Everything is good. Well, Bettnia Laney and Jocelyn Willoughby are still out for a while, Didi Richards is ahead but Liberty seems to be on pace, winning three of the last four with Sabrina Ionescu on a career-side rupture. The average 3rd year star is 5/26/5 in this stretch. Furthermore, Maren Johannes, who has spent the past two years playing in her native France, is back at Liberty and will be available for Friday Night Fever in Indiana, giving New York another offensive weapon until Laney and Willoughby return.
Where to follow the game
Yes network application. Tip after 7:00 pm ET
No Diddy Richards (hamstring), Bettnia Lani (right knee), or Jocelyn Willoughby (left knee.) Richards looks closer but not tonight.
No injuries to report fever.
First things first: Sabrina Ionescu plays the best basketball of her career, period. Prior to the last four games, the No. 1 overall pick in 2020 had not combined 20 consecutive points. Friday, you will go to five in a row. In fact, her last two matches were amazing. I scored 57 points in 23 of 35 shots, including 7 of 15 from depth. In Tuesday’s game, she became the first WNBA player to shoot better than 90 percent while scoring 25 or more points, eight or more assists and eight or more rebounds. She did not miss a free throw in four matches, as she recorded the nineteen shots she made.
And now, she’ll have some help adding Marin Johannes, who will be available for the first time since 2019. She played for two years with Lyon in the Women’s European League, averaging 13.1 points, 4.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season, 7.2 points and 2.4 assists. Decisive and 1.8 boards in 2019 when I last played with New York.
She was asked at Thursday training what she could bring to Liberty…
Earlier today, I asked Marine Johannès to describe her game to new Liberty fans who may not be familiar with her playing style. “I love sharing the ball. I love scoring,” Johannes said. “I love the movement of the ball and creating space for everyone.” Tweet embed # my eyes #more than https://t.co/2EgtyNHGSW
– Myles (@MylesEhrlich) June 9, 2022
We don’t know much how much time it will have on Friday night, but overall, it will help make up for the losses of Laney and Willoughby, both proven WNBA goalscorers.
Adding to the good news for Liberty fans is the emergence of Han Xu, the tallest player in the WNBA at 6’10”. She had her best game against Lynx Tuesday and scored 15 points and grabbed five rebounds in 25 minutes. She now averages 10 and 5 off the bench.
Finally, after their string of moves on Wednesday — signing Johannes and trading with Asia Dor to her hometown of Atlanta for stock — New York signed point guard Crystal Dangerfield to another hardship contract. The 2020 WNBA Rookie of the Year takes a lot of credit for Liberty’s transformation. After New York lost seven times in a row, coach Sandy Brundillo Ionescu moved the point to the shooting guard and pinned Dangerfield, which is just a pure pass, to 1.
On the other hand, Fever is the worst WNBA team with a 3-11 record, 1-9 in the last 10 and a loser out of four in a row. In that 10-game span, they average 78.8 points in attack while they give up 90.0 in defense.
Of course, you could always tell they had their date and two nights ago, they stuck with the best team in the league, the Connecticut Sun, for three quarters before falling apart again. The experienced sun simply does not allow a small fever to gain enough momentum to run.
Danielle Robinson, Fever’s most experienced veterinarian, explained how the experience gap affected the flow of the game.
“I was a rookie once and realized there were a lot of offensive and defensive schemes and new schemes out there,” Danielle Robinson told the Indianapolis Star.
“So I mean it’s frustrating to lose for sure, but I think they feel more comfortable in every game, knowing the staff, knowing what they have to do. It obviously doesn’t lead to wins at the moment, but there is a level to that. I’ve been in the league I know the players, I know almost any term any coach or team has thrown at me from my experience and they haven’t gotten there yet.”
Player to watch: Kelsey Mitchell
Kelsey Mitchell is a legitimate scorer for the WNBA. It ranks fourth in the WNBA with an average of 18.7 points per game and is one of the best 3-pointers in the game at 39.5 percent. She has a good chance of being the only representative of Fever in the WNBA All-Star Game despite the tough times for the team.
She also became a leader. In fact, Mitchell recently called the team “casual” and “real casual”.
“We’ll be the last team on the board again or we can buy,” she said. “And this is where we are.
“For us it’s all about the mentality right now. We’re really going, we’re real casual, lackluster and soft. And that has nothing to do with any ability in court, anything you can practice.”
When asked what to do, Mitchell offered, “We’re just saying to each other that you either buy or go out. And I’m one of them. If I can’t give all I have to give, don’t play….And it’s raw and uncut now, but that’s what we need.” There is no longer any loss of sugar coating.”
Friday night’s scoring contest may be between her and Unesco who is ninth in the league with an average of 17.1 points per game but he’s clearly ahead.
from the basement
It’s only been three days since Sabrina rolled out those classic numbers, but her performance was so classic that it deserves another look.
Further reading: Swish Appeal, Indy Cornrows