New York City, NY — The New York Liberty had only two players average double-figures last season. However, in the team’s first outing for 2017, five players notched more than 10 points.
It may be a limited sample, but the Liberty appear to have revamped the offense.
Despite the 73 - 64 win over the San Antonio Stars, head coach Bill Laimbeer was not pleased with his teams effort.
''I hope this is the worst game we play all year. It was awful,'' Coach Laimbeer said. ''We didn't execute the things we were supposed to. We didn't box out, gave up way too many offensive rebounds. Missed free throws all over the place... Collectively top to bottom I thought this was about as worse an effort they could have put forth and I told them so in very strong language.''
Last Time Out
The New York Liberty opened the 2017 WNBA season with a victory over the San Antonio Stars at Madison Square Garden. The Liberty battled for the 73 - 64 win.
The Liberty may have won the contest, but neither the players, nor the coaches were pleased with the performance.
"It's very concerning. It's very alarming," Tina Charles said. "I mean, we've been in training camp since April 23. We know what each other can do. We've played against practice guys who are stronger and quicker. We've been able to prove it there. It's a choice, fighting through fatigue."
New York struggled with an abysmal defensive performance, which is shocking considering the Liberty is known for its defense.
San Antonio was without a few of its offensive weapons. Moriah Jefferson was out with right knee soreness, Kelsey Plum sprained her right ankle in practice and Kayla McBride has yet to return from Turkey.
The Stars looked towards Monique Currie and Isabelle Harrison to carry the torch. Currie knocked down 23 points and grabbed 5 rebounds, while Harrison added 15 points and 5 rebounds.
The Liberty had five players notch double-digits: Tina Charles led New York with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Epiphanny Prince was close behind picking up 11 points (7 of which were earned at the charity stripe) and 2 steals. While, Shavonte Zellous, Brittany Boyd and Cierra Burdick each tallied 10 points.
As a team, the Liberty had 18 assists on 26 made field goals and finished with 43% shooting. New York nearly edged the Stars on the boards holding a 36 - 33 advantage. However, in a heated game, the Liberty committed 26 fouls, allowing San Antonio to pick up 17 easy points at the line.
While the Stars shot 38.3% connecting on 26-of-60 from the field.
Looking at the Lynx
The Minnesota Lynx finished the 2016 season as the WNBA runner ups. The Lynx fought hard, but ultimately fell short to the LA Sparks in the championship game.
Minnesota is back and looking to finish what it started last season.
The Lynx opened the 2017 season with a 70 - 61 victory over the Chicago Sky. Minnesota struggled from the field, only connecting on 37%, but defensively, the Lynx held the Sky to only 35% from the field. However, the Sky held a 44-39 advantage on the boards.
Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. She shot 60% from the field, connecting on 9 shots. Maya Moore added 11 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
The New York Liberty nearly control the series with the Minnesota Lynx, 18-16. However, Minnesota has beaten New York at New York 9 times. Last season the Lynx owned the series defeating the Liberty two out of three times.
The New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx face off at 7 PM EST. You can catch the game on ESPN2.