Back, but not back to winning. The New York Liberty came out of the All Star break looking to climb the standings and help push themselves closer to a playoff spot. Unfortunately for them, they got off to a really bad start as the Dallas Wings beat them by 23 points on Thursday night in Dallas. Eek.
The opponent today will be the Connecticut Sun. The Sun are the hottest team in the W right now as they pushed their winning streak to six with a victory on Friday night against the Phoenix Mercury. Connecticut has a half game lead on the Washington Mystics for best record in the league and figure to be a tough out come playoff time.
Where to follow the game
NBATV and YES Network are the places to be. Tip off after 3 PM.
All clear for the Liberty.
Layshia Clarendon is out due to an ankle injury.
The Sun won the first meeting right before the All Star break.
If you can't generate enough offense, you're not gonna win. In four out of New York's last five losses, they weren't able to crack the 70 point plateau. It's been a consistent isaue for Katie Smith's squad and facing the league's second stingiest defense won't help matters at all.
Having Asia Durr back will help the Liberty immensely. The rookie was NY's best player in Dallas on Thursday and scored 10 points in 15 minutes. Prior to her groin injury, she consistently played in the upper 20s to 30+ minutes a night. The further away from the injury she gets, the more comfortable she'll be on the court.
We'll get to see an All Star and MVP candidate take the stage today. Jonquel Jones has become the focal point of the Sun attack now that Chiney Ogwumike is in Los Angeles and has managed to fill her shoes. Jones' shooting percentage is down a good amount, but that's OK considering that she's taking more shots and is still getting her fair share of buckets. For Tina Charles, she'll likely have to match Jones shot for shot if the Liberty want to pull off the upset.
Player to watch: Alyssa Thomas
For Thomas, it's been a year of transition as she's gotten used to a new role on the team. Over at SB Nation’s Maryland site, Testudo Times, Zachary Ward described how Thomas has adjusted her game to accomodate for her history of injuries:
All of these changes have caused Thomas to be even less selfish than she was earlier in her career. She’s making stellar passes seemingly every game, and not just in transition. Thomas is being patient in the regular sets and searches for her teammates. Her patience down low on taller defenders has helped her see the whole court and find the best pass to make. Sometimes it still seems odd and detrimental to have her in the paint, but she continues putting up solid stats...
In addition to being a skilled passer, Thomas has been turning the ball over at her lowest rate since her rookie season in 2014. Being able to seamlessly adjust to new responsibilities helped Thomas become an All Star for the second time in her career.
Sundays are made for R&B
- New York Liberty Game Notes - New York Liberty