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Essence Carson has emerged as another weapon for the Liberty.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

Season Outlook

The Liberty had both a rough start and finish to the first half. In the middle, a stretch where they went 6-4 from June 3 to July 6, they looked like a team that could compete for a playoff spot in the East.

New York did not have any Olympians competing in London, so this Olympic break could pay dividends for the team as it had a chance to recover from some nagging injuries and also work on some things that needed improving.

"Well, our number one goal is to get healthy," Liberty coach John Whisenant told "We want to come back from break healthy and well conditioned. The first two weeks of the break we will hold individual workouts and focus on skills like shooting, dribbling, one on one defensive drills and our offense. The third week we will mix practices and days off. The final week of practice we will continue to focus on our defensive execution as a team, practice against the guys, and get ready to play games again."

The Liberty certainly had a practice plan in place over the break in order to best utilize their time off and that plan even included playing against some NBA players. New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith actually practiced with the team over the break.

Practice aside, this team will continue to revolve around Cappie Pondexter. She is leading the team in points (20.0) and assists (4.1) and the Liberty will only go as far as Pondexter takes them.

Player to Watch

The Liberty need contributions from everyone in order to take some of the burden off Cappie Pondexter if they hope to get back into playoff positioning. Keeping with this theme, Plenette Pierson's health will be something that will be watched closely.

Pierson, due to a nagging right leg injury, played in only 10 of New York's 18 games in the first half, averaging only 20.1 minutes per game, down from 28.6 from last year. When she got substantial minutes, however, she was more productive, scoring in double figures every game where she received more than 20 minutes on the floor.

If Pierson used the Olympic break to rest her leg and come back healthy, she will be another scoring weapon that can take some pressure off of Pondexter. If the injury persists, the Liberty will be fighting an uphill battle.

Anthony Oliva,

2nd Half Opener

Aug. 16 vs Connecticut, 7 p.m. ET - Tickets

2012 Leaders

PPGCappie Ponderxter20.0
RPGKia Vaughn5.7
APGCappie Ponderxter4.1
SPGLeilani Mitchell1.3
BPGKia Vaughn1.0

2012 Team Stats

Team Record 6-12
Points Scored 71.1 (10th)
Points Allowed 79.4 (10th)
Field-Goal Percentage.411 (10th)
Opponents� FG% .436 (10th)

Advanced Stat

In nine of New York's last 13 games, Cappie Pondexter has scored over 20 points, while jumping up to second in the league in points per 40 minutes (23.4).