Like the Sacramento Monarchs in the West, the Connecticut Sun return to the Conference Finals, where they stumbled last year. However, without the Shock in their way this year, the Sun instead will face another familiar foe, the New York Liberty. These two teams are very familiar with each other, splitting the season series at two games apiece. Connecticut and New York also did not play each other until late July, and played their four games against each other in a span of seven or eight games.

When the Sun play in New York's Madison Square Garden in Game One, it will be their first trip this season. Both of New York's home games took place at Radio City Music Hall, where the Liberty temporarily set up shop during the Republican National Convention. Taj-McWilliams-Franklin, Nykesha Sales and Lindsay Whalen played with the WNBA All-Stars in The Game at Radio City on August 5th. Liberty guard Becky Hammon, who led the Liberty in scoring this season, also played on that team. We will soon learn what happens when stars collide...

2004 Regular Season: Connecticut Sun 2 - New York Liberty 2
Some fast facts about the Sun-Liberty matchup:

Sales
If New York wants to be successful in this series, they might want to consider not fouling Sun guard Lindsay Whalen, who went 28-30 from the line against the Mystics.
Whalen isn't the only free throw shooting wiz in this series. New York's Elena Baranova's 95.0% from the charity stripe led the WNBA in 2004.
Whalen's 18 points per game in the first round is tops among remaining players, as is the increased ppg differential from the regular season to the postseason. .
The Liberty are no strangers to the Eastern Conference Finals. They have 4 WNBA Finals appearances; 5 Eastern Conference Finals appearances (including this year); and 3 EC championships (99, 00, 02).

Baranova

July 31, 2004: Liberty 80, Sun 66 | Box score

Sun leaders: Nykesha Sales (18 pts., 3 reb.), Taj McWilliams-Franklin (15 pts., 7 reb.)
Liberty leaders: Becky Hammon (24 pts., 6 asst.), Elena Baranova (9 pts., 13 reb.)

Sept. 3, 2004: Sun 61, Liberty 43 | Box score
Sun leaders: Katie Douglas (13 pts., 4 asst.), Taj McWilliams-Franklin (11 pts., 6 reb.)
Liberty leaders: Elena Baranova (9 pts., 9 reb.)

Sept. 10, 2004: Sun 77, Liberty 66 | Box score
Sun leaders: Nykesha Sales (19 pts., 6 reb.), Lindsay Whalen (21 pts., 2 asst.)
Liberty leaders: Becky Hammon (17 pts., 4 asst.), Elena Baranova (10 pts., 9 reb.)

Sept. 17, 2004: Liberty 69, Sun 66 | Box score
Sun leaders: Lindsay Whalen (16 pts., 3 asst.), Taj McWilliams-Franklin (14 pts., 6 reb.)
Liberty leaders: Crystal Robinson (24 pts., 4 asst.), Becky Hammon (9 pts., 8 reb.)