New York Liberty 2016 Training Camp is presented by Blueprint for Athletes.
The New York Liberty greeted the media for the first time on Thursday afternoon, following the fifth day of practice during the 2016 Training Camp. The open session came at a time when the full roster was beginning to round into shape, with Tanisha Wright reporting to practice and the recently signed Jennifer Lacy also making her Liberty debut.
Wright played for Maccabi Ashdod during the WNBA offseason, winning the Israeli League championship with her club team on April 19, and is now back in New York to begin preparations for her 12th WNBA season.
Lacy spent last season playing with the Los Angeles Sparks and Connecticut Sun, and will be competing for a post position. Over 10 seasons in the WNBA, Lacy has averaged 5.1 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, but has the ability to knock down outside shots and provide a scoring boost when necessary; her career-high 25 points came against the Atlanta Dream just last season.
After practice the entire Liberty team and coaching staff met with the media, highlighted by head coach Bill Laimbeer, Tina Charles and Swin Cash, first round pick Adut Bulgak, and Team President Isiah Thomas.
The tone from camp is very different from a year ago. There is consistency on the roster for a team that posted the league’s best record at 23-11 in 2015. Coach Laimbeer started last season not knowing what to expect, but this year the players and coaches all want to build on the successes that left them one win shy of a trip to the Finals.
Cash put it best by noting that by no means is it Finals or bust for the Liberty, it is a long season and anything can happen, but the team’s goal is to take that next step this season.
A big part of that may come from the guard position, where there was a lot of talk about the strides Brittany Boyd and Sugar Rodgers have taken. According to Laimbeer, Boyd is really settling into a role where they expect her to lead the team on the floor, while Rodgers feels like she has something to prove, that she can be a consistent scoring threat every night and take her game to another level after averaging a career-best 8.1 ppg last season with 41 3-pointers.
Just two more days of practice before the preseason opener against the Chicago Sky at the University of Delaware on Sunday, May 1, at 2 p.m.