The Liberty had both a rough start and finish to the first half. In the middle, a stretch where they went 6-4 from June 3 to July 6, they looked like a team that could compete for a playoff spot in the East.
New York did not have any Olympians competing in London, so this Olympic break could pay dividends for the team as it had a chance to recover from some nagging injuries and also work on some things that needed improving.
"Well, our number one goal is to get healthy," Liberty coach John Whisenant told NewYorkLiberty.com. "We want to come back from break healthy and well conditioned. The first two weeks of the break we will hold individual workouts and focus on skills like shooting, dribbling, one on one defensive drills and our offense. The third week we will mix practices and days off. The final week of practice we will continue to focus on our defensive execution as a team, practice against the guys, and get ready to play games again."
The Liberty certainly had a practice plan in place over the break in order to best utilize their time off and that plan even included playing against some NBA players. New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith actually practiced with the team over the break.
Practice aside, this team will continue to revolve around Cappie Pondexter. She is leading the team in points (20.0) and assists (4.1) and the Liberty will only go as far as Pondexter takes them.
Pierson, due to a nagging right leg injury, played in only 10 of New York's 18 games in the first half, averaging only 20.1 minutes per game, down from 28.6 from last year. When she got substantial minutes, however, she was more productive, scoring in double figures every game where she received more than 20 minutes on the floor.
If Pierson used the Olympic break to rest her leg and come back healthy, she will be another scoring weapon that can take some pressure off of Pondexter. If the injury persists, the Liberty will be fighting an uphill battle.
– Anthony Oliva, WNBA.com