New York Liberty still looking for offensive consistency

New York Liberty wing Alex Montgomery might turn out to be a key to the team's success this season. - Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

After beating the Washington Mystics convincingly on Sunday, the New York Liberty fell behind by 17 points before falling to the Tulsa Shock yesterday; after seemingly making productive changes, the Liberty still have problems to address.

NEW YORK CITY - A rundown of the individual stats from the New York Liberty's 81-64 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.

Taking a different look, we break down the efficiency of all players logging ten or more minutes.

NY Liberty

Efficiency

Pondexter

23

Cruz

21

Montgomery

17

Charles

14

Carson

9

Pierson

8

Milton-Jones

5

Rodgers

3

McKinney

1

Jeffery

-3

Washington Mystics

Efficiency

Lawson

17

Dolson

11

Vaughn

8

Meesseman

7

Latta

5

Milovanoivic

3

Currie

1

Ruffin-Pratt

0

Hartley

0

The excellent defensive work of the Liberty was also be reflected in the Mystics having just two players - Kara Lawson and Stefanie Dolson - hit double figures in efficiency.

Efficiency penalizes guards. So we said a few weeks ago. In the case of the Liberty their backcourt pair thrived. Cappie Pondexter buried 10 of 11 shots. Anna Cruz had a strong all around contest with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists weighed against just 1 turnover. Plus the only Liberty blocked shot. In those two scenarios, the backcourt was responsible for some strong showings in the efficiency category.

Alex Montgomery turned in a good all around showing with a 17 efficiency. Taking the advice of coach Bill Laimbeer, Montgomery is getting more aggressive on the offensive end. Montgomery shot 4-for-7 and grabbed 7 boards. One thing never lacking was her ability to play hard and give a solid effort each night out.

Give Laimbeer credit: Rather than come in with a system and force players into it, he is willing to ‘tweak' the offense and make changes to put his team in the best position to be successful. Too many coaches on all levels are ironclad and unwilling to relent in their approach. Laimbeer has been flexible to make changes and the results were quite impressive on Sunday.

Still work to do: After the impressive showing on Sunday, the New York sputtered in Tulsa yesterday taking a 72-57 loss to the Shock. Looking at the team Four Factors statistics for the past two games reveals the team's heavy reliance on the three point shot.

eFg%

Tov%

Oreb%

Fta/Fga

NYL vs. Was

54.03%

15.51%

32.35%

32.26%

NYL at Tul

36.15%

12.19%

28.57%

24.62%

2014 NYL

46.53%

18.01%

25.75%

24.32%

The Liberty came into yesterday's game in Tulsa with a 43.2% 3-point percentage, leading the league by a significant (6%) margin. That impressive shooting from long-range masks below average shooting from inside the arc, where they were shooting just 42.1% entering yesterday's game.

The Liberty's heavy reliance on making threes makes Montgomery's aggressiveness even more important: Montgomery is shooting 54.5% from the 3-point line (6-for-11) this season, but didn't take a shot against the Shock yesterday. When they can't make those threes, they're struggling to generate points otherwise.

Home and road effects aside, the Liberty have to figure out how to get more consistent scoring.

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