No can do. Despite their best efforts, the New York Liberty fell short on the road against the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday night. After a few days off, the schedule will be back on track as they’re heading to Atlanta to face the Dream on Sunday afternoon.
The opponent tonight will be the Dallas Wings. It’s been a bumpy ride for the Wings as they find themselves near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. They won their last game against the Connecticut Sun on Wednesday and have won three of their last four games.
Where to follow the game
YES Network has you covered. Tip off after 7:30. Friday is also the Liberty’s annual #pride game. A pre-game fan fest will start at 5:30.
Amanda Zhaui B is in Eurobasket playing for Sweden. So are Bria Hartley and Marine Johannes (France). Rebecca Allen is out due to injury. On Thursday, the Liberty signed center Avery Warley-Talbert, who they had cut in May, to fill in the gaps. The team was granted an emergency hardship salary cap exception.
Skylar Diggins-Smith has been working her way back into game action after giving birth earlier this year. Tayler Hill is out after undergoing surgery. Glory Johnson is competing in Eurobasket. Moriah Jefferson has yet to suit up this year. Sheesh.
If the name Arike Ogunbowale sounds familiar, it's probably because of this
As a rookie, she's been the focal point of the Wings offense, to mixed success. She leads the team in scoring, but is doing it on a .348/.289/.750 shooting split. A lot of that is a result of the Wings offense struggling to get good looks (Dallas is last in overall field goal percentage and three point percentage), so I wouldn't be too harshon the rookie. She's coming off her best game of the season on Wednesday so another good game will do wonders for her confidence.
Kia Nurse has been the Liberty's best player this season and as their number one perimeter option, she’ll be tasked with limiting Ogunbowale’s effectiveness.
Player to watch: Megan Gustafon
Gustafon's had quite the interesting spring. She was drafted by the Wings in the second round of the Draft, but got cut right as training camp broke. She wasn't gone too long and resigned with the team a few weeks ago. Gustafon brings a lot to the table, as Mercer assistant head coach Kaitlyn Cresencia explained to High Post Hoops:
“She’s a super efficient, skilled post player. She has a handful of quick moves and knows exactly when to use them. Megan plays with a level of confidence that shows she’s put in the reps.”
Gustafon has an opportunity to carve out a long term role with the Wings if she plays well.
With Zhaui B overseas, Tina Charles will remain NY's anchor on the inside. Charles’ efficiency isn’t there yet, but she’s making up for it with volume. It’s a delicate balance for the Liberty, but having Charles out there provides them with some much needed scoring punch.
It's Friday so let's smooth it out