Liberty Take On Defending Champs
New York Liberty vs. Minnesota Lynx
Saturday, May 24
Watch on WNBA LiveAccess
The Liberty (1-1) fell to the Chicago Sky, 79-65, in their home opener on May 17th. Tina Charles looked more comfortable in her second game with New York, leading the way with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Cappie Pondexter added 14 points and Essence Carson chipped in 13 points and 6 rebounds. Anna Cruz continues to be a pleasant surprise at point guard for the Liberty getting the start and notching 6 assists in the game. Despite bright spots, the Liberty had trouble containing last season's rookie of the year, Elena Delle Donne, who dropped 23 points.
In practice this week, Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer commented on the team's first two games, "we have work to do". "We're working on the timing of the offense. We haven't had many practices with our big (name) players," he said. "Defensively we have to work on defensive rebounding and boxing out. Offensively we must improve our timing and understanding".
The Minnesota Lynx (2-0) come off of a 90-87 overtime win versus the Connecticut Sun on May 17th. They are playing without Rebekkah Brunson, Monica Wright and Devereaux Peters, all missing time due to injury. However, they still have Maya Moore. The All-Star guard notched back-to-back 30-plus point games to open the season. Against Connecticut Moore tallied 33 points, 12 rebounds and 5 steals. Seimone Augustus added 18 points including the basket to send the game to overtime. Lindsay Whalen added 17 points, 10 of those coming in overtime.
Keys To The Game:
- Take away Maya Moore's easy points: she's done a good job of getting to the free throw line, finding open threes in transition and picking off steals for easy runout lay ups.
- Fine tune defensive responsibilities and attack the glass. The Liberty have more scoring options this season with the addition of Tina Charles, however, Bill Laimbeer admits they may still have less scoring power than some other teams. Therefore, the Liberty will have to "go out and defend", says Laimbeer.