Sunday, June 5, 2016

Liberty 91, Fever 59: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

New York City - There are times when the setting is perfect.

An important game following a disappointing outing. Two good days of preparation leading up to the big night. The luxury of playing in front of the adoring home crowd. Yes, sometimes the basketball ‘stars’ are aligned, yet the final result doesn’t add up. There are no givens once the ball is tossed up.

On Friday night, the New York Liberty saw those stars aligned. Not just Sugar Rodgers (21 points) and Tina Charles (14 points, nine rebounds), but a total team effort in a 91-59 dismantling of the Indiana Fever at Madison Square Garden.
New York enjoyed an offensive performance coach Bill Laimbeer could only hope to bottle for the upcoming three-game road trip. The perimeter game, nonexistent against the Lynx, was white hot, with the Liberty hitting 10-of-17 from downtown.  The defense was again stellar, with Indiana mustering just an 81 offensive efficiency and not getting a single point in transition.

Beside all the numbers, the Liberty learned their lesson, one that can be only measured in the final score. In Tuesday’s loss to Minnesota, they came out without energy. Friday night was a different story. Different result. Yes, it all seemed to come together for the Liberty. As noted, the setting and circumstances were favorable for this type of performance. In the end, their mindset on this night was more of a deciding factor.

"The Guru," Mel Greenberg, hard at work:
An inbounds play with Indiana cutting off a double screen:
The Liberty dance team takes the floor during a timeout:
Official Maj Forsberg during a free throw:
Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer meets the media postgame:
Swin Cash fields interviews outside the Liberty locker room:
Penn State proud: Regina (left) and Rochelle (right) meet with the Liberty's Tanisha Wright. All three hail from "Happy Valley" as Nittany Lion alums. Regina and Rochelle played eighth-grade basketball at Our Lady of Lourdes in West Orange, New Jersey, and Ray officiated several of their games:

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