New York Liberty Dominate Indiana Fever in Commisioner Cup Opener

New York Liberty Dominate Indiana Fever in Commisioner Cup Opener

By John “Woods” Armwood III

In front another soldout crowd, the the New York Liberty appeared to (7-2) approach this game so much differently than the past two games. At 7-2, the 2024 Liberty are tied for the team’s best record through nine games in franchise history, matching New York’s 7-2 start in 1997. New York’s win extends a nine-game winning streak against the Fever, the longest win streak against Indiana in Liberty franchise history. 

“We established  B [Betnijah Laney-Hamilton] and  JJ [Jonquel Jones]  early in the game,  and that kind of opens up for outside,” Brondello explains. “But we'll keep getting better, every team's going to be different. New challenges come every day. But that's exciting, and I hope it will continue to grow.”

Selfless Basketball for the New York Liberty

In the opening seconds, the Liberty manage to get out in transition and find easy points against the Indiana Fever (2-9). Some believe the offense of the Liberty has been struggling because they haven’t found opportunities to stay in transition and constantly keep moving. Sunday evening, it was clear they came out much more aggressive and was looking to run the floor. The Liberty finished with a season-high 30 assists in the win as all five starters finished with at least four assists for the first time in franchise history. In fact, with Betnijah Laney-Hamilton, Jonquel Jones, Sabrina Ionescu, and Courtney Vandersloot each reaching four assists in the first half, the Liberty had four players with four or more assists in a half for the first time in franchise history, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

“When we're sharing it and playing selfless like that, that's beautiful basketball,” Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello emphasizes. “It's fun to watch, It's fun to play. But then just making sure we have a good inside -outside attack. I think that's critical for us.”

“I think just understanding the offense, people are cutting hard and making themsleves available,” former MVP Jonquel Jones states. “I pride myself on making the right plays and just doing what’s best for the team.”

Liberty Tap Into Their Offensive Potential

 The Liberty are one of the most unique teams in the league because of their versatilttiy. Brondello highlights their abilities to attack from multiple spots on the floor and be effective. Sunday evening, they manage to get the ball in transition with ease forcing defenders to make irrational decisions with talented shooters on the outside. The Liberty shooting abiltites help open up offensive games for each and every individual player. Ultimately, this team, which’s got some of the most prolific scorers in the WNBA, is one of the most dangerous when in rhythm. 

 “I think we've got attack from multiple spots here,” Brondello continues. “And I think when we're playing great defense and pushing in transition, that looks great for us. Just the versatility that we have of our players. And we continue to work on the spacing. And I know some of you have asked about the offense. It's more like the offense is fine. We're just still trying to work out the little clinks and how do we get the best looks every single time.”

 What’s Next for the Liberty?

Tuesday night, the Liberty will take on the Chicago Sky (3-4), who defeated them at home handing the Liberty their first loss. The Liberty will attempt to improve and play better on the road as they are preparing for a five-game stretch in seven days, therefore rest will be vital moving forward. 

“I'm happy for them I think the teammates are happy for our bench to come in because it's important we talk about our bench depth and you know we haven't we're still building to get that but it shows what we're capable of and so you know happy happy for the win now you know off to Chicago,” Brondello continues. 

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