Almost had it. The New York Liberty had a chance to steal one against the Indiana Fever in overtime on Friday night, but couldn’t bring it all the way home as they suffered a six point defeat in front of the hometown crowd. After this, they’ve got one more game at Barclays Center before they hit the road.
The opponent today will be the Dallas Wings. The Wings got into the playoffs last year and are hoping to do a little better this season. They got their first win of the 2022 season after beating the Washington Mystics in DC on Friday night.
Where to follow the game
The YES Network App is the place to be. Daytime affair so we getting it going after 2 p.m.
Rebecca Allen is back from her overseas commitments, but won’t be playing. Didi Richards tweaked her right hamstring on Friday night and will be out.
Satou Sabally is overseas and won’t be playing today. Ty Harris is questionable with an ankle injury.
Stef Dolson and the Liberty had a rough night on the boards as the Fever won the rebound matchup by 24. They’ll be facing one of the better rebounders in the W, but they might be catching her at the right time. Teaira McCowan has been top 15 in the W in rebounding since she entered the league in 2019, but just came back from overseas and made her Wings debut on Friday as she played six minutes. In the postgame, Sandy Brondello mentioned that the team needed to be a lot better on the boards and today will be a perfect time to start.
Throughout 2022, we’ve talked about the tight squeeze on roster spots in the W. Moriah Jefferson appears to be the latest casualty of that, although it appears that the Wings have a bevy of point guards, which made her expendable. Following the release, Vickie Johnson explained the move as follows:
“I’ve been knowing her since San Antonio and we drafted her there and had her in Las Vegas and now coming here to coach her as well. So, it was tough. Also, it was the best thing for our organization but also it was the best thing for her as well,. The direction we’re going is not the direction that is for her. So, I think releasing her early; she’ll have the opportunity to go somewhere else and play and finish her career somewhere else. We have our roster set at this time – is it complete? We don’t know yet.”
Jefferson quickly signed on with the Minnesota Lynx, so she was able to bounce back pretty quickly. Still, the league will need to figure out how to ensure they keep all the talent in the league.
When you have a rough day at work, you have to forget about it once you clock out. For Natasha Howard, she went 1-15 on Friday, but her teammates and coaches have all the confidence in the world in her, and with good reason. Howard is one of the better bigs in the league and is one of the best defensive bigs as well. She’ll get the Isabelle Harrison matchup tonight, and Harrison has been great over the past two seasons. If Howard can keep Harrison off the boards and make good plays on the other side, the Liberty have a great chance to snag a home win for the afternoon crowd.
Sabrina Ionescu will look to put on another Barclays masterpiece. Ionescu had 31 points, seven assists, and four steals on Friday along with plenty of big time plays. What helps Ionescu is that she has such great court vision that even when her shot is locked in, she’ll always make the right play and hit her teammates in the right spots for clean looks.
Player to watch: Arike Ogunbowale
To know a volume scorer is to love and sometimes loathe a volume scorer. On certain nights, like Friday against the Mystics, Arike Ogunbowale can go off and score 19 points in a quarter and make shots like this
On other nights, Ogunbowale is at risk of going 5-21 (like she did against the Liberty in their last matchup in 2021) and shooting her team out of a game. With this being her fourth year in the WNBA, we’ll see if Ogunbowale can take the next step and become a better player that can get and keep the Wings in contention.
Betnijah Laney is slowly starting to figure things out. The Queen Bee found her shot late on Friday night and the more games she gets under the belt, the more she’ll look like her All Star self. For Laney, getting to the rim has been the source of most of her buckets so far. Laney is a good post up option for the Liberty and someone that can break defenses down off the dribble as well.
As Laney continues to regain her confidence and strength, she’ll give the Liberty another dynamic scoring option and make them even more difficult to slow down.
From the Vault
Our friends in the NBA have a game seven doubleheader as the Boston Celtics will host the Milwaukee Bucks in the afternoon and the Phoenix Suns will host the Dallas Mavericks in the nightcap. The conference semifinals have had some of the best game sevens in basketball history, so let’s take a trip back in to time and relive one of them
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