Patience pays off for Courtney Williams as Sky snap six-game skid

Williams led the Sky to an 80-63 victory over the Sparks with a game-high 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists.

SHARE Patience pays off for Courtney Williams as Sky snap six-game skid
Led by Courtney Williams’ game-high 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists, the Sky ended their six-game losing streak by defeating the Sparks on Wednesday.

Led by Courtney Williams’ game-high 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists, the Sky ended their six-game losing streak by defeating the Sparks on Wednesday.

Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images.

Courtney Williams sat addressing the media after the Sky’s 80-63 win Wednesday over the Sparks — their first time back in the win column after a six-game losing streak — when she stopped midsentence to give teammate Marina Mabrey some direction.

“Lock in,” Williams said to Mabrey, who was looking down at her phone.

The moment painted the picture of Williams’ role as the Sky’s point guard and one of the team’s vocal leaders on the court. While operating at the point is new territory for Williams, she never has had to work on her communication skills.

“Courtney loves to talk,” Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. “So let’s get that out of the way. Now we channel that in a good way. We want [her] to talk.

“She’s talking about the right things. She’s trying to get her teammates in the right spots and communicate with them. It engages them and makes them talk back.”

Led by Williams’ game-high 21 points, nine rebounds and two assists, the Sky played with a rhythm and chemistry they’ve been talking about establishing but failed to do through their six-game skid.

Their ball movement significantly improved, allowing for ample playmaking and scoring opportunities.

For Williams, it’s not about finding the perfect balance between calling her number and finding her teammates. Her success is determined by her ability to assess the situation at the moment and consistently make winning decisions.

“If [Marina] gets on a heater, we have to get her the ball,” Williams said. “If Kahleah [Copper] goes on one, we have to get her the ball. So it just depends. Every game is going to look different. Not every game is going to be like, ‘I gotta go for 20.’ That’s what that consistency is gonna look like.”

When all are shooting an effective field-goal percentage, the Sky’s guard unit makes for a difficult matchup. Against the Sparks, the Sky shot 45.5% from the field and 42.9% from three-point range.

Copper finished with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists. Mabrey added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists. Dana Evans accounted for 11 of the Sky’s 15 points from the bench.

As the Sky’s two leading scorers, Copper and Mabrey are the most relied upon to get the offense going. But, as was apparent over the last six games, the Sky need more production as a whole.

“[When we’re all clicking] it makes it tough for the defense to hone in on one guard,” Mabrey said. “If we’re moving the ball and were making plays, one, that’s good for our recipient players to get the ball and score in good positions. It’s also just really hard to figure out who’s going to make a play when everybody’s on.”

Williams has been transparent about the highs and lows of developing at a new position. One of the biggest keys for her has been remaining patient with her game.

“The point guard position is the hardest position on the floor,” Williams said. “I gotta be able to not only keep my head but make sure they keep theirs. Doing that, if I’m not patient with myself, we’ll all be running around with our heads cut off.”

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