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Liberty try to get a win against the Lynx as Sabrina Ionescu visits ankle specialist

Minnesota Lynx v Connecticut Sun Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

Sigh. The New York Liberty have had a rough go of it in the wubble, and ran into some more trouble on Sunday against the Phoenix Mercury. Phoenix led from wire to wire and came away with an easy 29 point victory. It won’t be easy for Walt Hopkins and friends.

The opponent today will be the Minnesota Lynx. Minnesota has dealt with some bumps in the road, but have kept on winning. They boosted their record to 3-1 on the year after beating the Connecticut Sun on Sunday.

Where to follow the game

CBS Sports Network is the place to be. Tip off after 7 PM.

Injuries

Sabrina Ionescu is out with a grade 3 ankle sprain, the most severe. Expect her to be out the whole month. On Wednesday morning, the Liberty reported that Ionescu is traveling to New York to visit an ankle specialist, presumably at the Hospital for Special Surgery, which is the Liberty’s official hospital.

The HSS ankle specialist, of course, is Dr. Martin O’Malley, who has performed surgery on a number of Nets and other NBA players. Not to suggest surgery is in Ionescu’s future.

Lexie Brown has been in the concussion protocol and may be back today. Shenise Johnson is bothered by a right hamstring injury and will more than likely be out.

The game

Although she hasn’t returned to basketball, Maya Moore’s impact will always be felt. Moore has stepped away from basketball as she worked to, and eventually did, free Jonathan Irons from prison after he was sentenced to prison under questionable circumstances. In the New York Times, Amira Rose Davis, an assistant professor at Penn State, spoke about the lack of coverage female athletes have received in justice movements:

“So it is not really surprising in the moment that female athletes leading the fight for justice so often get overlooked. And that is a shame because these athletes, particularly Black women athletes, have consistently been some of the people taking the most decisive action, willing to sacrifice the most, giving up what crumbs they already have in pursuit of equality and justice.”

As sports continues to advocate for racial justice and equality, as a society we need to do a better job of highlighting the women that are leading these movements.

The Lynx got into a little bit of a kerfuffle when pictures of them enjoying time on the beach hit social media. Matt Ellentuck looked into the matter and a league spokesperson told him:

“The WNBA health and safety protocols developed in consultation with medical experts have always included the possibility of limited, structured team excursions once the regular season began. The offerings include golf, private beach outings and exclusive fishing charters with stringent health and safety guidelines.”

Considering a whole gang of us have done things during COVID-19 that may be frowned upon, we kinda don’t have room to judge the Lynx. Be safe and have fun!

Off the court, Lynx point guard Napheesa Collier hosts a podcast with Las Vegas Aces star A’ja Wilson called “Tea with A and Phee.” Their second episode drops today, and who’s their guest? Kevin Durant! KD is always a good interview so this should be a fun listen. We’ll cover it here at NetsDaily for you guys as well.

Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve noted the arduous schedule in the “wubble,” and I do wonder how that is going to play out the deeper we get into the season. For a young team like the Liberty, that may be an advantage as they have enough energy to survive the wear and tear of the season.

The shot wasn’t there, but having Kia Nurse back helps the Liberty immensely. Without Ionescu, the team needs somebody else to score on the perimeter. Layshia Clarendon has had a ton of success driving to the basket, but the Liberty can stand to have a scorer like Nurse in full swing.

Player to watch: Sylvia Fowles

Say hello to the W’s all time rebounding leader. Fowles recently set the record and will be adding on to her lead tonight and in this future. Fowles is one of the best offensive rebounders in basketball and that’s helped her be top five in free throws attempted this season.

The duo of Amanda Zahui B and Kiah Stokes will look to battle Fowles inside. Fowles is a battering ram on the inside so they’ll have to stay out of foul trouble. What might help the Liberty’s chances of winning tonight is if they can control the pace. Minnesota plays at the second slowest pace in the W while the Liberty are fourth fastest team. If New York can get out and run, they’ll have opportunities to get easy buckets in transition as compared to grinding it out in the half court.

From the Vault

Speaking of Maya, let’s take a trip back in time to watch her and Candace Parker go at it

More reading: Canis Hoopus and Swish Appeal.