Well alright. After suffering a 30 point demolition at the hands of the Las Vegas Aces the night before, the New York Liberty went in to Los Angeles hoping to get back on track against the Sparks. The Liberty were able to do that and then some as they came away with their first road win in a year and their best victory of the season so far with a six point triumph on Saturday night. Baby steps.
The opponent this evening will be the Chicago Sky. Chicago's been having a nice start to the season and find themselves in second place in the East after a road win against the Indiana Fever on Saturday night.
Where to follow the game
League pass special tonight. Tip off after 7:30.
Nothing doing for NY.
The Sky are a bit banged up. Jamierra Faulkner (knee), Chloe Jackson (ankle), and Katie Lou Samuelson (hand) all missed Saturday's game with injuries. Jackson is out while there's no word on the availabilities of Faulkner and Samuelson as of yet.
How do you follow up the best game of your WNBA career? That's the question Amanda Zhaui B will face tonight after scoring a career high 37 points on Saturday night. Zhaui B's huge night helped offset Tina Charles' recent ahooting slump. Over the past three games, Charles is shooting only 27.3 percent from the field and 50 percent from the free throw line. Charles is still a great player so when she gets back on track, it'll boost NY's inside game. That's gonna need to happen soon because....
Zhuai B is heading over to Eurobasket starting on Thursday. The good folks at High Post Hoops have a full breakdown on who's going and how it'll affect their WNBA teams.
The Liberty backcourt will have to slow down another elite distributor. Although Courtney Vandersloot is only shooting 37 percent from the field, she leads the league in assists. Fortunately for Asia Durr and company, Vandersloot also leads the league in turnovers so there will be opportunities to force her into mistakes.
Player to watch: Diamond DeShields
The second year player has taken some steps forward this year. She's cut her turnover rate nearly in half and is shooting 43 percent from deep, a ten point bump from her rookie season. The majority of her shots have come from the midrange and three point area, which explains why she has so few free throw atrempts. The Sky haven't been to the playoffs since 2016, and if they plan on making it this year, they need DeShields to play even better. She has an understanding of the expectations first year coach James Wade has of her, saying:
“He expects me to be the best player on the floor. He expects me to be a hard worker, to defend and just be everything that he knows and believes that I can be. He has a very keen sense for what he wants from the team this season, and he believes he has the pieces to accomplish what he wants to accomplish.”
Kia Nurse will look to keep things running well for NY. Like Deshields, this is her second year in the league, and just like DeShields, she's taken steps forward this season. Nurse is more involved in the offense and is one of the team's best three pointers. On the whole, the Liberty are pretty terrible at shooting threes (28 percent), so having a credible threat like Nurse out there is crucial to their success.
Since our friends from Chicago are in town, it's only right...