Liberty 71, Lynx 66
And thus, the Liberty awoke from their seven game slumber and smote the not-so-mighty Lynx with a strong defensive game and a spreading of the ball not seen since the early days of yore.
Janel McCarville had 14 points, Loree Moore had seven rebounds, and Tiffany Jackson kicked her sleeping pills to the curb and scored nine points in twenty minutes. The killer of the night was Kraayeveld, who led the Libs with 16 points and had a MUCH stronger defensive night.
Major props to the Libs defense. The Lynx aren't exactly the early 90's Chicago Bulls, but the Liberty DID contain Seimone Augustus to 17 points...
...while keeping three reservists off the board entirely. Props to Patty for bringing Davenport in. While the Middle-Man didn't have a good offensive night (only 1 point), she did do good work on defense, posting three rebounds and controlling the lane nicely.
The Libs also shot over 40% in the field (although their 3-pointers continue to careen haphazardly), while letting the Lynx ALMOST come back into the game, but for the first time in a long time, they held off their advance and closed the door.
- First game with over 9K in a while...
- McCarville is a monster of mythic proportions. If she were playing on Detroit, she'd be a Goddess.
- Martina in the game for a little over a minute. Dammit.
- The Lynx never gave up. Kudos.
11-15. Not the best record in the world, but better than 10-16. We're also only half a game behind Chicago. If we win tonight, and Chicago loses, we'll be ahead and back in fourth.
The Liberty try to exorcise the Mystics and make sure that they don't fall back into last place.
Truthfully, the Mystics aren't that bad, but they don't make the most of their opportunities, and that sinks them in most games. Since they're horrendous start, they've actually been mediocre (on par with the Sky)...
Alana Beard is leading the team, averaging 18 points a game, with four other players posting double-digit point averages. Three players take over 6 rebounds per game, and their shooting percentage ain't bad either. Put that all together with a sub-.500 record, and what does that spell? Sing along, class...
It's not like the Liberty are terribly better, but they can shine like a diamond when everything is clicking.
The Liberty will have to step up again. Not everyone is going to be a push-over like the Lynx. They're going to need to get an early lead, squeeze the Mystics tight, and hold the line near the end of the game. No more of this letting them get back in the game bullshit.
Patty, contain the ladies and make 'em play smart. Ladies? You all have jobs and you know that, despite playing last night, you are way more than capable of handling the Mystics. Keep it real, and keep it coming down hard.
KEYS TO A NEW YORK VICTORY
- Play a strong defense. If the Mystics are stymied getting on the board, there defense won't be able to prop them up.
- Let players take outside shots. The Mystics play big around the basket, and it'll be up to our tallest to take that advantage away from them. Guards are going to have to put the ball in the air with quality shots.
- Move fast. The Mystics can't handle a lot of pressure. Break their back and keep them down.
New York vs. Washington
MSG on MSG
Bring along your Bibles and help the Libs out.
AROUND THE LEAGUE
Mercury 84, Silver Stars 79
San Antonio held control through the first half (they were up by 7 at the break), but Phoenix came out with a fire lit under them and stole the game away. Diana Taurasi had 24 points, while Pondexter (18) and Taylor (9 points, 8 rebounds) showed that the triumverate never sleeps.
LA @ Houston
Detroit @ Chicago
Seattle @ Sacramento
Los Angeles managed to best New York, but Houston is definitely playing better than the Liberty right now. Add to this that the Comets are a decent home team and that the Sparks are horrendous on the road and you have a recipe for disaster.
Comets by 7.
Chicago is all over the map. They win one against Sacramento, then lose to Houston, then blah ba blah ba blah. Detroit, on the other hand, has been rampaging across all fronts and is making it hard to discount them as favorites for the title. Expect them to whallop a fragmented Chicago. Detroit by 8.
Didn't we just play this game? Oh, that's right. We did. And Sacramento won that game. On the road. Meaning that Seattle will win here.
I still think that Seattle can pull it off and that Sacramento hasn't had the goods since they started dropping the standings. They could still prove me wrong, however.
Storm by 5.
Indiana @ Connecticut
LA @ San Antonio
Houston @ Minnesota
Phoenix @ Seattle
No jokes. Tired. Gotta get through this.
Indiana's a mess and Connecticut's hot. LA is still horrible, and San Antonio had a blip but is ready for a comeback. Minnesota is the worst team in the league and Houston full of youth and vigor. Seattle is good, but they don't match up well against Phoenix. Any questions?
This is Washington's huge chance to catch up with Chicago. If they want to have any semblence of hope over the next few weeks, they are going to have to hold off a sub-par Chicago team at home. Chicago is wiley, though, and are looking to solidify their lead. I will say that if Chicago loses to Detroit, they are going to come back and win this game. But if they beat Detroit, they are going to come in overconfident against the Mystics. Of course, if the Mystics win... or lose... or...
For the sake of ease, I will pick Washington, but mark my words...
Mystics by 5.
Sacramento is a solid team that is chipping a bit, while Indiana has completely fallen apart. Sure, they have won a game, but it was against Washington and they only managed 66 points. If that's the best they can do against the worst team in the East, what do they expect to accomplish against a defense-first team that is jockeying for playoff position? Catchings better hurry back, because there might not be a post-season run for them if she doesn't. Monarchs by 6.
I'll try to update tomorrow to cover the game, but I can't make any promises. Have a good weekend, all!
See ya, Space Cowboy...