Liberty Making Playoff Push

NEWARK, NJ -- With the playoffs fast approaching, it’s crunch time. The New York Liberty are battling with the Indiana Fever for the final spot in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

For Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter, there is no other option.

"The season isn’t over, there’s still a chance that we can make the playoffs and go on this big run,” said the All-Star point guard who is averaging a team-high 17.7 points and four assists per game this season. “I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve not made the playoffs, so for me it’s in the back of my head and just something that is a goal of mine."

The Liberty had a slow start to the season. Pondexter arrived late to training camp after finishing off her commitment in Turkey, which put her and the team behind the eight-ball with regards to picking up the nuances of new Head Coach Bill Laimbeer’s system. It also didn’t help when guard/forward Essence Carson, who did all of the little things needed to win games, suffered a season-ending injury in early June. Add in new players, rookies and roles changing, and the Liberty has struggled in Laimbeer’s first year on the job.

"A lot of people don’t realize that everything is new for everybody, we have a new system, roles have changed for a lot of people and we have to rely on a lot of young players, that have little playing experience that are still learning the WNBA game, still learning to be a professional athlete, so it’s been an up and down process but I think we’re all growing right now and it’s something to remain positive about and continue to push forward," Pondexter said.

Even in the current situation, the team is fighting through it.

"We’re actually more determined right now than we have been most of the season," Laimbeer said before the game against the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday night. "Maybe it’s because we have to win."

While determined to make the playoffs this year, Laimbeer is still focusing on the future.

"We are trying to figure out who we are, what we have, and trying to make progress. So it’s a work in progress this year…I’ve tried to identify certain things, put players in positions that they aren’t really used to, with the future in mind. Nothing was going to happen overnight…so I’m trying to figure out what is best for next year, as well as, make the playoffs."

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