The road was a tough one for the New York Liberty (13-18) having to take on Indiana three times, trying to get a win at home against Phoenix and trying to get a win on the road against Washington.
It does not help the team that in the final push, things have gone so cold for a team that was once picking-up steam. It does not mean that it cannot be done, just somehow-someway this team needs to be able to regain the confidence and momentum they had when they were able to gain victories over teams like Los Angeles, Atlanta and Seattle.
The latest loss for the Liberty a 76-64 decision to the Phoenix Mercury was certainly a tough blow to the teams confidence, though there were some sparks of both fight and intense play seen during this night.
Highlights for fans of New York came from Center Tina Charles, led the Liberty with a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. It was her 21st game leading the Liberty in scoring, 12th game with 20-plus points and 16th double-double. Cappie Pondexter also scored in double figures with 12 points, her 21st double-digit scoring performance
“We have to win in Indiana, that’s pretty much the only solution moving forward. Tonight we played against the best team in the league in my opinion,” said Pondexter. “It was a measuring stick, if we were able to get the win it obviously would have been great for us. It would have given us a little more cushion than where we are right now, but we have to move forward. We put ourselves in this position; the only positive thing that I can take is getting a win in Indiana on Thursday.”
New York were also able to get a huge spark from the bench when Essence Carson’s number was called upon. It had seemed as if anytime Essence had the ball she was driving and aggressive to the hoop and showed no fear in her play. Also getting some key buckets were Anna Cruz, while Alex Montgomery showed some glimpses of brilliance with both a three-point bucket late and some big defensive stops.
Carson had this to say on the keys to the team winning, “”As long as we remain composed and poised on the offensive end. And then on the defensive end that’s when you turn it up a notch and you’re that tenacious aggressive defender and only give them one shot, no offensive rebounds, you can beat any team that way. It’s when we allow teams to get second shots then we go down the floor and don’t score and then they come back and get another second shot and put it back that’s when we dig a hole for ourselves.”
This night was all about the Mercury though, who were able to end the Minnesota Lynx three-year reign among the top teams in the Western Conference Standings.
Phoenix had four players in double-figure scoring as Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner were both able to put on one heck of a show at The Garden.
It will now be a rough road for the Liberty, who are currently in Fifth Place in the Eastern Conference Standings. New York currently are chasing after Indiana and Chicago and have a chance to potentially gain ground against the Fever, a team who they will play twice before the season ends.
This Thursday, August 14 will be the start of the road for the Liberty who have the first of two big games against Indiana. New York will continue the road trip on August 16 when they go to Washington to take on the Mystics before returning home to Madison Square Garden on August 17 to host the Fever.
It certainly is a tough road, but the time is now to see what this Liberty team can do and what type of legacy this 2014 team can leave behind.
1495 Sports is proud to bring the following postgame video featuring New York Liberty Head Coach Bill Laimbeer:
For more information on the New York Liberty, news and tickets to the Regular Season Final against Indiana on August 16 fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here: