The New York Liberty Fail to Repeat Securing the Commissioner's Cup

The New York Liberty Fail to Repeat Securing the Commissioner's Cup

By John “Woods” Armwood III

Oddly, due to the NBA Draft, the venue for the Commissioner’s Cup was moved to the UBS Arena in Long Island rather than their home court in Brooklyn. That said, the nearly sold-out crowd at the Arena was electric. Despite the tough loss for the New York Liberty, 94-89, the crowd played heavily in this game and traveled extremely well. The Liberty mascot, Ellie the Elephant, continues to prove she’s the best in all sports. Her exotic dancing and polarizing personality fuel the energy through the building.

Early in the game, the Liberty attempted to build momentum offensively, however they couldn’t get in rhythm. The Minnesota Lynx's length and athleticism matched up well with the Liberty’s skillset. Former MVP Jonquel Jones struggled to get involved throughout the game, in fact the Lynx focused on limiting her touches and impact on the game. Despite not scoring, Jones proved to be essential in rebounding and setting screens for elite shooters to get great looks at the basket. The Liberty defense was in a position to make plays and at times got timely stops. Yet, the Lynx were relentless and continued to find their shot and knocked down late in the shot clock and highly contested shots. 

“​​They executed better than us and that's on both ends of the floor,” Star forward Breanna Stewart states. “We weren't able to get anything that we wanted and no matter who it was, their players kept making corner threes,  and late shot clock shots. That's gonna make it difficult for us.  I think 21 turnovers is never gonna win the game.”

Determining Key Factors in Loss

  • Recording only 10 points in the third quarter
  • Jonquel Jones only recorded three points for the game
  • 21 turnovers to 11 turnovers
  • Nine bench points

It’s never one thing that determines the entirety of a team's loss, however these appear to be some of the determining factors that dictated the game. The Lynx played phenomenally and were more consistent throughout the game, however their ability to minimize Jones was impressive. Naturally, Jones not being a factor in any game will affect the outcome, however the Liberty may have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and become even more important. The third quarter was the lowest amount of points they’ve scored all season long, and it was the pivotal moment of the game.

“I think they lifted their intensity they were in more passing lanes and I think they made us speed up which we had spoken about playing with a little bit more poise or more physicality,” Liberty head coach Sandy Brondello.  “You know we tried to establish JJ [Jonquel Jones] down low and we got some you know turnovers where it's you know then we had to go away from it.”



“That was making us take us out of the rhythm that we got there,” Brondello continues.  “So, you know, that's on me. …We put the ball back in Stewie's [Breanna Stewart] hands and great things were happening out of that. And, like I said, great learning experience for us again. And we're going to meet this team again in a few days.”


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