Only one word fitting to describe this period in time for Liberty
The Liberty are in the midst of a critical five-game homestand, in which they hope to turn around what has been a poor start to the season. Coach Bill Laimbeer and the entire Liberty team had obvious frustration after Friday night’s 73-69 loss to the Chicago Sky. Laimbeer said at the conclusion of the press conference that this defeat was “a tough one to take.” New York was outscored 50-37 in the first half, and despite a second half run, were unable to complete the comeback. This loss put the Liberty at 4-11, last place in the Eastern Conference. Laimbeer did not shy away from expressing what went wrong in this one, mentioning “timely turnovers” and missed free throws contributing to a loss he called “frustrating.” He also noted the team’s struggle to have a game in which all starters play “reasonably well.” This quote may have something to do with Cappie Pondexter’s zero-point performance on Friday night.
Coming off arguably her best all-around performance of the season on Tuesday (23 points on 7-8 shooting, 8 assists, 5 rebounds), Pondexter missed all seven shots she took Friday night. She’s definitely shown signs of all-star form this season, but they need to be shown on a consistent basis if the Liberty want to make a run at the postseason. Watching the broadcast of Sunday’s game on MSG, it was mentioned that Pondexter has been playing through pain all season and has been in the training room on a regular basis, which would definitely be a justifiable reason for her inconsistencies.
Laimbeer also stressed “the little things.” Epiphanny Prince of the Sky went off for 30 points against the Liberty on Friday night, and although she took a fair amount of contested shots, there were certain defensive lapses leading to open looks. “Until we clean those up, we’re going to struggle,” Laimbeer said.
The Liberty were able to bounce back with a win over the Connecticut Sun on Sunday to improve to 2-1 on the homestand and 5-11 overall. In order to have sustained success, the Liberty need to have more consistent performances from Cappie Pondexter and a defensive effort that lasts four quarters. Bill Laimbeer can’t wait for that change to come. “It’s just hodgepodge every night. It’s frustrating.”