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Liberty win home opener but not satisfied

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May 13th 2017

Liberty 73 Stars 64

“The Good the Bad and the Ugly”

 

The good, it’s the beginning of the 2017 WNBA regular season and the New York Liberty got to open the season at home in front of their loyal supporters. The weather was somewhat unforgiving outside as the metropolitan area was dealing with some very wet and windy conditions however that didn’t stop the Liberty faithful from coming out to Madison Square Garden.

The Liberty got the win today despite playing a game, which Coach Laimbeer described as awful. The home opener is always important and to get a win on the first time out is always good for the team’s morale and for the morale of the fans.

 

Epiphanny Prince played a solid game, she struggled a little in the second half but overall she showed why it is important to have veterans who are savvy on the roster. She played aggressively and created a nice pace early for the Liberty.

 

After 4 seasons in Washington Kia Vaughn made her return to the Liberty and played very well. She also brought some veteran toughness to the second unit. Coach Laimbeer praised her efforts and said that they could have gotten her the ball more often in the post. She finished with 7-points and 3 rebounds off the bench. Cierra Burdick also contributed off the bench with 10-points in 17 minutes of action.

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Kelsey Plum with one of her biggest fans. Photo: Sherman-Nathan Gomez for PureSportsNY

Now to the bad, the Liberty led this game by 18 at one point but let the short handed Stars back into the game late. The Stars were without their rookie star Kelsey Plum who was out with an ankle injury and Moriah Jefferson. Monique Currie had 23-points off the bench for the Stars. Coach Laimbeer stated that “she caught us off-guard” because she usually is not that aggressive offensively.

 

“We didn’t execute the way we were supposed to..” Coach Laimbeer

Despite the home opening win Coach Laimbeer was not happy throughout and after the game. He had a fiery postgame press conference where he eluded to the blown lead and what he described as a poor overall performance. He felt that the second unit should have extended the lead, he was not pleased with having to reinsert Tina Charles back into the game late, especially since she had been sitting for some time with the team having a big lead. He also felt that there was too much one on one play and too many missed free throws.

 

The ugly was the fact that the Stars were not at full strength and the Liberty did not capitalize on the opportunity to show that they can do the little things needed to compete for a championship. As coach Laimbeer said “We play like this against Minnesota (Thursday) we’re down by 30 FACTS!” He is going to have 3 days of tough practices, as he was not happy with the team’s performance.

 

Let’s get back to some good however, even with a poor performance the team showed that they have enough depth on the roster where they can pull out victories in ugly games like this. Every game may not be perfect but if they can get wins I think it will benefit them in the long run.

 

There were a few former Knicks in attendance to support the ladies, John Starks, Larry Johnson and Latrell Sprewell sat courtside cheering on the home team.

They have a good measuring stick coming up early in the season as they face off against the Lynx on Thursday (May 18th). As per Tina Charles they will use these next 3 days to get better.

 

Thank You for reading

Stay tuned in as we cover the Liberty all season. 

Sherman-Nathan Gomez is a staff writer for PureSportsNY

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All video and photos by Sherman Nathan Gomez for PureSportsNY

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