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Liberty begin a holiday mini-series in Seattle vs. Storm hoping to break streak of losses

Chicago Sky v Seattle Storm Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

Getting closer, but not there yet. The New York Liberty went into Wednesday night’s contest against the Minnesota Lynx looking to snap their four game losing streak. They had a chance to get the W late, but wound up falling short and lost by six points.

The opponent tonight will be the Seattle Storm. Noelle Quinn and friends are off to a good start as they hope to make another championship push. They helped the cause by getting a quality win against the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday evening.

Where to follow the game

YES Network on TV. Late night party so we getting it cracking after 10 p.m.

Injuries

No Betnijah Laney, Jocelyn Willoughby, Lorela Cubaj, or Didi Richards.

Mercedes Russell and Stephanie Talbot are out.

Update: Joining the Storm injury report...

To help fill the void, the Storm signed Kiana Williams to a hardship contract, and she’ll be playing tonight.

The game

We’ve got a showcase matchup at power forward. For the Storm, Breanna Stewart has continued her run of excellence and is fully healed from a foot injury that caused her to miss the 2021 WNBA Playoffs. Stewie is back and able to wreak havoc from all over the court. She can score from all three levels and is someone that demands as much attention as possible. Natasha Howard will look to make life hard on her former teammate. Howard had an excellent game against the Lynx on Tuesday night and will need to do it again tonight. With Howard on her game, it opens up the Liberty offense

The Storm love to pressure the ball, and for a team short on ballhandlers, the Liberty will have their hands full tonight. As we know, the Liberty lead the W in turnovers this year and the Storm are third in opponent’s turnover rate. If the Liberty don’t do a good job handling the pressure, they’ll be staring down another large deficit that might be impossible.

Sabrina Ionescu will look to bounce back from a quiet game against the Lynx. She only scored 10 points, but did lead the team in rebounds with nine and handed out seven assists. Without Laney, the team needs her at her very best every night if they want to withstand the crush of injuries.

Sami Whitcomb is hoping to bounce back in a major way this evening. Whitcomb had one of the worst shooting games of her career as she went 1-11 from the field and 0-9 from three point range. A lot of those looks were wide open, and Sami’s one of the best three point shooters in the league, so look for her to bounce back tonight. She’ll likely get the matchup of guarding Jewell Loyd on the other side. Loyd is a tough shot maker, and when you’re a tough shot maker, you get a LOT of shots. Loyd is fifth in the W in field goals attempted per game at close to 15 a night, but is only shooting 38.6 percent from the field. You live with it, but you always hope for a little bit more on the efficiency side of things.

The Storm have a beautiful new home arena as they’re back home in Seattle for the first time since 2019. Noelle Quinn spoke about Climate Pledge Arena and said:

“It’s amazing. Our athletes deserve to be in a high-quality building and (have) state-of-the-art things. I’m juiced about the technology that’s going to make us more efficient. They deserve it. I’m happy that we’re in this building.”

When you invest in women, good things happen. Keep it up.

Player to watch (eventually): Ezi Magbegor

EZI THE ERASER!!! As the Storm move into their next generation, they’ve got a potential star in the making with Magbegor and she’s getting better by the day. Friend of the site, Nekias Duncan of BasketballNews.com and The Dunker’s Spot, wrote about Magbegor and said:

Magbegor moves like a 3, has the size of a 4 and is able to cause havoc in the paint at the 5. Her size and mobility unlocks a ton of scheme versatility for the Storm, which in turn makes them an elite unit when she’s on the floor.

True indeed. She can tangle with the best bigs in the sport, as she did against Los Angeles Sparks star, Liz Cambage:

Oh my. At only 22 years old, the sky’s the limit for Magbegor and the more experience she gets, the better she’ll become. Watch out world, but not tonight. With Magbegor in protocols, former Liberty big Reshanda Gray will take on a lot of the rebounding responsibilities tonight.

The duo of Stef Dolson and Han Xu will have their hands full tonight. Han was magnificent off the bench as her scoring helped get the Liberty back into the game. She’s gaining more confidence by the day and this weekend set will be a great opportunity for her to get some more reps in. Dolson will look to help the Liberty own the boards. The Libs have been the worst rebounding team in the W this year, and the Storm are the second worst. If NY is able to win that battle and get something cooking in transition, they’ll have a chance to get the win and make it happen.

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