After surviving a ferocious comeback by the Indiana Fever on Friday, the New York Liberty will welcome them to "The Rock" Saturday night for the home opener in its' temporary new arena, the Prudential Center.
Just like their opening night win, the Libs won another thriller Friday night as Cappie Pondexters nailed a jumper with 8.1 seconds left put the Liberty ahead for an 81-80 victory. The team look to continue the momentum they have gained since the beginning of the season in the second half of the home-and-home set.
With head coach John Whisenant preaching his philosophy of a strong defensive team, the Liberty have not disappointed. Whisenant has repeatedly stated that rebounding is one of the keys to make his white-line defense work. It something that his frontline of Kia Vaughn, Plenette Pierson, Jessica Breland and Quanitra Hollingsworth have done admirably, as the Liberty have out rebounded their opponents in both games to start the season.
We need their rebounding production, Whisenant said. A major part of defense is rebounding. You can play all the defense you want, but if you dont get the defensive rebound you give it right back to them. It destroys your defense.
A pleasant surprise going into the home opener is the Libertys ability to put the ball in the basket. The team has began the season averaging 87.5 points per game, one of the top averages in the league, showing they can score in a variety of ways.
One of the big keys for the back to back matchup against the Fever will be containing All-Star guard Katie Douglas, who torched the team for 27 points on 10-18 shooting, including 6 of 11 from beyond the arc. Another key will be to continue dominating on the inside. Friday night they scored at will inside the paint, notching 34 points compared to the Fevers 22.