Liberty Host Fever In Crucial Game

Ros Gold-Onwude

As the Liberty fight for a playoff berth they host the Indiana Fever in a crucial game on Friday, August 30th, at 7:30pm ET at the Prudential Center. The game will be televised on NBATV and MSG+.

The Liberty (11-17) find themselves in fifth place in Eastern Conference standings. Because the Washington Mystics were able to defeat the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday, August 28th, the race for the fourth and final playoff seed in the East will likely come down to the New York Liberty and Indiana Fever. Friday’s game has major implications for the possibility of post season play for both teams.

The Liberty come off of a 73-47 loss at home to the Minnesota Lynx on August 27th. Cappie Pondexter looked noticeably hobbled by the same bruised heel injury. Pondexter finished the game with 13 points and Plenette Pierson was the next highest scorer for the Liberty with 12 points. New York had an unfortunate shooting night only managing 25% shooting from the field, 15% from three, and 50% from the charity stripe.

The Indiana Fever (12-15) also come off of a loss to the Minnesota Lynx, 84-77, on August 14th, in Minnesota. Tamika Catchings led the Fever with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Shavonte Zellous added 19 points in the loss. The Fever could not overcome Minnesota’s hot shooting of 57% from the field, 62% from three, and 35 points from Maya Moore.

The Liberty and Fever last matched up on July 23rd in Indiana where the Liberty were victorious, 77-72. New York exploded in the fourth quarter outscoring the Fever 29-19 in the final period. Cappie Pondexter poured in 24 points while Plenette Pierson pumped out 14 points, 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Alex Montgomery added 11 points and 11 rebounds. The Liberty held the Fever to 33% shooting from the field and 22% shooting from three.

Keys To The Game:

Team Defense

Against Minnesota the Liberty looked a step behind on defense. The Lynx were able to exploit late or missed defensive rotations by the Liberty and convert New York’s mistakes into points. Often when a defense is breaking down there is a need for communication to keep all players on the same page. The Liberty need to play better team defense and be able to rely on each other.

Fire!

If the Liberty are serious about an end-season playoff push they have to bring the fire, passion, focus and a sense of urgency. Each quarter has to be intense with multiple players contributing. The Liberty need emotional and vocal leadership.

Where to watch: The game will be televised on MSG+ and NBATV and is also available on WNBA Live Access.