We are just a few hours away from one of the biggest match-ups of the year with the Minnesota Lynx taking on the New York Liberty at the world’s greatest arena. This will no doubt be a true test for the Liberty, who have owned the #1 spot in the East since the All-Star break last month. There are some key factors to pay close attention to in tonight’s game, which will be the first time both teams meet this season.
Winning is something both coaches know how to do, and with the both teams having incredible team chemistry this season, this will be an interest match-up for coaching staff as well. Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer has three titles under his belt with the Detroit Shock, where both Liberty veteran player Swin Cash and assistant coach Katie Smith were a part the team. The Liberty also have added WNBA legend and former Liberty player Teresa “T-Spoon” Witherspoon and former Knicks assistant coach Herb Williams to their coaching staff. Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve has won two titles with Minnesota, and ironically, served as Laimbeer’s assistant coach in Detroit as well. It will be interesting to see how they figure each other out and if there any similarities in their plays and schemes.
With the addition of veteran Sylvia Fowles immediately after the All-Star game, the Lynx now have five Olympians on their squad. FIVE! The Lynx also acquired guard Anna Cruz from the Liberty in a trade on draft night. MVP Maya Moore is currently the 2nd leading scorer in the league, averaging 20.5 ppg, but the Lynx may be without Seimone Augustus, who has been in and out throughout the season after knee surgery and a sprained foot. Yet and still, the Lynx will bring the heat offensively, so the Liberty’s greatest strength, defense, will be pivotal in tonight’s game. With a win tonight, the Liberty will lock in a playoff spot for the first time in three seasons.
There is a lot on the line here in NYC tonight. You can catch all of the action on MSG Networks and NBA TV. Make sure you follow us on Twitter at @beyondthew for live tweeting. May the best team win!