The days are getting longer. The New York Liberty went into Tuesday’s game riding a three game losing streak and smarting after a 29 point demolition at the hands of the Washington Mystics. It didn’t get any better on Tuesday after the Phoenix Mercury beat them in Westchester. To make matters worse, the loss officially eliminated the Liberty from playoff contention. That’s the way it goes.
The opponent tonight will be the Connecticut Sun. The Sun have secured their playoff spot and are working to get themselves a double bye. The Sun have been off since Tuesday after beating the Storm in Seattle.
Where to follow the game
NBATV for everyone outside of NYC, Fox Sports Go for us. Tip off after 7:30.
Asia Durr is out again with a groin injury. Tina Charles will miss this game for rest purposes.
Layshia Clarendon is out.
Now that the Liberty are officially playing for next season, where they're gonna be next season is the biggest question facing them. Over at Forbes, Howard Megdal made a great point about what Joseph Tsai needs to do to ensure the best for the Liberty going forward:
Whether it is a ramping up of an effort to convince those fans who followed the team to Westchester to return to the five boroughs, or some other new home, let alone the best possible effort to fill Barclays Center next season, time is of the essence for the franchise. Moreover, a fan base and team that has been stuck in limbo since Jim Dolan discarded the Liberty to Westchester before even selling the team deserves more communication.
If you’re really about making the team as most accessible and successful as possible, then you need to make sure that the team and players have the best access to the tools they need as soon as possible. We don’t know what the future holds for the W, so time takes on even more importance.
It’s very difficult to imagine how the Liberty will function without Charles for an entire game. Charles leads the team in minutes played, rebounding, points, and field goal attempts. Kia Nurse is second in shots and scoring, so naturally she’ll have to take on more of the offensive workload. Hopefully Charles will be back for Tuesday's game against the Mystics.
Player to watch: Jonquel Jones
With Charles out, Jones is even more likely to have a big game. In the two games against NY this year, Jones has only shot 30.7 percent from the field. That’s been the only blip on an otherwise stellar season for the two time All Star. Jones leads the league in rebounds with ten a night and Her backstory is pretty interesting, and she spoke about her life in a great first person essay over at The Players Tribune. This part about her experience abroad stood out to me:
But you know what? That whole experience wasn’t really about me as a hooper. It was about me as a human.
Until you’re so far outside your comfort zone like that, you can’t know how strong you are. Until you’re on your own like that, you can’t really know who you are.
For a lot of us, it’s hard to venture out into a situation where we’re completely on our own. And when we are by ourselves, it puts all of our inner strength to the test. The fact that Jones was able to navigate a new country, pressure to excel at basketball for her family’s future fortunes, as well as figure out her own identity in the process is a testament to how brave and courageous she is. We can learn a lot from her.
Without Charles, Amanda Zahui B will have to anchor the interior for the Liberty. Zahui B hasn't crossed the 30 minute mark since June 15 against the Sparks. She might need to be out there for that long if the Liberty want to pull off the upset. Zahui B is coming off a real nice game against the Mercury and should have all the opportunities she needs tonight to display her full offensive repertoire.
Can never go wrong with Barrington Levy.
- New York Liberty Game Notes - New York Liberty