One's a coincidence. Two's a trend. So what does three make? For the New York Liberty, that's a question they're going to have to figure out because they lost their third straight game on Sunday evening against the Seattle Storm. They were down by as much as 27 points before a late run made the final score respectable, but still.
The opponent this evening will be the Los Angeles Sparks. It's been a year of transition for LA as they're playing new coach Derek Fisher. It's not the LA team we're used to, but they're still in line to make the playoffs. They won their last game on Thursday against the Dallas Wings. They've won three straight games and six out of their last seven.
Where to follow the game
NBATV is the place to be. Tip off after 3 PM.
Asia Durr has been bothered by a groin injury and has missed the past two games. She's questionable for this one.
Maria Vadeeva is out indefinitely. Candace Parker had recently returned from a hamatring injury only to suffer an ankle injury against Dallas on July 9. She's out today. Alexis Jones is also out while Alana Beard is doubtful.
On Sunday, we discussed domestic violence as Natasha Howard of the Storm was accused of physical and emotional abuse by her partner, Jacqueline. Today, we have to talk about DV again as Riquna Williams of the Sparks was arrested and charged with two felonies after allegedly striking her partner and threatening her with a gun earlier this spring. The league and team have been investigating the matter. Over at Swish Appeal, Dr. Cat Ariail wrote about the silence surrounding Williams' case:
However, until then, these three entities at least need to address the complications involved. Not doing so is a dereliction of the public duties they have embraced, as the Sparks, WNBPA and WNBA all have situated themselves as stewards of not just women’s basketball but women’s rights.
More particularly, it is easy to celebrate Pride and declare, “Love is love.” It is harder to discuss the fact that LGBTQ persons, especially LGBTQ persons of color, experience higher incidence of domestic violence.
On Tuesday afternoon, the WNBA announced that Williams was suspended for 10 games without pay. We'll keep an eye on this situation as it continues to develop.
Turnovers will likely decide this one. The Sparks are third best in the W in forcing turnovers while the Liberty are seventh best in the league at taking care of the ball. If NY isn't careful, the Sparks can open things up in a hurry.
Player to watch: Nneka Ogwumike
As one of the vice presidents of the players' union, Nneka Ogwumike is one of the more vocal WNBA stars. In an interview with Macaela Mackenzie of Glamour Magazine, Nneka spoke about the importance of the WNBA and why players relate so well to the fans:
“We’re more authentic, more accessible, more approachable, and we’re more integrated into our communities. And that’s what really makes the WNBA unique. We are businesswomen, we are artists, we are mothers, we have women who are in school—there’s just such a range of people [in the WNBA] to relate to.”
On the court, we’ll have an All Star battle in the frontcourt. Tina Charles was named to her fifth and Nneka her sixth All Star Game on Monday. Charles has had to battle it out with some of the league’s best interior players so the trip to Vegas is greatly appreciated. Nneka dominated the last matchup, but did foul out.
I just got hip to Alex Isley's music. You'll like her, too
- Sparks-Liberty Preview - AP
- Injured Boyd and Durr return to practice as the Liberty eye the Sparks at home - Jackie Powell - High Post Hoops
- A roster in flux is behind the Liberty’s three straight losses - Jackie Powell - High Post Hoops