The Connecticut Sun defeated the New York Liberty in Game 1, 78-63 sending an early message that New York will have their work cut out for them in the WNBA semifinals.
Anyone can look at Game 1 and point out the fact that DeWanna Bonner (20 points) and Rebecca Allen (18 points) put on a shooting clinic. Analysts, critics, and fans can also point out that the Sun played lights out on the defensive end.
The Sun played a great game all around, but the Liberty contributed to their Game 1 loss. In order for New York to bounce back in game two they need to make some adjustments. Here are three things that the Liberty need to do differently in Game 2 against the Sun.
Game 2 adjustments for the Liberty: 3. Create space for Sabrina Ionescu
The first thing the Liberty need to adjust for Game 2 is creating space for Sabrina Ionescu. She finished game one with 12 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block while shooting 4-of-14 (28 percent) from the floor. Ionescu finished the game shooting 50 percent from 3 but in order for the Liberty to win Game 2, she needs to be more efficient from the floor as a whole.
Connecticut did a good job of switching bigger defenders on her. All night Ionescu saw different defenders like Allen, Bonner, and Tiffany Hayes. New York can counter lanky and bigger defenders jamming her by sending more screens her way.
If the Liberty plays more high pick-and-roll with Breanna Stewart and Jonquel Jones, it will take the pressure off of Ionescu.
She also needs to make quicker reads when receiving the ball. The faster the Oregon product passes the ball or shoots the ball the less time there is for the Sun defense to set up, keeping her and the Liberty frontcourt out of the paint.