Thursday morning links: The Chicago Sky's comeback, Penny Taylor's journey to recovery, and ESPN's Nine for IX series

Chicago Sky rookie forward Elena Delle Donne scored a career-high 26 points yesterday. - USA TODAY Sports

Some basketball-related links to consume with your Thursday morning coffee.

What determines the outcome of a game between two of the most turnover prone teams in the league?

You guessed it.

"We went back to our ways we have for the first part of the season by turning the ball over," New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer said in a release in response to their 87-74 loss to the Chicago Sky yesterday. "We not good enough to turn the ball over like we do in a spurt that's what got them going our turnovers in the second quarter."

If the second part of that sounds familiar, it might be because Laimbeer said nearly the exact same thing after the Liberty's loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars. So it's not at all surprising that Liberty turnovers contributed to another loss, but yesterday's game was yet another example of a point Ray Floriani has illustrated previously with statistics.

"It shows the players that if we don't turn it over or limit our turnovers we can become a good quality basketball team," Laimbeer commented, alluding to the 30-15 lead that the Sky had at the end of the first quarter.

So let's start there with today's links.

  • Both Elena Delle Donne and Shay Murphy of the Sky described how the team wasn't applying enough pressure to the Liberty in first quarter, but something clicked defensively in the second quarter. Naturally, that's revealed in the turnover story: in the first quarter, the Liberty had no turnovers; in the second quarter they had six. After not committing a turnover at all in the first quarter, the Liberty finished with 17 - that means over the final three quarters, they turned the ball over on about a quarter of their possessions. Like Laimbeer said, you're going to struggle to win games like that. Watch the video >>>
  • Michelle Smith of espnW writes that Penny Taylor is "close to those first minutes on the floor for the Phoenix Mercury" but coach Corey Gaines' goal is to have her back by the playoffs. Either way, recently retired NBA player Grant Hill had some sobering advice for her: "Don't expect to be the player you were, and don't be too hard on yourself." The Mercury are in D.C. to face the Washington Mystics tonight (7 p.m. EDT). Read more >>>

  • Kelly Kline of Full Court writes about the Atlanta Dream's best start ever, outlining some of the keys to their success. Chief among them might be the performance of Angel McCoughtry, both on and off the court as described by teammate Tiffany Hayes: "She actually tries to calm the rest of us down when calls aren’t going our way." Read more >>>

  • Adrienne Vogt of The Daily Beast previews ESPN's Nine for IX series, highlighting the need for an ongoing discussion about the legislation and its implementation in today's society rather than merely celebrating it on anniversaries. Read more >>>

  • UTSports.com posted a brief summary of ESPN Films' screening of their Nine For IX Documentary in Knoxville, Tenn. last night, including a photo gallery and a quick summary of what the film is about: "Pat XO tells the remarkable story of Pat Summitt as it's never been told before. This raw, authentic portrait takes the camera from the filmmaker's hands and places it into those who know her best." Read more >>>

  • Louisa Thomas of Grantland published a long-form piece on Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker that documented her life from when she first started playing basketball to the commitments she has now as a star. One interesting note near the end: sports agent Lee Melchionni notes that she'd be able to make even more endorsement dollars if she didn't have to go overseas. Read more >>>

  • John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant posted yesterday about Swin Cash joining Diana Taurasi in ESPN's "Body Issue", which will be released on July 12. Read more >>>

  • Tom Ziller of SB Nation previewed today's NBA Draft, noting that there are multiple players that could go from #2-#9 and #1-#6 (and that's before discussing all the rumors that the Cleveland Cavaliers will trade the pick. Ziller runs through five (quite realistic) different scenarios for how the top five picks could unfold, which definitely adds drama to a draft that people generally consider "weak". Read more >>>

  • California native Layshia Clarendon (and her coach Lin Dunn) of the Indiana Fever tweeted her reaction to the Supreme Court striking down the Defense of Marriage Act yesterday (I'm sure there must've been others, but h/t @sgc72 for these). There are plenty of very good articles to read about the decision, but among them is Gavin Aronsen's article in Mother Jones summarizing what this decision means for immigration reform (which includes some great resources for understanding what this means in the sidebar as well). Read more >>>

Obviously there are some links (and tweets) that I've missed, so feel free to drop them in comments or write a fan post if you have extended thoughts about a topic.

Happy Draft Day, NBA Fans.

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