New York Liberty vs. Chicago Sky Saturday, May 17 Nationally Televised on ESPN2
After last nights season opening win against the Connecticut Sun, the Liberty return to New York for tonights home opener against the Chicago Sky. Liberty fans are eagerly awaiting the moment the team takes the court of the Worlds Most Famous Arena after being temporarily located in New Jersey for the last three seasons. The Garden should prove to be an X-factor in tonights game, allowing the team to feed off of the anticipation, energy, increased attendance and thrill of being back in in New York.
This season, head coach Bill Laimbeer is running the Triangle, where rather than relying on individual play the team can maximize reads, cuts, spacing, timing, and passing to create shots. With the addition of former WNBA MVP Tina Charles, the Liberty now have a strong post to anchor the Triangle. If Charles can be patient and make smart passes, this new offense can be a successful piece of the puzzle for the Liberty this season.
The Chicago Sky, last years top seed in the Eastern Conference, begin the season without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Sylvia Fowles, who is recovering from hip surgery. Epiphanny Prince missed Chicagos season opener against the Indiana Fever for personal reasons, but could be available tonight in New York.
After winning Rookie of the Year last season, Elena Delle Donne will again pose problems for opponents this season: just last week, she posted 17 points, 10 rebounds, and recorded 3 blocks in the Skys preseason 79-66 victory over the Washington Mystics. With Fowles out indefinitely and the departure of Swin Cash via trade to Atlanta, look for Courtney Vandersloot and Tamera Young to emerge as strong assets for the Sky this season.