August 29th 2017
The Liberty Sky High
Lets first examine the particulars. Eight straight wins, a 20-12 record, playoffs clinched, .50 games back of the third place Connecticut Sun and confidence higher than the sky, the New York Liberty are poised and ready for a playoff run. On this current streak they have beaten possible playoff opponents handily and have had some impressive defensive performances.
“We started off uncertain hopefully we can finish unforgettable.”- Tina Charles
On Sunday (August 27th) they beat the Sky 72-50 with a (Tina approved) complete forty-minute game. In fact, Tina Charles played a grand total of zero minutes in the 4th quarter, none of the starters played as the second unit came in the game and kept up the energy and pace of the starters.
The “Bench Mob” according to Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and “BWA” according to Sugar Rodgers, did their part Sunday. Both players spoke about how important it was for the second unit (I don’t like using bench players) to come in and not only give the starters a breather but also maintain the effort and energy.
“We didn’t let up when the starters came out and that’s what everyone expects of us.”- Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe
The game was well in hand in the fourth quarter however you still saw Nayo aggressive on defense, Lindsay Allen going for steals, Sugar Rodgers picking people’s pockets in transition and Zahaui B hitting jump shots. Rebecca Allen had a great shooting night as her perimeter game kept the Sky’s defense off balance.
Kiah Stokes had a double double with 10-points and 10 rebounds, Amanda Zahaui B chipped in 8-points and 6 rebounds as it was just an all out effort by everyone on the team to play their best. For the Liberty to be successful in the playoffs they will need this type of production consistently.
“Anytime you get in you have to go all out, whether is minute 39 or minute 1.”- Kiah Stokes.
Tina Charles won her 27th player of the week award and became the top 20th scorer in league history, something she really doesn’t focus on too much as she is more concerned with the bigger picture. When asked about the team’s current winning streak she answered, “You’re talking to someone who went 79-0. I know all about streaks.” Tina appreciates the individual awards but she would rather see her teammates succeed which is something she has spoken about throughout the season.
“Everybody is getting to play…Just to see the bench in, it meant the world to me.”-Tina Charles
The Liberty have 2 games left, Friday they play the San Antonio Stars and Sunday September 3rd they are on the road for their last game against Dallas. Two more chances to continue to build on their consistency on both ends of the floor and two more chances to build on this perfect chemistry that they have found late in the season.
Thank you for reading.
Sherman Gomez is a Staff Writer for PureSportsNY
Follow him on Twitter: Sherman@shermangmz1
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