New York Liberty (7-12) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (7-11) Madison Square Garden | New York, NY
Friday, July 11 | 7:30 p.m EST. Broadcast: MSG Network | LiveAccess
The Liberty are looking to bounce back from Wednesdays road loss which halted a hot-streak in which they won three of their last four games. The Sparks enter their second game of a four-game road trip. While the Sparks lost two in a row and three of their last four, they are still a team with a lot of potential, who are looking to build chemistry just in time for playoffs.
LIBERTY PREVIOUS GAME:
The Liberty fell to the San Antonio Stars on the road, 80-66, on Wednesday. Reserve Sugar Rodgers broke out for a career-high 21 points to lead the team. All-Star starter Cappie Pondexter added 17 points in the loss.
After Wednesdays game, the Liberty announced the acquisition of forward Swin Cash in a trade with the Atlanta Dream, in exchange for forward Delisha Milton-Jones. The 12-year WNBA veteran and three-time WNBA Champion reunites with Bill Laimbeer whom she played for for six seasons as a member of the Shock. Cash has appeared in 399 career games, averaging 11.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game.
Swin Cash brings a skill set that includes multiple face-up moves. She enjoys catching and shooting, she will attack off of the dribble, and play tough around the rim for well-timed layups. Shes proven to be a strong rebounder over her career and someone who knows how to score in this league. Because there is familiarity between her and Laimbeer, he may trust her to be inserted into the game earlier than other mid-season pickups. As a veteran and three-time champion, Swin adds leadership on and off of the court and will be expected to both lead by example and have a vocal presence on the team. The pickup of Cash is sure to boost the playoff push for the Liberty.
SPARKS PREVIOUS GAME:
The Sparks fell to the Minnesota Lynx on the road, 83-72, on Tuesday. Jantel Lavender led the Sparks with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Candace Parker added 16 points and 8 rebounds. Nneka Ogwumike also had a double-double with 10 points and a game high 14 rebounds.
HOLDING DOWN THE PAINT:
The starting frontcourt for the Sparks average 46 points and 21.5 rebounds per game between Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Jantel Lavender. Parker adds versatility and has the confidence to attack from any position on the court. Shes enjoying a stellar season and is third in the league in scoring (20), fourth in blocks (1.61) and fifth in steals (2.06). As unique as Parker is on offense, her defense is just as potent a problem for opposing teams to overcome. Nneka Ogwumike leads the Sparks in rebounding (7.7) and can bounce through defenses for layups or elevate and shoot over the defense with quick jumpers. Shes worked hard on developing a reliable catch-and-shoot game. Jantel Lavender adds efficiency and is fifth in the league for field goal percentage (.581).
The Liberty are an improving defensive squad. They are third in the league in field goal percentage defense (.417), points allowed (76), and rebounds per game (34.79). New York is solid on defense, especially in the paint in the half-court set. However, its not only the Sparks post players the Liberty have to be weary of. The Sparks record is misleading, they have a talented roster at every position including a lethal perimeter scorer in Kristi Toliver.