Back on the good foot. The New York Liberty returned to action on Sunday afternoon and had a mostly excellent night as they took it to the Los Angeles Sparks for most of the night. It got kinda close late, but NY shut the door and came away with a much needed victory. To get a recap of that game and the last week of Liberty action, tap in to the latest edition of Gotta Get Up with Erica Ayala and I
Where to follow the game
YES Network is the place to be. Tip after 10:00 p.m. ET. Zora Stephenson will be on the call for YES tonight, and we’d definitely recommend this wonderful feature story on her by Jackie Powell of The Next.
Stefanie Dolson is getting closer, but she’s not back yet. Same for Han Xu.
No Chiney Ogwumike, Lexie Brown, Nia Clouden, or Katie Lou Samuelson.
This is the back half of a two game mini series. After this, the Liberty are off for a few days before heading to Minnesota to face the Lynx on Friday night. The Sparks will also be off as they head to Washington DC to face the Mystics on Friday night.
The Liberty’s size will play a role in this one. They were able to dominate the Sparks on the boards 42-25 as they controlled the tempo of the game for much of the night. A lot of that was thanks to the excellent play of Jonquel Jones, who has continued to be a force on the inside. JJ put together another double-double on Sunday afternoon. Azura Stevens will have to challenge Jones on the inside and for an LA team that is lacking size, they will need a top tier effort from Stevens to get the win.
The forward matchup will be an interesting one. Breanna Stewart and the Liberty helped hold Nneka Ogwumike to only ten points, her second lowest scoring output of the season. On the other side, Stewie put on a Hollywood masterclass as her 25 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks led the way for New York. Due to all of the injuries the Sparks have dealt with, it’s led to Ogwumike having to take on even more scoring responsibilities. She’s been able to keep up with it, but on nights she struggles, it severely limits Los Angeles’ effectiveness.
Player to watch: Jordin Canada
Canada is a sure bet to make the All-WNBA defensive team this season. Canada is top ten in steals and was instrumental to the Sparks’ comeback attempt on Sunday. Canada scored 11 points in the fourth quarter as she led the LA rally to get back into the game. She’s shooting a career best 36.2% from 3-point range and has turned herself into a solid option from deep after being a non-factor from downtown early in her WNBA career.
Courtney Vandersloot returned to action on Sunday after getting a rest day, and her ability to attack the basket opens up a world of possibilities for her teammates
When the Liberty get in the paint, they’re great. As long as they continue to move the ball and find those great shots, their offense is always a sure bet to do something special. For Vandersloot, look for her minutes to remain in the 20s as Marine Johannes continues to get key bench minutes for this club. By keeping Sloot’s minutes on the low side, it keeps her fresh while also empowering MJ and the Liberty bench.
From the Vault
It’s the MLB trade deadline, and the New York Mets are getting on my nerves again. Once upon a time, they made one of the best trade deadline acquisitions of all time as it led them to the World Series. Those were the good ole days
More reading: Silver Screen and Roll, Swish Appeal, The Strickland, The Local W, New York Daily News, The Athletic. Fansided, Just Women’s Sports, SI All Knicks, Winsidr, Her Hoop Stats, CBS Sports, and The Next