Monday, June 30, 2014

Liberty 67, Sun 65: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEW YORK CITY­- The effort comes first. Then the fine tuning. Bill Laimbeer was satisfied with the work ethic his club displayed . The New York Liberty coach had a few other things to address. The Liberty edged the Connecticut Sun 67­-65 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. For a team entering having lost six of the prior seven contests, a win was a combination of satisfying and necessary.

In the aftermath of the victory, Laimbeer stressed two key points to his team, ’playing smart’ and ’value 2 points.’ The two actually go hand in hand. Playing smart means making good decisions and not forcing the issue. The latter issue of valuing two points simply equates to maintaining care on offense and defense to protect the one-possession lead. In specific terms, Laimbeer stressed better rebounding on the defensive boards and eliminating turnovers.

The Liberty were beaten 15­-6 on the offensive glass. The turnovers, 15, for a rate of 19%, did not appear to be excessively damaging. When those turnovers occur is, especially if they happen late and appear as careless unforced errors when the game is on the line.

In the end result, the Liberty numbers were not great. Cappie Pondexter and Tina Charles shared scoring honors with 14 but both shot under 50% from the floor. The team eFG was a lukewarm 43%, while the offensive efficiency was only 80. The one metric that ultimately mattered most was the number one, or the total that went as an addition to the win column, bringing the record to 5­-10. More importantly, for the time being, victory halted a downward slide.

 A view of Madison Square Garden from 8th Avenue. During the college season, this view is quickly snapped amid sub-freezing mercury. Today, the 80-degree high temperature allows time to compose and enjoy:
The face painters are hard at work, set up just outside the media entrance:
The Garden view at halftime:
Officials explaining a call and situation with Tina Charles (back to the camera) an interested participant:
Bill Laimbeer attentively answers questions after the game:
The memorable hockey season has ended, but a trip to the nearby Ranger locker room rekindled memories of the season and seasons past:
Liberty players obliging postgame autograph seekers:

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