Couldn’t bring it all the way home. The New York Liberty faced the Atlanta Dream on Saturday afternoon hoping to remain undefeated at home. The game went into overtime, but Atlanta was able to pull out the W by three points. Just like our friends at Madison Square Garden, Atlanta basketball teams spent the weekend dominating the hometown team. Well, except for the Nets.
The opponent tonight in Brooklyn will be the Las Vegas Aces. The Aces are one of the favorites to win the title this year and have gotten off to a good start. Their three game winning streak was snapped on Tuesday night thanks to the Connecticut Sun. Vegas wraps up their three game road trip with a game in DC against the Washington Mystics on Saturday afternoon.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. Tip off after 7 p.m.
Natasha Howard, Leaonna Odom, and Jocelyn Willoughby are out.
Angel McCoughtry is out for the season after tearing her ACL in the preseason. Iliana Rupert is out for the season. Kelsey Plum has been helping Team USA qualify for the 3-on-3 tournament in the Olympics and is expected back tonight. Destiny Slocum’s status for this one is unknown.
If you’re looking for a contrast in styles, this game is for you. The Liberty are second in 3-pointers attempted and the Aces are last. The Aces do a lot of damage in the post, which is doubly concerning for the Liberty now that Howard is out for a while.
It looks like this is the year Jackie Young puts it all together. The former number one pick has gotten into a nice groove this year and looks to be growing into a solid player. Over at Swish Appeal, Eric Nemchock wrote this:
As a guard who provides little in 3-point shooting (along with dwindling assist numbers thanks to the addition of Chelsea Gray), Young’s fantasy ceiling may seem limited, but she’s as durable as they come, and given the Aces’ lack of depth on the perimeter, she’s going to be given plenty of burn this season. Plum will be returning soon, but it won’t matter much for Young’s fantasy value; she’s found her WNBA niche as a big guard, and she’s shooting the ball with a ton of confidence right now, so expect her to keep up the production.
Young will have her hands full with Sabrina Ionescu. How you bounce back from a slow game is a big part of stardom and Ionescu will have to bounce back from a particularly rough day against the Dream. Ionescu had her worst game of the season on Saturday and hopes to bounce back. Vegas has allowed teams to make only 29.2 percent of their threes, tied with the Liberty for best in the W.
Michela Onyenwere got named Rookie of the Month for May, and gets rewarded with a matchup against the reigning MVP! Wilson is a shade outside of the top 10 in scoring and has continued to punish teams on the boards and in the low post. In a perfect world, she’d expand her range out a bit to take more three pointers. However, that isn’t part of Bill Laimbeer’s plans so she continues to dominate from the elbows on in.
Player to watch: Liz Cambage
It’s an interesting time to be Liz Cambage. Cambage got into a back and forth with Connecticut head coach Curt Miller which ultimately led to Miller getting a one game suspension for incendiary comments he made towards her. Now that she’s back in the W after opting out of the wubble last year during the worst of the pandemic, she adds even more firepower to a loaded Aces team. Cambage is one of the best paint scorers in basketball and is a better passer out of the post than she’s sometimes given credit for.
The duo of Kylee Shook and Kiah Stokes will have their hands full on the inside.
From the Vault
It’s my graduation day, and I’m in a Beyonce mood, so here.
More reading: Swish Appeal
- New York Liberty Game Notes - New York Liberty
- Las Vegas Aces Game Notes - Las Vegas Aces
- Kelsey Plum returning for Aces game against New York - Sam Gordon - Las Vegas Review-Journal