was pretty solid- looked a little rusty communicating with her teammates, but we'll get to that later. Cappie Pondexter started slow, but she got revved up at the end, and she was reaming her teammates out during one particular timeout. Trust me, they deserved it. I usually think Cappie can take a long walk off a short pier, but her teammates deserved every second of what appeared to be a lot of yelling.

Kara Braxton did not dress. Well, in basketball terms. I mean, she was wearing clothes and everything. I didn't see her on the bench in the first half, but I might have been hallucinating.

Monique Ambers has the little scooter for her... Achilles? Now, the important question: does she have the little horn that she can toot at people to get them out of the way? Seattle fans might remember Wendy Palmer and her scooter. Lady Grooms is still part of the bench crew, at least at home. The new guy really needs to up his dress style.

Kelly Miller did not appreciate Peddy's hands to the face that went uncalled. Things got sloppy late, but the refs were pretty much on top of things.

Tamera Young came up hobbling at one point in the second half, trying to play the possession on one leg. For whatever reason, Chatman wasn't calling timeout. Yes, it turned out to only be a cramp, but if a player is hopping up and down on one leg, don't pass her the ball. Murphy looked steamed at Chatman after that possession.

Stringer and the rest of the Rutgers coaches were there. (I admit, I spotted Chelsea Newton at first and assumed she'd come as a Monarch... then I saw Stringer.)

As you'll see, the place was absolutely packed with school groups. (I am being a bit disingenuous. For whatever reason, they emphasized putting more people on our side, leaving those sections across from us empty. I think there was a camera involved somewhere.)

I do not agree with the push towards Times New Roman Italic. This is the Sparks' font, kids. (Please, God, if You are mischievous, let Hollingsworth come back just so we can issue a #9 jersey in Sparks font and Lib colors.)

Overall, I am exceedingly disappointed in the Liberty's performance against a Sky team missing both Fowles and Cash. Either get it together or fail in such epic fashion that Jim Lewis and Nolan Richardson can only shake their heads in awe.

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