We all know what happened the LAST time the Liberty played the Sun. Hellfire. Brimstone. Thousands of wailing children. Spilled beer. That awful-ass "Clap and Stand up 'til we Score" bullshit. But that was then. This is now. A new game. A new day. A new town. A New... New York. Let's get it on.
Now 1-2, the Liberty's season is shaping up to be one of mediocrity. Inconsistency has plagued the ladies from the start, with fantastic play showing at certain points in the game (usually the 2nd or 3rd quarters), mitigated by awful showings in the first and last ten minutes of a game. But that's not what's keeping the Libs down entirely. Other factors have come into play as well.
Word is that McCarville's hand injury is doing more than just hampering her play. If that's the case, then we're going to need a lot more from the rest of the gals. There is no single leader on the Libs; they play a tough team game that, when working properly, allows various lassies to come in and play their best when others falter. Dutch, Thor, Moore, Muffin, Jackson... they can all play the game. Patty has to keep that in mind when matching up against the Sun.
Turnovers have become a MAJOR problem for New York, as well. Chaos reigns when the opposing team goes on a run, with every gal trying to do everything they can to win. Coyle should use her timeouts liberally should New York go into some sort of slide. The Liberty won't win a game of flip-flops, as shown in their home opener. Now is the time to concentrate and capitalize on Connecticut's shortcomings.
The Sun are coming off of the worse loss in team history, a 75-46 atom-smasher of a game in front of their hometown fans. Some of the players are reeling from the event, and Coach Mike Thibault is looking for leaders to take the charge and bring the team back from the brink.
Still, despite that awful outing, the Sun are still fifth in the league in PPG (77.5), while the Libs are second-to-last, ahead of only the pitiful Mystics. They are in the middle of the pack of almost every other offensive category, except one; assists, which they lead the entire WNBA in, with over 20 per game.
What's that mean? They like to pass and are more patient than a lot of other teams, waiting for the right moment to strike. They're not particularly dangerous on the outside, but then again, just leaving them there won't limit their game either.
If the Libs are to win this game, they are going to need more than a solid effort from their defense. Connecticut is a tall team, but not overly so; they don't intimidate down low, but they manage to grab choice rebounds and set things back in motion immediately. So, New York is going to have to come up big underneath the net, while also not making stupid, wasteful shots that go directly into the Sun's hands.
Other than that, the usual keys apply. Starters. Bench. Team play. Leadership. You know the drill. This is going to be a tough game, but the Libs can take the Sun, especially now, if they open up first and keep Connecticut reeling. Courage and confidence will push the Belles out ahead for good, while a lack of discipline and sloppy play will reawaken the sleeping giants.
- Rebounds. The Sun lead the East. The Liberty are at the bottom of the league. Rectification is in order.
- Steals. The Sun don't play that aggressively. The Liberty might play that kind of game TOO much. If the Libs are to win, they're going to have to balance out their desperation with their judgment.
- The Mohegan Sun. Connecticut's barn has not been kind to the Libs recently. The Belles, ala Hoosiers, should measure the court and recognize that it's the same size as the one at MSG.
Essence Carson has some words to say about her first WNBA road trip. Find it here.
Lynx 75, Sky 69
The Fever managed to overcome some sloppy second-half play to come back and take it from the Los Angeles Parkers in double overtime. Katie Douglas led the way, scoring 25 points (albeit with a few bad passes thrown in as well), while the Fever D held Candace Parker to 16. Both teams shot horribly from beyond the arc, but give credit where credit is due; they did actually TRY to shoot the ball.
The Sky managed to shoot well from the 3, steal balls, and limited their own fouls while taking advantage of Minnesota's roughshod play. Still, it wasn't enough, as the 2nd quarter stood as the only time when Chicago significantly outplayed their opponents. Seimone Augustus led the Lynx with 19 points, while the bench of the Lynx contributed solid shots and good rebound control (Of note: Charde Houston, with 15 pts. and 6 rbs.). Sylvia Fowles (16 pts) and Candice Dupree (12 pts) each scored in the double-digits for the Sky, but beyond that? A whole lot of small numbers.
San Antonio @ Seattle
Houston is off to another horrendous start, losing their first 3 games by fairly close margins. Their defensive stats aren't awful, but they can't seem to get over the hump to win a game If they are going to stop this streak quickly, Sacramento might be the sacrificial lamb. The Monarchs are also off to a poor opening (1-3), while their touted defense has seen more holes shot through it than a redneck's barn wall. Sacramento is at home, however, and they have shown way more promise than the Comets at this point. Monarchs by 5.
The Silver Stars (got the name right this time) have put together two strong wins after dropping their opener. But that mini-streak might end as they travel to the Emerald City to face off against the surging Storm. Seattle dropped their first game of the season a week ago (in San Antonio), but bad officiating and a weak showing from the bench can be blamed for that. It's going to be a close game, but Seattle has more to lose; they need to establish that they can win at home and win consistently so that they don't wind up like last year's roller coaster of mystique and ineptitude. Storm by 6.
All right. I'm off to Brighton Beach. Screw Coney Island: no fat men in their underwear for me today. Keep it real, folks.
See ya, Space Cowboy...