Hopefully that one stayed in Vegas. The NY Liberty went into Las Vegas Friday night to play the Aces and go for their third straight win. Unfortunately for them, they got blown out by 35. With this being night two of a back-to-back, they need to put yesterday's game in the rear view mirror.
The opponent this Saturday evening will be the LA Sparks. Like our New York friends, Los Angeles is on the second night of a back-to-back. They were in Phoenix to play the Mercury and won by a fairly comfortable margin.
Where to follow the game
NBATV is picking this one up. Late night tip so we're getting the party started after 10 PM.
Nothing doing for NY.
The Sparks won the game in Westchester a few weeks ago.
Back-to-backs are always hell, particularly on the road, but if there's a positive to be taken from getting blown out in Night 1, it's that your best players don't play as much due to the butt-kicking you just got. Tina Charles played a season low 18 minutes Friday night and took a season low 10 shots as well. She'll be well rested as she battles with Nneka Ogwumike. Nneka is second in rebounds per game (10th in rebound rate) in the WNBA and does most of her scoring near the basket, although she can pop out and hit some jumpers.
A few weeks ago, coach Derek Fisher spoke about the travel conditions his players have to deal with and said:
He's 100 percent right. The league promotes their players as the world's best, but when it comes to logistical and financial support, they don't match their words with actions. The league needs to do better.
Player to watch: Chelsea Gray
Gray has been one of the most durable players in the “W” since she was drafted by the Connecticut Sun in 2014. She's only missed one game in her pro career and led the league in minutes last year (she finished second the year before). With CP3 (that’s Candace Parker) out, Gray has taken on more responsibility on offense. Her usage rate is up and she has done a better job of setting her teammates up for baskets. Gray does a good job of finishing in the paint, but the three point shooting is what will put the Sparks on the path to title contention. She's one of four Sparks that are shooting 40 percent or better from three point range.
Asia Durr will have another tough matchup on her hands. Like everybody else, she didn't have a good night going against Kayla McBride, Kelsey Plum and the Aces. She's been having a good rookie year so one bad showing won't damage her confidence much.
"Five days of work, one whole day to play..."