New York Liberty Head Into Playoffs Hot

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The New York Liberty have proven to be an absolute powerhouse this season. The Liberty were one of only two teams to break the 30-win threshold in the regular season, and their win percentage of 82 is by far their best in franchise history. The team has great chemistry and puts on a show against any team they face every game. The team is led by their three All-Stars in Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart, and Courtney Vandersloot; the latter two of which are new faces to the Big Apple.

The Liberty are among two favored contenders to the WNBA championship, with the Las Vegas Aces being the other favorite. The two squared off on August 6th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn and broke the Liberty record for attendance with 11,148 fans in the stadium. It was one of the most competitive games in the season. Ionescou put on a show for the Liberty, hitting six three pointers to help secure a 99-61 win over the perennial contenders. This wouldn’t be the only time the Liberty came out on top over the Aces, as they beat Aces again to win the Commissioner’s Cup back in mid-August. 

The Commissioner’s Cup is the final game between the number one seeds in the East and the West conferences. One of the things that sets the New York Liberty apart from other teams is their ability to shoot from the outside. In the Commissioner’s Cup the Liberty hit 15 three-pointers compared to the Aces’ five. 

In fact, the Liberty were the top three-point shooting team in the WNBA during the regular season, as they lead the league in both triples made (444) and percentage from beyond the arc (37.4 percent). Ionescu also finished with the most three-pointers made in WNBA history (128) to go alongside the three-point contest trophy she won at the All-Star break. 

The Liberty seemed to be heating up at just the right time, as they’ve lost only four games since July 12th. In the month of August, they led the league in: points per game, field goal percentage, rebounds per game, assists per game, blocks per game, offensive rating, and defensive rating. 

The aforementioned Stewart, Ionescou, and Vandersloot are among the talented players leading the way for New York. Stewart finished top three in the WNBA in WARP (wins above replacement), win shares, offensive share wins, and 40-point games in a single season. She has also been named Player of the Week multiple times in the 2023 season, with an MVP trophy within the realm of possibility after signing with the Liberty this offseason. She was announced as the Associated Press Player of the Year last Tuesday. 

Vandersloot, the WNBA leader in assists per game this season, recently became the second all-time assist leader in the WNBA with 2,661 assists and counting, finishing the regular season with 2,701. She currently sits behind only former Christ the King superstar Sue Bird with 3,234 career assists. Vandersloot signed a two-year contract a day after it was announced Stewart was heading to New York. These two new additions alongside the former first-overall pick and newly-signed Nike athleteIonescou have undeniable chemistry and bring unbelievable talent to New York. With the regular season ending wrapping up on September 10th, the New York Liberty faced the Washington Mystics in Game 1 of the First Round this past Friday, with Game 2 this Tuesday. With the Liberty’s unbelievable performances and incredible talent towards the end of the regular season, many fans are hopeful to watch them go far and win the championship. 

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