At least there was some good news today? Despite their best efforts, the New York Liberty couldn't pull it out late and lost to the Dallas Wings on Friday. The loss was their seventh in a row and tenth out of their last eleven. After this, they've got one more to go before heading home. We'll get to that good news part in a bit.
The opponent tonight will be the Phoenix Mercury. Phoenix is still in the playoff chase
Where to follow the game
This one’s a league pass special. Tip off after 8 PM.
Asia Durr and Amanda Zahui B will probably miss this game due to their respective injuries.
Alanna Smith, Essence Carson, and Sancho Lyttle are out. Diana Taurasi has been bedeviled by injuries all year and won't be playing. There's another reason Taurasi is out, which we'll get to momentarily.
The Liberty won the first meeting in July.
About the good news part. Now that Joe Tsai owns every aspect of Brooklyn basketball, it feels like the chances of the Liberty moving in to Barclays have increased dramatically. Stay with NetsDaily as we provide the latest news on that front.
The Mercury will be without their best player for one more night. We talked about the fight from last weekend, and it's caused Britney Griner to think long and hard about her future in the W. Here's what she said after she received her suspension:
Does it impact my career in the WNBA? Yes, it does. Not right now, this second. But how long I go, yeah, it’s definitely going to affect it. I mean, I love playing for the Mercury; that’s the only reason I’m playing here right now. Definitely not playing for the W. The W don’t do nothing.”
Griner's suspension ties all of the conversations about pay and work conditions WNBA players have been speaking about in recent years. The Liberty will see her in a week so we'll go longer then.
With Griner out, Tina Charles will have a chance to dominate on the inside. Charles carried the Liberty offense again on Friday and was their go to option down the stretch. Although the wins haven't been there, it's great to see Charles regain her offensive footing.
Player to watch: Dewanna Bonner
With Taurasi out, Bonner has taken on more offensive responsibility. Her usage rate is the highest it's been since the 2012 season and while her field goal percentages are a bit down, she's made up for it by getting to the line more than she did last season, beasting on the boards, and continuing to cut down on her turnovers. If Taurasi can make it back healthy for the playoffs, Phoenix will be a tough out.
Maybe Friday was the game that will spark a turnaround? It's been a rough month for Kia Nurse, but she did score 17 points and get to the free throw line 11 times in Dallas. It was the first time Nurse has shot above 40 percent from the field since July 20 against the Sparks. Slumps happen to all of us and as we wind the season, if Nurse can heat up, the Liberty might be able to sneak into the playoffs.
It's a Stylistics Sunday