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New York Liberty Make Historic Playoff Run and Set New Records

Sport News | flickr

After game two of the WNBA semifinals, the New York Liberty are grinding to make their way to the finals.

After taking the Washington Mystics in two games for the first round of playoffs, the Liberty have split the first two games of the semifinals with the Connecticut Sun 1-1.

The New York Liberty are one of the original WNBA franchise teams and are looking to win their first championship title this season. The team came together this season with a solid starting five.

AP player of the year and newly minted WNBA MVP Breanna Stewart, WNBA All-star three-point champion Sabrina Ionescu, two-time All-defensive team awardee Betnijah Laney, 2021 MVP Jonquel Jones and Third on WNBA’s All-Time Career Assists Courtney Vandersloot.

Additionally, Steph Dolson is back from injury, Marine Johannes has been a playmaker every time she comes off the bench, and Kayla Thorton is a great sixth man making passes and plays when she is on the floor.

The Liberty are looking better this season than they have in years. They won the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, were second seed during the regular season and are in the semi-finals for the first time since 2015.

On Sept. 20’s nail-biting second playoff game against the Mystics, the Liberty tied the game and took the win in overtime, 90-85.

The Liberty have consistently struggled in the third quarter against both teams in the postseason, falling behind and needing to push hard to regain their lead or take the loss.

The Liberty have struggled to find an offensive rhythm against the Sun, a team they beat 4-0 in the regular season.

The Liberty lost to the Sun on Sept. 24. The Sun’s Dewanna Bonner said to ESPN’s Holly Rowe that “when it’s playoffs it’s 0-0, they are an amazing team with a lot of talent, we locked in, we watched videos, we never just relaxed.”

One crucial obstacle during these games versus Connecticut has been Guard Rebecca Allen. She was signed as a free agent by the Liberty in 2015 and was traded to the Sun this year in January as part of the deal that sent Jonquel Jones to the Liberty.

Allen has been extremely effective at preventing Ionescu from shooting but had foul trouble leading her to be rotated out to prevent sending the Liberty to the line.

The Liberty struggled defensively against the Sun but switching from man to zone defense helped put them over the Sun in game two.

The next two games will be held in Connecticut this Friday and Sunday. If needed, game five will be at the Barclays Center on Oct. 3.

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