Sky's the Limit for Sylvia Fowles

After starting the season off 0-4, Sylvia Fowles and the Chicago Sky are currently on a hot four-game win streak
David Sherman/NBAE/Getty Images First off, congrats on being selected as a Player of the Week. First time in your career, correct?

Sylvia Fowles: Yes, yes, yes. That definitely means I�m getting off to a pretty good start. Given the unfortunate circumstance of injuries these past two seasons, do you feel this nomination earlier in the season is a motivator?

SF: Yes. I played most of my offseason healthy without any problems or aches and pains. I knew that I would have to come back and make it a good season here in the WNBA because I didn�t get my first two seasons off to a good start or the way I wanted them to. Many players coming back from injuries mention how they know that their body is physically able, but sometimes the mental side of trusting their body again is an issue. Did you experience that coming into the season?

SF: No, I didn�t think it was more of a mental thing. I think it was more physical for me because I wanted to get back out there. I knew the mental aspect would be fine and that everything would take care of itself. Just had to keep working, getting in shape and getting to the point I wanted to be at. You had 32 points and 13 boards against Tulsa on Saturday. 19 points and 9 boards on Friday. Is it safe to assume fans can expect this on a regular basis this season?

SF: Yes, I�m definitely trying to get to [that]. Points wise, I really don�t try and worry about points, but if I can get them I can get them. I got off to a slow start on my rebounding and that�s been a big issue for me because I haven�t been crashing the boards like I normally would. That�s my main focus right now. But fans can definitely expect me to play like this game in and game out. When you drive to the paint it�s pretty obvious you want to get those points any way you can. Teams are met with a bit of a dilemma � do they let you get the two from the floor, or let you try two from the line. But you�re shooting 84 percent there. Is that a skill you�ve developed over the years? Knowing when to draw the foul and get to the line?

Whether driving to the paint or shooting from the line, Fowles will get her points any way she can
Gary Dineen/NBAE/Getty Images
SF: (laughs) Yeah, I had to develop that. My free throw shooting was terrible last year. I made it my business when I was overseas just to get in the gym a little more often and get free throws up as frequently as I can. Yeah, I do get fouled a lot. And then you go to the free throw line and don�t knock them down, that�s very disappointing. That�s something that I also worked on. You mentioned the rebounding end of your game. What exactly would you say is the key to that?

SF: It�s more of a mental game on that aspect. You have to play mind games with yourself because you know you get tired or you get bumped the wrong way and you just feel like it�s not going to bounce your way and you don�t pursue it. I try to pursue it as much as possible, even if I am tired or I don�t get back. Just try to keep that focus and do your dirty work while you can because when you sit on the bench is when you can get your rest. Over the four games, each ending in a loss, you accumulated 17 fouls. In this current stretch of four straight wins you've tallied only six. Is this just a coincidence, or is it something you were conscious of and made an effort to fix?

SF: (laughs) It was somewhat of a fix. And I can say I was conscious of it as well. It�s obvious that the team needs you on the court because when you�re on the court the team is winning. Is that something that maybe Coach Key brought to your attention as well?

SF: Your teammates say stuff about it and I also know that they need me out there on the court to help them play. And as much as I like to be out there and I get in foul trouble it�s disappointing in a way. I�m not trying to disappoint myself nor let my teammates down, so I just play a little smarter and try not to block everything (laughs) and get through the first half with at least one or two fouls and I know I�ll be good to go throughout the rest of the game. I�ve been playing a little smarter. Like I said before, I can�t block everything even though I think I can. I can�t be picking up silly fouls like that, especially if I want to play and we need to win. Let�s talk about the team as a whole. After that fourth loss, was there something that just kind of clicked or led to that sudden surge of four-straight wins?

SF: Throughout those four losses I felt like we just weren�t connecting the puzzle together. We had all the pieces we need but they just weren�t fitting in the right areas. For the most part I think we understood what we had to do but it just wasn�t getting done. Then, after that fourth loss, Coach just went kind of bizarre. (laughs) I mean, bizarre in a good way though. He started breaking stuff down that we were getting away from that we would normally do that we were ignoring in those games. It was more of a mental focus and not guessing, just doing. What kind of things were teammates saying during that rough start? What were you guys chatting about in the locker room?

SF: We kept a cool head for the most part. Nobody would let each other get down because we knew we were better than that and that our time would come and things would finally click for us. Once we got that aspect down and we got in the gym, between the week and those couple of days before the next game, we had time to correct it. Coming in our mindset was just different. It�s still early in the season, but it has to be asked: Is this the year Chicago cracks the postseason?

SF: Yes, I�m looking forward to that. I think that�s everybody�s goal. (laughs) But this is what you work for. You work for those moments and you put in work and do things just to get a step better or a head better against another opponent. So yeah, I think so. Yeah.