Tamika Catchings outmuscles Cathrine Kraayeveld in OT for the win on Saturday (courtesy of WNBA.com).
About Game 1:
The Indiana Fever defeated the Chicago Sky 92-86 in overtime at Chicago. After finishing up around 11pm last night, the two teams meet again in Indianapolis at 6pm tonight. The Fever are now 1-2 on the season, looking to get to 2-2 respectability, and the Sky 0-3, looking for their first win of the season.
Today's game should be a good one, as the two teams have a chance to make small adjustments based on yesterday's play. However, the players will have barely enough time to rest up, after a 3.5 hour bus ride from Chicago to Indy, giving them about 15 hours between games.
After the starters sand-bagged my expectations last Thursday, they put it together just enough to steal the Sky's season home-opener on their new floor. The new location must suit the fans, since Audrey reports a record crowd.
When I got home, I saw that the official attendance number was 6,477. Our first-ever game at the UIC Pavillion drew 5,112 and our highest attendance ever at UIC was 6,304 (vs. LA Sparks in ’08). We by-passed both of those numbers tonight. Great crowd!
I was going to soak in all the details by replaying the game on WNBA Live this morning, but WNBA Live must be saving that game for the HoF.
The game featured 37 turnovers. The Fever leads the league early in turnovers committed, but also in turnovers by their opposition. Those 17 turnovers by the Fever were simply understandable miscommunication as the team continues to get their rhythm back. The 20 turnovers by the Sky? Clearly, that was just great defense by the Fever.
In the OT, the Sky used an unorthodox defensive strategy. They decided to leave Tamika Catchings open on both ends of the floor. Tamika scored 8 of her 28 points in overtime, sometimes on uncontested layups under the basket. Audrey says Cathrine Kraayeveld was guarding Catch, but watching the overtime, I would not have known it, if not for the 3, (yes, three, THREE!!) turnovers in overtime that Catch forced Kraayeveld into. There's no question that Catch willed that win on both ends of the floor and unfortunately for Kraayeveld, she was the primary victim of Catch's great play.
Will Cathrine Kraayeveld come back stronger this game? Will Coach Steven Key try something else?