The preseason continues for the New York Liberty as they hit the road for Chicago to take on the Sky this Wednesday, May 15th, at 12:30pm ET. The Liberty and the Sky split the series 2-2 during last year's 2012 regular season.
The new faces of the New York Liberty come off of an 83-74 road loss of their first preseason game to the Connecticut Sun. Despite the loss there were bright spots which included a rally from behind that cut a 21-point deficit down to 6, a 12-point game for both Plenette Pierson and rookie Kamiko Williams, and a striking 12-point, 5-assist, 4-rebound, 2-steal outing from Alex Montgomery. Montgomery has been a big-potential "project" wing/forward for the Liberty, and both staff and fans hope this is a break-out season for her. While the Liberty outrebounded the Sun, 28-22, New York was forced into 29 turnovers. All but four shot attempts came from inside the three-point line for New York. WNBA All-Star Cappie Pondexter returned to the team for practice this Monday, however, having just returned from winning the Turkish League championship overseas, she will likely receive a lot of rest on Wednesday.
The Chicago Sky are playing their first game of the preseason and have a lot to be excited about. The biggest storyline in Chicago is the selection of number two draft pick Elena Delle Donne. Delle Donne has the height of a center with the rebounding and post abilities of a power forward as well as the pull-up jumper and ball handling skills of a wing player. Of the highly-anticipated "Three-To-See" players (which also includes Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins) Delle Donne's skill set might be the most "WNBA- ready". Certainly, we will see, as she will set foot on the court for her first pro-level contest. Still, this won't be the "Elena Show". The Sky have numerous weapons and are healthy after a season hampered with injury. Phenomenal scoring guard Epiphanny Prince and dominant post Sylvia Fowles have had time to heal. Swin Cash returns and point guard Courtney Vandersloot added a year of experience to her benefit. Chicago has all the pieces to be a major player this season.
Keys to the Game
Take Care Of The Ball. It's hard to win when you turn the ball over 29 times. Granted the Liberty are learning a new system and played without Cappie Pondexter, this is an area that needs immediate improvement.
Get To The Free Throw Line. New York struggled with getting to the charity stripe last season. Against the Sun they went to the line 10 times compared to 22 times for Connecticut. Attempting more free throws usually starts with attacking the rim and offensive glass harder. Also, with the Liberty only attempting four three-pointers, there is increased pressure on their ability to find easy points at the line.
Rest Cappie. She will enjoy many minutes and shoulder major responsibility this season with Laimbeer's plan to play her at the lead position (point guard). Thus, rest those legs!