Sky Working Towards Perfection


The frustrating thing about science is it’s never quite perfect. We have atomic clocks that are accurate within a nanosecond, timing the history of the universe. NASA has a lab that cools temperatures within a billionth of a degree from absolute zero. Yet, still, we can’t get to the final horizon of perfection. But what about the Chicago Sky? Chicago hasn’t lost since Candace Parker returned from an ankle tweak. Saturday’s matinee contest against Connecticut was another not-quite-perfect day for the midwest’s best basketball city. In the race for the playoffs, there’s not much room for error. However, with a reasonable effort from the Sky, they could leap a win closer.

Sun Sets In Simmering Sky

While Jonquel Jones temporarily departed to play in Europe and coach Curt Miller stepped away for a family matter, the Sun still offered one of basketball’s most fearsome offenses. Connecticut burst out to a quick 21-12 lead after one quarter, aided by another T on a frustrated James Wade.

The pre-Parker Sky may have wilted under stress and watched their deficit balloon to 17. However, Candace offered a calming influence in street clothes during a seven-game losing streak. True, some wannabe Sky fans questioned this reality due to the numerous losses. On Saturday, though, Parker proved she can stabilize her hometown team, even while not recording her best stats.

Some statisticians claim crowd noise doesn’t affect athlete performance. This reporter, though, has always been skeptical of this claim. When the crowd finally allowed back at Wintrust with almost no distancing restrictions, Courtney Vandersloot begged her fans for more energy. And while some calls went the Sun’s way (we see you, DeWanna Bonner, with the superstar call), the Sky refused to let frustration derail their concentration.

The killing blow arrived with three minutes remaining. Chicago whipped the ball to find an open Diamond DeShields. While her draftmate Gabby Williams is gone and numerous other teammates have arrived and departed, Diamond constantly continues to mature as a person and a player. She swooshed the look, and Connecticut never recovered.

Almost Perfect

After the game, a reporter complimented mighty fine sophomore Ruthy Hebard on a perfect match. She corrected the scribe, noting she missed one shot.

There never has been and never will be a perfect WNBA team. There are, however, perfect moments. As the Sky embraced in celebration after the game and Diamond threw her headband into the seats as a souvenir, sports’ main advantage over science became evident. Somewhere Saturday, a NASA engineer stewed over her failure to get to the magic number of -459.67° Fahrenheit. But even though the scoreboard claimed the Sun made the game close, Chicago fans saw the truth as clear as the gorgeous backdrop of the country’s best skyline on that Juneteenth evening. A clean win with no injuries? There’s no reason to feel anything but joy.

About Jeffrey Newholm

"Jammin Jeff" Newholm had been a basketball fanatic since his high school days, and remained a casual fan as a student in Whitewater. Wishing to check in as an active participant, he also completed a writing certificate program at UWM. He loves seeing Bucks games more than any other activity in hometown Milwaukee and especially screaming really really loudly to get someone to miss a free throw. Twitter: @JeffreyNewholm

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