Liberty suffered a tough road loss to Chicago Sky

Punch, counter punch, punch, counter punch, then final punch. Basketball is a lot like boxing in that it’s a back-and-forth affair for much of the night before a big swing finally decides. In the end, you hope to be the one to deliver the final blow to your opponent.

Friday night, New York Liberty made a visit to the Midwest to face the Chicago Sky. The team had a chance to win late, but some familiar fouls did it again as Sky came out with a brave 89-81 victory.

when we were wire With Michaela Onen a few days ago, she noted that Sky’s ability to smash offensive boards helped them get back into the game. With Liberty clinging to a one-point lead late Friday, they forced the Sky to make two moves. However, when you give the teams two second and third chances, sooner or later they will pay you for it…

As it happens, Liberty still had a great chance of winning this one. However, they didn’t help the cause by committing three consecutive transformations along the sprawl. At night, the Liberty coughed 18 times, six of which came in the fourth quarter. Sandy Brundillo called these transitions “deflate,” and she was 100 percent right. For most of the season, Liberty has been volatile with the best teams in North America WNBA.

Marine Johannes returned to the groove after some recent struggles. She had 13 points, five assists, and only one spin in 28 minutes tonight as she provided a spark off the bench. She gave the team another Dynamic Surrounding option to go along with Sabrina Ionescu. Sky threw a lot of tricky hedges into Sab to get the ball out of her hands, and it’s crucial to get Johannes off the bench to provide extra help and organize the attack. She and Steve Dolson have developed great friendship and chemistry as teammates, and it shows on the field.

This takes time to develop, and we hope they will develop further in the coming years.

Strategy with Sandy

Chicago Sky vs New York Liberty

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The great thing about media availability is that you hear coaches and players talk about the game, how they view it, their philosophies, etc. It is very valuable if you are a fan of the game or a writer looking to learn more about the game on a deeper level. Jackie Powell From The Next Sandy Brondello asked in pre-game if speed was so important, and that’s what she told us

“You don’t want to play slow, so speed is important to get easy baskets and chances, when you get a recovery and you can run, and you have athletes so you can skip ahead. [Courtney Vandersloot and the Chicago Sky] Run a lot because Slooty passes it to [Kahleah] Copper, so that’s a big turnaround for them. They had Candice Parker as a point forward which created her passing ability as well. [Pace] Important but doesn’t matter in the overall picture because it depends on execution on half the court as well. We were trying to emphasize that but at the same time, we push him to put pressure on the defense but at the same time, he flows into the attack. It still takes good shots because the faster you go, you’ll probably speed up transitions, so it’s a good balance here. There are areas we can push. We try to skip mistakes, there are teams that we try to push forward. But it depends on the team we play. Sometimes we want to slow down the game and not get into a road race with them like [the Las Vegas Aces] Because when you do, it won’t be a good night.”

I always appreciate the time coaches and players take to provide such in-depth answers.

Finding the rhythm

New York Liberty vs Chicago Sky

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Losing to Rebecca Allen for a month to a concussion was one of the biggest turning points of Liberty’s season. Allen was the best outside defender last season and had some good plays at 20:58 tonight. Allen’s got six points, three steals, two blocks and two bouncing balls of the night, including this great block on Allie Quigley

Allen did a little bit of franchise history tonight too

In the post-match, Sandy Brundillo spoke about Allen and her return after injury:

Beck is still working on her own, and just needs to have a good lecturer on the court. I think at some points, if she has a lot of minutes in a row, she gets a little tired and that’s where it might not go well. So for her, getting a little confident at the end of the attack. She had some good drive to the basket, but I think what really helped us was her bounce, just that extra length. Defensively, she had some good stops against her [Allie] Quigley, too. She’s just trying to get back into a really good rhythm, and she’s on her way there. She just has to stay steady and she has to keep pushing.”

Allen plays a much bigger role than her height 6ft 2 and the more actors she has, the more influence she will have throughout this season. Another player could be guarding the elite players in the ocean, and Liberty will need her sports game in a major way while they fight for a breakout spot.

healthy update

2022 WNBA All-Star Game - WNBA Live Event

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In the prequel, Sandy Brundillo shared an update about Betnijah Laney. The Liberty star came out after undergoing surgery on his right knee. Sandy has noticed that she is progressing well, but it is a narrow window to integrate into the team and the pace of the game’s movement with little time to work with. Brundello praised Lani’s leadership and ability to deal with the ordeals she faced as a result of injuries. Laney is everything you could ask for in a franchise player and the team will welcome her back with open arms.

Big Mom Rings

It was a special night for Stephanie Dolson, as she and assistant coach, Olaf Lange, received the 2021 Championship rings from Heaven. Dolson hit the deciding buckets in Game 4 of the WNBA Finals against Sandy Brondello’s Phoenix Mercury team last year.

In tonight’s game, I had a solid night with 12 points, four rebounds and three assists. The great thing about Dolson is that if you move and cut to the basket, it will find you and hit you with a stride.

Liberty has made a point of getting two feet in the paint and attacking the basket more often over the past two games, and seeing Dolson Court would help with that hugely.

work through it

New York Liberty vs Chicago Sky

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Natasha Howard is the heart of this Liberty team. She is the centerpiece of defence, takes on all the tough matches, plays with the passion and energy needed to win, and is always there to raise the bar for her teammates. On the one hand, her 15-point streak, ten rebounds, three rebounds, and two blocks are great. However, she flipped it seven times tonight and led the WNBA with a turnover of 3.3 per night. Tash didn’t know she coughed it up a few times tonight, but she did talk about what she plans to do to improve that stat

Tash has held herself in charge all season, and she’ll need to slow things down a bit when attacking. A lot of her moves have come on trips when she gets on happy feet and speeds herself up. You just have to take your time, trust your superiority, and let good results happen naturally.

Next

Los Angeles Sparks vs Phoenix Mercury

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All eight matches of the season will be against the feuding teams for the sixth and eighth seed in the knockout race. Liberty returned home Sunday afternoon to play a game with the Phoenix Mercury. Tip after 2:00 PM ET.