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NY Liberty 80 Chicago Sky 73 : The Stat Analysis

NEWARK, NJ - A look back on a nice come from behind win for the Liberty. A reminder, the game is two halves in duration.


First, a look at the Four Factors :

                                  eFG                               FT Rate                       OREB Pct                     TO Rate

CHI                           48                                          19                               42                                26

NY                             50                                          21                               32                                14


Liberty coach called his team's performance, especially on the defensive end, a 'Jekyll and Hyde' showing. The first half saw the Sky race out to a 49-38 lead. The efficiency at the break bears out the Windy City club's show of strength.

                            Offensive Efficiency

Chi                           126

NY                             100


In addition, the Sky TO rate was a very commendable 15%. The final half saw New York tighten up and exert pressure on the defensive end. Granted, the Liberty were finding the range but the defense was the key. Look at the possession totals of the first four minutes of the second half.

                                   Poss                               Offensive Efficiency                        Points

Chi                                 7                                                57                                            4

NY                                 8                                                 100                                          8

New York's offensive efficiency stayed the same as the opening half. The defense, you can see, stepped up in a big way. After the first four minutes it was a three possession game but the Liberty had momentum and aggressive defense on their side. The numbers for the final half are as follows.

                                 Poss                                  Offensive Efficiency

CHI                             35                                               63

NY                               35                                               120

When he coached at Fordham, veteran NBA coach Bob Hill always said your defense and scoring complement each other. In other words you get stops defensively and your offense gets on track. Once you start scoring, your defensive effort intensifies. Little surprise as the Liberty defended the second half, they suddenly were able to put points on the board.

The Four Factors illustrated Chicago's turnover problems. The second half, thanks to that tougher defensive pressure, the Sky struggled not only scoring but effectively running sets. The second half numbers for Chicago:


  Poss             35                           TO    13                        TO Rate 37%

Losing over one third of your possessions to turnovers will not win many games.

The Win Scores of the top scorers :


                                                                   Pts                                WS

Sylvia Fowles                                           14                                  6.5

Courtney Vandersloot                            14                                     .5

Fowles shot well (5 of 8 from the field) and rebounded with eight boards. Five turnovers didn't help the Win Score. Vandersloot, as noted yesterday, can knock 'em down on the perimeter. Problem is she coughed up the ball too much with 4 turnovers.


                                                                  Points                              WS

Cappie Pondexter                                      18                               10.5

Essence Carson                                         18                                6

Pondexter shot 5 of 8 from the field and a perfect 7 for 7 from the line. She added four assists and three steals. Carson shot well (8 of 13 from the field) but having more than one rebound and steal could have added to her Win Score.

Officiating notes: From my press row vantage point next to the Chicago bench, was able to get some excellent insight. As an official, I would love to work for Chicago coach Pokey Chatman. She doesn't say much to officials but if she questions something you can engage in meaningful dialogue. Which is all we ask.

   Early in the second half she didn't agree with an offensive foul call against one of her players. "A veteran play fooled a rookie official," she said. Next time down the floor that official passed her bench and explained the call to Chatman. She graciously accepted his explanation.

   One time down the floor a Sky assistant coach protested a call. The official said "that is enough". Good writing friend Lenn Robbins of the NY Post , seated next to me, thought the official might have been arrogant. I pointed out that we are trained, especially in officiating camp, not to deal with assistants. As mentor and long time clinician Edgar Cartotto said, "assistant coaches are buck privates. We (officials) deal with only head coaches, the 'five star generals'."