The comeback kids. Down by as much as 20 points, the New York Liberty appeared to be stuck in the mud. However, they dug their way out of the hole and managed to beat the Washington Mystics on Saturday afternoon to send the fans at Barclays Center home happy.
The opponent tonight will be the Dallas Wings. The Wings are hoping to sneak into the playoffs and surprise some folks while they’re there. They helped the cause with a quality home win against the Chicago Sky on Friday night.
Where to follow the game
YES Network and Facebook have us covered. Tip off after 7 p.m.
Jocelyn Willoughby and Natasha Howard are out. Rebecca Allen has been bothered by plantar fascitis and will likely be out again. Didi Richards had to leave Saturday’s game due to a neck sprain. No word on if she’ll be available tonight.
All clear for the Wings.
New York won the first game back in May.
Managing not to make a fool of yourself on social media is incredibly hard. Unfortunately for the Wings, they've been on a bad streak recently. Between spelling Arike Ogunbowale's name wrong on a post highlighting the news of her being named to the All Star team, their posts promoting the Dallas police department, fist bumping the Jason Kidd hire for the Dallas Mavericks, etc. it's been a rocky 2021 season for them.
Speaking of Ogunbowale, she had a bit of a situation last time she was in Brooklyn. For the duration of the game, the in-arena announcer kept mispronouncing her name. It's a small, but simple thing to get someone's name right when referring to them so here's hoping everyone is on point here and in the future.
On the court, Ogunbowale is still carrying the Wings offense. She’s second in the league in usage rate and is fourth in scoring with a solid 20.2 points per game average. She’s the leader of the team and sets an example for her teammates to follow. The league is in great hands with young stars like her leading the next generation of hoopers.
Sabrina Ionescu had one of her better games in a while on Saturday. She had a groovy 15/5/5 in 26 minutes and had a critical three that put NY up late. Walt Hopkins has noted she’s getting better at attacking opponent’s pick and roll coverages the further away she’s gotten from her injuries and with a week to go before the Olympic break, she’ll have a chance to keep building on the good vibes. Her minutes restriction will still be in place, which works as a perfect mechanism to ensure everyone on the team gets some run and allows Ionescu to keep building more strength.
We use Brooklyn grit for the other folks who play in the Barclays, but we can use it here too
Well this looked familiar (See next video in the thread)— New York Liberty (@nyliberty) July 3, 2021
We’re grateful @Jazmine_Jones4 is okay pic.twitter.com/Xhow0K6ZZZ
Shouts to Jazmine Jones. Jones provides a spark off the bench and for a team that sometimes tends to fall behind big, having someone who can give them a jolt and keep them engaged and close will do wonders.
Whether it's the WNBA or NBA, life as a rookie big is never easy. 2021 top pick Charli Collier is adjusting to the W and recently spoke about her season with Lindsay Dunn of Sportsnet Canada:
I just have to get adjusted and can’t really get too down on myself, and I have to realize it is my first season here and I want to learn as much as I can but I am also a competitor so I do get mad sometimes when things don’t go my way but it is a stepping stone and I’m just looking forward to the best I can be here in the league.
Collier doesn’t get much playing time so she has to do all of her work in practice and makes sure she stays ready when she’s called.
Player to watch: Satou Sabally
Vegas bound! The former Oregon Duck missed the beginning of the W season as she finished up the 3x3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Germany. Now that she’s back, she’s built upon her successful rookie season and was named a 2021 WNBA All Star. The per game averages are down slightly, but you can ignore that as she’s playing a few minutes less per game this year than last. She’s taking shots closer to the basket compared to three point shots and has seen her percentages from the field and deep rise as a result. Sabally is a franchise caliber player and the more she continues to develop, the more likely the Wings will find themselves in championship contention sooner rather than later.
Her All Star teammate will be looking to keep at it for the Barclays crowd tonight. Betnijah Laney continues to pace the Liberty attack and had another efficient day at the office. Her durability has been one of the most impressive things about her All Star season as she’s currently fourth in minutes while having the third highest usage rate among players that have played a large amount of games. Laney has been a stabilizing presence for a team that has exceeded all expectations despite injuries to some of their most important players.
From the Vault
The Fourth of July is a holiday, but for basketball fans it's the day everyone outside of Oakland gets #bigmad about Kevin Durant signing with the Golden State Warriors back in 2016. Of course, that’s in the past and KD is riding with Brooklyn these days, which is a perfect excuse to watch Game 5 vs the Bucks again!
More reading: Swish Appeal
- New York Liberty Game Notes - New York Liberty
- Dallas Wings Game Notes - Dallas Wings
- Wings, Liberty enter matchup with shot to get over .500 - STATS