Monday, August 18, 2014

Liberty 73, Fever 61: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

NEW YORK CITY­ - Exiting the train at Penn Station, a gentleman inquired, “is this the train coming from Boston?” A walk through Penn Station gives off further evidence how this pace is unique. The idiosyncrasies, fashion statements and general ‘ambience’ of the Penn Station crowd could fill volumes. Beyond that, there is a game to consider.

The Indiana Fever are visiting the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden. A week ago, both teams had playoff aspirations. The Fever defeated the Liberty here and went on a roll to cement their tenth consecutive playoff berth. The Liberty were mathematically eliminated on Friday.

Fever coach Lin Dunn will rest her starters. Keeping to his mantra, Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer knows there are no easy wins in the ‘W.’ Clearly, New York wants to end this season on a positive note.

The Fever opened the scoring on their initial possession. It would be their last lead of the evening. The Liberty led 8-­2 after three minutes and never lost their advantage, but did have some tenuous moments, as the Fever; with a playoff berth clinched and three key players not in action, were far from an ‘easy out.’ In the stretch New York went on a run to close out the 73-­61 victory.

The season ended at 15-­19 for the Liberty. The Fever enter the ‘second season’ with a 16-18 mark. It was a bittersweet feeling for the home team. Ending the season on a winning note is nice, but missing the playoffs leaves a feeling of emptiness. As Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter said in the locker room postgame, "I’m a competitor, I don’t like missing the playoffs two straight years.” Neither does Laimbeer, a fiery competitor in his own right.

Getting off the train at Secaucus Junction, five ‘twentysomethings’ asked for walking directions to MetLife Stadium for the Rihanna and Eminem concert. Yours truly explained you can’t walk on the highway and that it is best to take the train.

Sandwiched around a good game were two veritable transit sideshows.

Exiting Penn Station with the Madison Square Garden sign pointing the way:
New Jersey writer Jim Dombrowski and "the guru," Mel Greenberg, hold court with Fever coach Lin Dunn an hour prior to the game:
Maggie Lucas of the Fever, the game's leading scorer, (17 points) is all concentration on the free throw line:
The Liberty's Cappie Pondexter and an official discuss a ruling:
Indiana guard Layshia Clarendon sizes up the situation while taking a free throw break:
With the game over, the Liberty oblige autograph seekers:
The sunset as seen from the media room. It is also setting on the Liberty's 2014 season:

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