And we’re off. The 2022 WNBA season kicks off this weekend, with our hometown New York Liberty taking on the Connecticut Sun at Barclays Center.
You can read all about the Liberty and their expectations for this season in Brian’s fantastic season preview.
The Liberty seem to be building something special. Is this the year they ride it to the WNBA Finals? Optimism is high, but I think the biggest thing you hope for this season is to see them get and stay healthy. Get into a rhythm that can carry on into the the playoffs, the offseason and beyond.
This should be a fun season, to say the least! Just, please, stay healthy.
WHO: Liberty (0-0) vs. Sun (0-0)
WHERE: ESPN (national), Barclays Center (live)
WHEN: 6:00 PM EST
For Sabrina Ionescu, this matchup promises to be a daunting one. In the three games against the Sun in 2021, she only averaged 5.7 points and 4.7 assists (to 4.3 turnovers) a night on a .300/.333/1.000 split. Of her 20 total field goal attempts against the Sun in 2021, only five came within the restricted area. Throughout camp, the team has stressed getting into the paint and free throw line more than they did in 2021. For Ionescu, if she can get to the cup, it’ll open things up for the Liberty. That will be a lot easier said than done as she’ll have Jasmine Thomas on her case tonight. Thomas has made the All Defensive team five times in the past six years and will draw this assignment tonight.
Pace will be essential tonight. The Sun were dead last in pace in 2021, while the Liberty were second. NY wants to play faster, but also more in control. They had the second highest turnover rate in 2021 with the Sun ahead of them in that dubious category. If the Liberty can play the way they want to, they’ll have some good opportunities to make things happen. Getting easy transition buckets becomes even more important when you remember that the Sun were the stingiest defense in 2021, allowing only 91.7 points per 100 possessions.
For more on the Sun, check out Swish Appeal.