Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sky 78, Liberty 68: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEW YORK -- The validity and origin of a streak is often debated.

Analysts and number crunchers have even written treatises on the hot hand in basketball. The debate rages whether such a thing, in fact, exists. A team on a streak, winning or losing, is another story. While there are factors affecting a shooter’s performance, there are far more coming into play assessing a team. Factors and the like aside, no one can dispute that the Chicago Sky are currently on a hot streak.
On Friday, they took a two-game win streak into New York and left Madison Square Garden with three straight in the win column, dispatching the New York Liberty by a 78-68 score, an impressive road win even with the Liberty mired in a streak of their own, losing five of their last six.

The Sky are 6-12 on the season. Regardless of the overall record, to a player and coach, they talk about building on the recent success and a shot at extending the season with a playoff appearance. Three straight wins can do that. The entire team outlook is altered and what they are now is a relaxed group not only playing good basketball, but thoroughly enjoying it.

Chicago can point to a lopsided home win over Minnesota just a week ago that snapped a three-game slide and got the ball rolling. Players attest to a willingness to share the ball and play confident as big factors.

A winning streak, as noted, has numerous components to take in account. In the space of one week, though, it has transformed the mindset of what was a struggling team to one exuding an upbeat attitude.
Chicago in the pregame warmup lines:
New York in an offensive set:
Official Katie Lukanich oversees a free throw attempt from the baseline:
The Liberty calling for the ball:
The scramble after a jump ball:
Chicago on the move offensively:
Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer meets the media:

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