Welcome back to the Prudential Center, New York Liberty! The Liberty will host the Connecticut Sun this Saturday, May 18th, at 4:00 pm ET. For fans that cannot make the game in person, be sure to follow @nyliberty on Twitter for game updates!
The Liberty returned from Chicago after their second game of the preseason on Wednesday, May 15th. They fell 87-67 to the Sky without Cheryl Ford, Plenette Pierson, or Katie Smith in action. Cappie Pondexter played in her first game of the preseason and scored 14 points to go along with 6 rebounds. Cappie has proven she is capable of being a solid rebounding guard, however, her challenge this year will be to constantly get her assists up within Bill Laimbeers system. She dished 3 assists in 22 minutes of play. Alex Montgomery followed up her last good game with another, boasting a stat line of 14 points and 8 rebounds. Kelsey Bone enjoyed an improved game contributing 9 points and 4 rebounds. With three veteran players listed inactive, younger players received more opportunity. Rookie Shenneika Smith played well adding 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists in just 18 minutes. Toni Young was named a starter in the game, but perhaps nerves got the best of her as she struggled from the field going 1-7. No one struggled more than Essence Carson who went 1-11 in the game. While Carson looks great in practice she has yet to see big scoring results in a game this preseason. Patience is key. The Liberty did a better job of taking care of the ball- down to 15 turnovers compared to 29 in the last game, but shot just 37% from the field and took only two three-point attempts. New York also outrebounded its opponent for the second time in a row, which was especially impressive without Ford or Pierson in the game.
The Connecticut Sun played their first preseason game of the season against the New York Liberty last Saturday, May 11th and won, 83-74, at home. The Sun were paced by 12 points from Allison Hightower and 10 points a piece from Kara Lawson and Latoya Williams. Hightower is developing into one of the WNBAs young players to watch for. She is long and athletic with a nice jumper and she can run the one, two or three. Kara Lawson is an intelligent three-point-popping veteran player coming off of the best season of her career. The Sun forced 29 turnovers out of the Liberty and shot well from the field and from the three, 43% and 38%, respectively. Tina Charles only played 8 minutes in the game.
Who To Watch Develop:
Kelsey Bone. Bone just needs more reps. Shes been improving steadily.
Alex Montgomery. Threes a charm? Montgomery posted two double-digit efforts in a row. Could this be a breakout season for her? If not for anything else, these performances will give her confidence going into the regular season.
Essence Carson. Carson is 4-17 in her first two pre-season games so perhaps playing at home will help her find her groove offensively. On defense Essence is playing well, already totaling 4 steals and 2 blocked shots in preseason competition.
Cappie Pondexter. Pondexter says she wants Coach Laimbeer to take her game to another level. It will be interesting to see how Cappie and Bill work together and for each other.
Post Play. Do we have a dominant post emerging? Or will the Liberty do it by committee in the paint? More to come