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Liberty look for another win against Storm

Basketball - Olympics: Day 16 Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Biggest win of the season? Biggest win of the season! The New York Liberty were down late in the third quarter against the Seattle Storm, but had a fantastic fourth quarter and came away with a magnificent win in front of the hometown crowd on Wednesday night to kick off the five game homestand.

The weather in Brooklyn has been pretty good this week, which worked out perfectly for the Seattle Storm since they’ve been in town all week. They’re heading down to Washington DC to face the Mystics as their East Coast trip continues.

Where to follow the game

Amazon Prime and the YES App have us covered. Tip after 7 PM tonight.

Injuries

Reshanda Gray is away from the team for personal reasons. Jazmine Jones is out with a knee injury. Jocelyn Willoughby is out with her Achilles injury.

Only Mikiah Herbert-Harrigan is out.

The game

The Liberty will visit Seattle on September 2 to complete the season series.

Speed up. The Liberty were able to play fast and had the Storm playing quicker than they usually do. NY is second in the W in pace and if they keep playing fast, they’ll get themselves in a good position. The turnovers are still an issue and now that we’re deep into a playoff chase with only a few games left to go, that has to improve.

When the Storm wrap this one up, they’ll be making a visit to see someone special. On Monday, they’ll be honored by President Joe Biden in a ceremony at the White House. Before the ceremony, they’ll be meeting with the White House Gender Policy Council. It’s great to see the WNBA players continue to stay involved with policymakers.

We get to see one of the greatest point guards in basketball history this evening. Sue Bird went to Tokyo and won her fifth gold medal, making her and Diana Taurasi (who was also in Tokyo with Team USA) the only Olympic basketball players to ever win five golds. When Bird came back, she played the Commissioner’s Cup against the Connecticut Sun, but got some much needed rest afterwards. She’s back tonight and with a fully staffed Storm roster, they’ll have some more firepower at their disposal. Bird is shooting 43.5 percent from three point range, and if the Liberty defense has any slip ups, Bird will make them pay for it.

Game ball goes to Didi Richards. She had arguably the best game of her young career on Wednesday night as the rookie scored nine points and made two three pointers, but it was her defense on Jewell Loyd that helped bring the W home to the Libs. Although Loyd tied her career high with 35 points and went 13-26 from the field, but she missed her last nine shots from the field. Richards was her primary defender and the Liberty provided great help as well. As Richards continues to develop and grow as a player, she’ll

Rebecca Allen had her best game of 2021, and it came at the perfect time. She hit five three pointers, including four in the second half. Allen played with a ton of confidence (seriously, she hit a classic nononononononono YEAH!!!! three pointer to get the Liberty to within seven in the fourth) and if she’s able to be assertive and aggressive on offense, it gives the Liberty one more option on offense. We know Sabrina Ionescu, Natasha Howard, and Betnijah Laney can carry things, and having one more capable option will make the Liberty very tough to handle.

Player to watch: Breanna Stewart

As one of the most decorated players in basketball history, Stewart is a sure bet to make it to the Hall of Fame and lead women’s basketball into the next generation. She’s been off the past few days as she and her wife, Marta Xargay, welcomed their first child into the world. Stewart spoke about it with the New York Times’ Kurt Streeter:

Stewart is amazing in all facets of the game and was one of the best players in the Olympics as well. She can score from everywhere, can take over at a moment’s notice, and can carry your squad to a championship. Having someone like Stewart lead your team on and off the court is an immense privilege and we as basketball fans are lucky to have her.

A game winner is always a good time

Betnijah Laney has had an incredible season and should get a few MVP votes her way when the season ends. Laney has carried the team all season long and now that we only have nine games left in the season, she’ll need to carry them a little bit longer so they can get into the playoffs. She tied for the team lead (with Howard and Ionescu) with five turnovers and that’s really been the only flaw in her game this season. If she can cut down on them a bit and give herself more scoring opportunities, she’ll cook.

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