Courtside Blog - June 2 vs. E-League
5:50 p.m. Sky players on the court going through some pregame shooting drills, while Bill Bellamy of the E-League is taking over his half of the court, doing a few interviews. He’s been very vocal about his intentions of dominating tonight’s game … we’ll see how well those predictions turn out.
Just talked to Frankie Muniz, he has a broken foot and he will not be playing tonight. Too bad to hear as I was looking forward to seeing the “little guy” drive the lane on all 6’6” of Sylvia Fowles. Muniz was kind enough to give out a brief scouting report on this team. He said that James Lafferty is one of the best players they have, Cory Hardrict is “an awesome shooter,” and that Brian McKnight is fresh off an E-League Championship.
6:08 p.m. Here’s a quick recap of my pre-game interview with Michael Clarke Duncan:
On playing in his hometown: “I am always happy to come back to Chicago. Any time that I can come back to the city is a welcome time.”
A scouting report: “I’ve been watching Fowles since she was at LSU. I was teasing her about the free throws she missed in the NCAA tournament last night at the ESPN Zone—don’t think she liked it too much, hopefully she doesn’t take it out on me tonight!”
Tonight’s game plan: “This is their domain, they are good. We’d be stupid to think that we’re going to be able to match them if we don’t play our game. That’s our game plan for tonight—we’re going to play our game.”
6:20 p.m. Judging by the screams from the crowd, Lafferty is going to be the most popular player on the court tonight for the E-League. Every time he walks out on the court just about every young girls voice fills the UIC Pavilions with some very high pitched screams.
6:25 p.m. After a fan wished him good luck, Jay Harrington replied with, “We’re going to get smoked!”
6:30 p.m. Tia Mowry, one of several coaches for the E-League, offered some of her thoughts on tonight’s matchup: “I have to be optimistic—but they did a practice run yesterday. To be honest, the boys are a little scared. The girls are so conditioned. They play this game for a living; the guys play it for fun. I’m going to predict that the fourth quarter will be trouble because the girls are conditioned very well.”
Mowry also said some of the players were worried about Chen Nan: “A lot of them had their eyes on [Chen]. She’s 6’5”—they were asking, ‘who’s going to cover her?”
7:00 p.m. Who better to have sung the national anthem than Grammy-nominated artist Brian McKnight!? He performed an outstanding rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner. I have never heard someone hold a note as long as he did! AMAZING!
7:05 p.m. Just about tip-off time … NBA Stars—Luol Deng from the hometown Chicago Bulls and Tracy McGrady from the Houston Rockets are in the house tonight. Also, on the bench for the E-League is Tommie Harris of the Chicago Bears. Just from sitting a few feet from him, I have no idea how anyone blocks that guy—he’s huge…I’m scared!
7:10 p.m. A friendly exchange before the tip between Fowles and Duncan—but Fowles wins the tip easily…to no surprise!
7:07 left, first quarter – Fowles goes up strong and gets fouled by Duncan, who did not see that call the same way. Just heard E-League coach Steve Harris say that when Duncan comes out, McKnight will be covering Fowles—good luck, Brian.
4:14 left, first quarter – There’s little doubt that Duncan is going to be the most animated player all night. Every time the E-League scores, he’s the first one up off the bench in support.
End of 1st quarter – After Duncan got his second foul of the quarter, a fan yelled that they had to get him out of the game—Mowry turned around and said, “That’s what I’ve been saying, but no one listens to the girl!” After one quarter of play, it’s 22-16 in favor of the Sky.
5:12 left, 2nd quarter – Mowry’s prediction is coming true, a bit quicker than she’d thought however. The Sky has opened a 39-21 lead using their speed to find open shots. Also, the E-League is having trouble dealing with the height of Chen—another point Mowry made before the game. I’m very impressed with her insight to the game. Another NBA athlete sighting—Shawn Marion of the Toronto Raptors, also Waukegan native.
1:43 left, 2nd quarter – Tank just turned to his bench and said, “They aren’t missing.” He’s right—it’s 49-25 Sky!
Halftime – Sky leading, 53-26. Dupree leading all scorers with 15 points, while McKnight has 9 to lead the E-League.
For those of you that are not at the game, I hope you are checking out our first ever web broadcast of the game because the halftime dance-off was one of the best I’ve ever seen! Words can’t describe some of the moves I saw out there—simply fantastic!
Words from Duncan for the 2nd half: “We gotta get more aggressive!”
Early on in the third quarter Perkins nailed a three pointer in the face of Hardict. I glanced over at Coach Harris as they exchanged a look of I don’t know what else we can do to stop them. It’s simply the Sky’s game and the E-League is in awe.
3:08 left, 3rd quarter - Coach Steve Harris grabbed the score sheet and said, “I’ve got more points than most of the guys on my team.” Score: 74-38 Sky.
End of 3rd quarter – It’s becoming more evident that these guys aren’t really basketball players—they just play them on TV. Sky 81, E-League 47.
6:20 left, 4th quarter – Making a move Sky fans hope to see all year long, Chen drove right by the E-League defense on her way to an easy layup. The Sky is scoring at will now—as they have been for most of the game. 91-51, Sky.
2:00 left, 4th quarter – Here’s a brief exchange between Steve Harris and a fan:
Fan: “Hey coach, after this game we’re going to have to talk about your contract!”
Harris: “It’s okay, I’m going to coach the Clippers after this one!”
End of the game – And with a 2-pointer by Sylvia Fowles, the Sky have hit 100 points in the ball game. Your final score is 102-55 in favor of the Sky. Plenty of hugs and laughs as the teams go through the handshake line after this one—a fun night to be a part of!
There’s still time left to get tickets for our home opener, next Friday night, June 12, against the Atlanta Dream. For ticket information, call 866-SKY-WNBA and we look forward to seeing you soon!