Road Trip: Part I

The Liberty departs from the bright lights of the Big Apple this weekend to tip off the longest road trip of the season - an arduous five game swing.

In this cross-country trip, the team will touch down in Atlanta, Detroit, Sacramento, Seattle and Los Angeles to make for the third all-time five-game road haul in franchise history. In 1998, New York won three of those five games. In 2008, the Liberty faired 2-3.

Seattle is the only team in this five-game stretch that New York has not seen this summer. The Liberty owns the season series advantage in two match-ups, Atlanta and Detroit, and is trailing in the other two, Sacramento and Los Angeles.

Below, takes a look at the first leg of the trip against two Eastern Conference teams.

Game No. 1
Opponent: Atlanta Dream
Date: Saturday, August 1
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m.
Season Series: 3-0

The Liberty enters the deep South in search of a second consecutive series sweep of the Atlanta Dream. In back-to-back weekends, New York hosted Atlanta and won in rather come-from-behind dramatic fashion. The most recent meeting on July 19th at The Garden, Shameka Christon sunk the game-winning three-pointer en route to her career-high 32 points. In the process of accomplishing that career-high, she also notched her 2,000th career point to become just the fourth Liberty player to do so.

Get on the glass. In all three match ups, the Libs were outrebounded by the Dream, led by one of the league's top rebounders in Erika DeSouza. New York needs a true team effort to out muscle Atlanta in the paint on both ends of the floor.

IN PURSUIT OF PERFECTION: With a win, the Liberty would remain perfect (7-0) against the Dream in the all-time regular season series.

Game No. 2
Opponent: Detroit Shock
Date: Tuesday, August 4
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m.
Season Series: 1-0

The second game will lead the Libs to Motown to face off against its biggest Conference foe, the defending champion Detroit Shock at The Palace. The team will also make its national TV debut of the summer. New York is 22-18 all-time when playing on the road on ESPN's airwaves. The first meeting in this three-game season series resulted in a Liberty victory (64-80) at MSG.

AREA OF IMPROVEMENT: Consistency. A nasty trend has plagued the team all season long by letting the opponents chip away at the Liberty's lead. New York led by 14 points at halftime, but allowed Detroit to get within six points in the next period. This time around, the team needs to play solid defense to protect whatever lead it may mount in the game.

SCORING SURGE: The Liberty saw four of it starters post in double figures in the first meeting, while the Shock had just two starters in double digits. As a team, New York knocked down a season-high 12 three-pointers. It was just one trey shy of tying the franchise high previously set by the 2007 squad. Loree Moore tied a personal career-high on her five-of-eight shooting in that game.

Compiled by Elissa Dolacky & Casey Riley

Stay tuned for the second half preview of the season's longest road trip. In the meantime, score your tickets for the Liberty's return from the road on Friday, August 14th against Sylvia Fowles and the Chicago Sky. Click here to purchase, stop by the Madison Square Garden Box Office or call 877-WNBA-TIX.