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New York Liberty look for improvements on offense after blowout loss to Minnesota Lynx

The New York Liberty face the Indiana Fever tonight looking to find their rhythm on offense after a blowout loss to the Minnesota Lynx on Tuesday.

NEWARK, NJ - The Minnesota Lynx handily defeated the New York Liberty 73-47 at the Prudential Center on Tuesday. The basic and 'tell tale' numbers follow:

Minnesota

NY Liberty

Possessions

81

83

Offensive Efficiency

90

57

eFG

48

26

FT Rate

15

25

OREB Pct

22

20

Turnover Rate

19

15

New York coach Bill Laimbeer said his team's defense was not the problem. He was right as there is many a case you can hold an opponent to a 90 efficiency and exit with a W. Unfortunately, for the Liberty, that does not happen if you post a high school JV-like 57.

Field goal percentage with the Liberty going 2 of 13 (15%) was a factor. The turnover rate was one of the best of the season. Offensive rebounding was almost even and the Liberty got to the line. Regardless of the other factors, the poor shooting was enough. Sometimes the analysis, over analysis and breakdown of sets clouds the picture - you must put the ball in the basket! Case closed.

You are on the line get selfish: Legendary basketball coach Pete Carill often said the free throw line is the only place a player is encouraged to get selfish. The Liberty all too generous.

As noted in a previous column, the free throw shooting was poor. New York went 9 of 18 for 50%. Now those nine misses woulld not have made a huge difference but it shows the lapses in concentration trhat carried over into other areas.

The double figure scorers and efficiency (NBA/WNBA formula):

Player Points EFF
Lindsay Whalen, Minn 18 22
Cappie Pondexter, NY
13 6
Plenette Pierson, NY
12 7
Maya Moore, Minn
11 15
Monica Wright, Minn
10 7

Whalen was excellent shooting 9 of 11, adding 6 boards and guilty of just two turnovers. Pondexter, zero turnovers but the efficiency was hit with 5 of 17 shooting. Cappie did knock down the Liberty's only two treys. For Moore, 10 (game leading boards) helped the EFF cause. Pierson suffered through a 5 of 15 night from the field.

Right from the Start:

Lynx got out of the gate to a 7-0 lead and never looked back. At the quarter, Minnesota led 18-9. The possession numbers:

Team POSS Off. Efficiency

Minn 21 86

NY 21 43

Instantly, out of the gate, Minnesota held the Liberty to an extremely low 43 efficiency. From that point, they never looked back and were in complete command.

Minnesota improved to 21-7, the Liberty fell to 11-17.

Notes:

  • Great to discuss the MAAC with Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve. She starred at LaSalle inb the late Eighties. We joke how the younger fans need instruction on how the Exploers were in the MAAC back then, and a strong men's and women's power. Reeve rattles off the names of coaches like Dianne Nolan at Fairfield, Mike Granelli of St. Peter's and Bill Gibbons of Holy Cross (also in the MAAC then) with a sense of history and admiration. "Just great days," she says with a smile. Agreed.
  • Former Detriot Piston 'Bad Boy" Rick Mahorn was on hand. As was former Knick Allan Houston. In attendance as well was a player yours truly officiated in her grade school and high school days. Lauren Mincy, a University of Maryland senior, took in the action. Mincy starred at St. Joe;s (East Orange, NJ) grade school and prep power University High School of Newark. Mincy has hopes for a big senior year at College Park.