Liberty head south for a matchup with the Atlanta Dream

You see the growth. On Wednesday night, the New York Liberty were on the road facing off against the Connecticut Sun. The team was even more shorthanded than usual, but damn it, they held it down anyway. They pulled off a great 81-77 victory in front of a national TV audience on ESPN. The team has a lot to feel proud of and as they continue to play well, they will rise up the standings.

The opponent tonight will be the Atlanta Dream. Tanisha Wright has gotten a lot out of this team and have already reached their win total from all of last season already. They got win number eight on Tuesday night after beating the Dallas Wings at home.

Where to follow the game

CBS Sports Network on TV. Tip after 7:30 p.m. ET. This is the only WNBA game on the docket tonight, just like it was on Wednesday. All eyes on us.

Injuries

Betnijah Laney, Jocelyn Willoughby, and Rebecca Allen are out. Han Xu was a late scratch on Wednesday night with a non-COVID illness. She’s listed as probable for this contest.

Erica Wheeler is out with a foot injury. Tiffany Hayes is out with a knee injury. Kia Vaughn is in health and safety protocols. Kristy Wallace is in concussion protocols and out. Nia Coffey is out with a knee injury.

The game

It’s always a great feeling when you return home and succeed. Asia (AD) Durr worked their way back from long COVID. They were traded to Atlanta from the Liberty earlier this month, and it’s been working out so far. In four games with Atlanta, AD is playing close to 26 minutes a night and shooting 41.7 percent from three point range. AD being back and contributing is a massive win and everyone is rooting for them to continue succeeding and playing well.

The Liberty held serve against the WNBA’s best rebounding team on Wednesday, and tonight they’ll take on the second best rebounding team. The Liberty will be counting on their bigs to deliver once again. Stef Dolson was the player of the game for the Libs on Wednesday as her 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists helped lead the team to the win. She made big plays and was on the finishing end of this bit of groovy business

I like! Possibly having Han back will help, but the bulk of the work will fall on to Dolson and Natasha Howard tonight.

The turnover battle will tell the tale of this contest. As it happens, these teams have the two highest turnover rates this season. However, that number deserves some context. Both teams turned it over 24 percent of the team of the time, which led the league in May. They’ve each chopped their turnover rates by a third this month, with the Liberty committing the second fewest turnovers in the league in June. On Wednesday, the Liberty had a rough start as they turned it over thee times in the first 70 seconds. They figured things out from there and only coughed it up 12 times on the night. The Dream still have some turnover woes and had more turnovers (22) than assists (18) on Tuesday. The Liberty will have an opportunity to cash in and get some easy buckets in transition if they can force Atlanta into mistakes.

The beautiful thing about life is you never know when your moment will come. For Maya Caldwell, it came on Tuesday night as she made her WNBA debut against the Wings. Caldwell was the star of the night as her 18 points led the team and her defense helped seal the win. In the postgame, she was asked about her mindset and said:

“The mindset is to just play, to go out, perform, to do what I’m supposed to do. Play my role, and not worry about what’s next. Just stay present.”

You love to see it.

The thing that separates a good player from a great player is that the greats are able to make an impact on the game even if they’re struggling in one area. Sabrina Ionescu’s shot hasn’t been here in the past three games, but she’s kept the offense humming, attacked the boards, and been active in the passing lanes. Her shot will find its way back, but as long as she’s filling up the stat sheet and helping keep the offense humming along, she’ll keep putting the team in great position to win.

Player to watch: Rhyne Howard

Welcome to the future. The number one pick from this year’s Draft has been holding it down in the ATL. Howard is averaging 16 points and four rebounds in 31 minutes a night and is the early favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Howard’s been making it happen in the restricted area as she’s made 71 percent of her shots inside of the restricted area. Overall, she’s only at 39.2 percent from the field, but 38.6 percent from three point range. The play might be to play her to take

Welcome to another episode of the Marine Johannes show! MJ had 11 points and five assists in 34 minutes along with her usual dose of highlight plays

The great thing about Johannes is she gives the team another good ballhandler, and gives them a much needed shot of athleticism. She always makes the right basketball play and for her teammates, if they’re open for even a second, MJ will find you, and in style! It makes for a fun, successful style of play that wins on the court and in the box office.

From the Vault

This week, We are the W premiered. It followed the paths of three players: Didi Richards, Isabelle Harrison, and Angel McCoughtry. McCoughtry was the number one pick of the 2009 WNBA Draft, and had a wonderful tenure with the Dream for a decade.

More reading: Swish Appeal, Just Women’s Sports, Winsidr, Her Hoop Stats and The Next

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