A long trip ends on a happy note. The New York Liberty went to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon to play the Sparks and wrap up their five game road trip. They were able to get the job done and came away with a three point victory to end the trip with a 2-3 record.
The opponent tonight will be the pChicago Sky. It's been a rocky start to the year for James Wade and friends, but things are starting to look up. They beat the Connecticut Sun on Saturday night to push their current winning streak up to five games.
Where to follow the game
YES Network has us covered. Tip off after 7 PM.
Natasha Howard and Jocelyn Willoughby are out.
Astou Ndour is out.
The Liberty won the first meeting in late May.
These teams will get a chance to get comfortable with one another. They play again on Thursday night at Barclays to wrap up the season series.
The Sky will be facing a tough test over the next few weeks. This is the start of a five game road trip that will take them to Connecticut and Dallas as well. The road trip did not get off to a good start as the Sky’s flight was delayed, which caused them to arrive in NYC later than expected. This is a reminder that it’s criminal WNBA teams don’t get their own private flights to different cities.
Team USA announced the roster for this summer's Olympics yesterday, and nobody from the Liberty or Sky was named to the team. That was surprising.
Woo buddy, gotta be more precise. The Liberty turned it over an astonishing 29 (yes, 29!) times on Sunday in LA. It was a season high and if I had to guess, the most (non-overtime) in franchise history for a single game. You're not gonna be able to win many games if you cough it up like that.
Betnijah Laney as the lead ballhandler is making progress. She turned it over nine times on Sunday, and a lot of them were due to her trying to fit passes into tight windows, so you could see where she was coming from. The turnovers didn’t deter her too much as she went 6-10 from the field for 14 points in 34 minutes. Courtney Vandersloot runs the show for the Sky and during the five game winning streak, she’s averaging around 13 points and 10 assists a night on a 50/40/100 shooting split. Having a PG that helps keep everything running smoothly while keeping the turnovers to a minimum
Rebecca Allen is making the most of her opportunity. She saved the day on Sunday and she's been making positive contributions since being inserted into the starting five. Although she's only shooting 31.8 percent from three this year, she went 5-11 from downtown on Sunday. If she can start finding success from there, it'll help bolster NY's three point attack, which is currently second best in the W this year. As a team, the Sky allow the fewest threes attempted in the WNBA this year, so they’ll make it a point of emphasis to chase the Liberty off the three point line.
Player to watch: Candace Parker
New digs for the future Hall of Famer. As you’d expect for a player entering a new team and system, Parker’s numbers are down across the board so far. Her turnovers are the highest it’s ever been in her career, she’s taking more threes than she’s accustomed to, and her shooting percentages are down. To be fair to the legend, she was hampered by an ankle injury that had her out of action for almost a month. Even with all the setbacks, the Sky have yet to lose a game when she’s played this season. When you’re down in one area, you try to pick it up and be good in other ways. That’s what the great ones do.
Michela Onyenwere will get another tough challenge tonight. The rookie has held her own against some of the best forwards in the W this year and will get another opportunity tonight to see how she measures up. She’s an early favorite for Rookie of the Year and as she continues to get acclimated to the league, she’ll help keep the Liberty above water and in playoff contention.
From the Vault
It's officially summer, so we know what that means!
More reading: Swish Appeal
- New York Liberty Game Notes - New York Liberty
- Chicago Sky Game Notes - Chicago Sky