Good days. The New York Liberty closed out their six game road trip in style with a spectacular win over the Minnesota Lynx. The team has won three straight games and are coming together at the right time. As we enter into the final stretch of the regular season, the Liberty are looking to stack more good days together before they begin their playoff journey.
The opponent tonight is looking to shore things up before their playoff journey. The Las Vegas Aces are in town after losing a 78-62 rock fight against the Washington Mystics on Saturday night in DC. Even with the loss, Vegas is still 30-5 on the season. Sheesh!
Where to follow the game
ESPN2 is the place to be. Tip after7:00 p.m. ET.
Marine Johannes missed Saturday’s game with a left foot injury. Sandy Brondello said in pregame that it was precautionary and that she’d be good to go for this contest. She’s currently listed as questionable.
Candace Parker remains out as she recovers from foot surgery. Riquna Williams is not with the team due to her recent arrest.
Seasons are long, and the miles start to pile up after a while. Becky Hammon alluded to that in postgame following Saturday night’s game
Becky Hammon says she pulled the starters with roughly 3 minutes to go (12-point game at the time) bc her team didn’t have any legs.— Nekias (Nuh-KY-us) Duncan (@NekiasNBA) August 27, 2023
“We weren’t winning that game … honestly, this is was a game I considered resting people because we’re just tired.”
Question from @ANYamashita
The Aces schedule has been jam-packed in recent weeks, and with bigger fish to fry, we’ll see how the coaching staff manages the roster as we head into September. Do they turn to the bench more? We’ll see.
When the Liberty have beaten the Aces, they’ve beaten them by dominating the boards. That dominance starts with Jonquel Jones, who was Commissioner’s Cup MVP and was a force on both sides of the ball. In the last meeting, JJ got into first half foul trouble that limited her effectiveness. The Liberty center has led the league in rebounding since the All Star break and her ability to switch everything allows the Liberty defense to turn up a few notches. The Aces like to go small with Alysha Clark, but we’ll see how they come up with a way to stop JJ.
This game is gonna be on ESPN2, and for the league, having a marquee game on a channel everyone gets is critically important. I asked A’ja Wilson about it earlier this month and she told me:
“I’ve always said, ‘If you can see her, you can be her,’ and you can’t see us if we’re through all these different kind of channels because we’re human and we like things like *that.* So, I think this is huge for us and obviously it’s gonna be a good game, but this matters.”
That’s what’s up.
If the Aces are to win this game, they’re going to need a big outing from Kelsey Plum. KP struggled in the two losses against the Liberty as Sabrina Ionescu was able to use her size to get where she wanted to go. For Plum, the Aces will need her to stay with Ionescu enough to make things tough on her. On the other side, the Aces will need
We are due for another fun guard battle tonight. Chelsea Gray and Betnijah Laney have both been essential to their team’s success. Gray keeps the offense humming and is a clutch time MONSTER when it’s that time late. Laney is the Liberty’s best perimeter defender and hounded Gray full court across these recent contests. If Laney is able to slow Gray down enough, it’ll help the Liberty control the pace of this one and run against this exhausted Aces ballclub.
Player to watch: A’ja Wilson
When you tie the league’s single game scoring record, that’s a pretty strong statement. Wilson is one of the favorites to win the MVP, and added one more plank to her M’VP case when she demolished the Atlanta Dream to the tune of 53 points. Wilson has powered the Aces attack on both sides of the ball and has been off to a historic start to her WNBA career. Without Candace Parker to give support in the frontcourt, a lot more has fallen onto Wilson’s shoulders. The Liberty in particular threw a swarm of defenders at her in the matchups this month, and we’ll see how Sandy Brondello and friends defend her tonight.
It’s a birthday celebration! Breanna Stewart celebrated her special day on Sunday and had a wonderful game the night before as she cut up he Lynx in 26 minutes. Stewart has been magnificent and a big time showing will help the Stew York City for MVP campaign. We’ll also see how the Liberty work to get her some easier shots against this Aces defense. Stewart hasn’t been as dominant against LV, and our own Lucas Kaplan wrote about that recently:
A player of Stewie’s caliber doesn’t shoot a ghastly 7-of-31 simply because she’s having two off-nights, though that was certainly part of it. Early in each game, and specifically in the Cup, New York’s offense was a tad too predictable. Facing an Aces defense that leans heavily into switching, even against the best scorers in the league, the Liberty were all too happy to abandon their offensive flow and dump the ball into Stewie as soon as she saw a favorable matchup.
From the Vault
On Saturday, it was announced that former “The Price is Right” hot Bob Barker passed away at the age of 99. With
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