Wednesday night's game with Indiana was a hard fought, physical, at times sloppy..er, i mean scrappy game for the Liberty. They were down a starter, down 3 refs, and trailed most of the game, but when it mattered most they found a way to create turnovers, get stops, and put points on the board. It wasn't pretty, but it was pretty damn special to be in the Garden that night and witness this team gut out a victory.
I will say the officiating was horrible and one-sided. The refs were in love with Katie Douglas who acted her way through the game padding her stat line along the way. Ironically, it was Lin Dunn who complained about the officiating. Was Tameka fouled with less than 10 seconds-maybe. There was definitely contact to the body, but no worse than a no call on Cappie a few minutes prior when she got hit by 3 Fever defenders so call it awash.
Now the Liberty will face the Atlanta Dream for the Eastern Conference Championship beginning on Sunday in New York. The Dream destroyed Washington and showed their early season form as opposed to their end of season slump. This team is one of the best defending teams and led the conference in points per game. High octane offense, smothering defense will give the Liberty plenty of problems.
The Liberty squeaked by the Fever and relied too heavily on Cappie to come up big, which she did time after time. Taj has to start knocking down shots from inside and do a better job of hitting the boards especially if McCarville is out with an injured ankle. The Liberty also need more from Nicole Powell. She was benched in the second half of Game 3 and it was the right call. Her anemic offense and invisible defense has been a constant liability. Fortunately, Essence Carson has stepped up and been reliable off the bench. I think she's earned a starting spot the rest of the way- the margin of error is so slim in the postseason you need to stick with who's hot. Surprisingly, our poor 3-point shooting has yet to catch up with us, but Mitchell and Powell both need to pick to start knocking down shots beyond the arc to open up the rest of the floor.
Our bench (Kia, Essence, and Plenette) have all come up huge. We're going to need them now more than ever. This team knows how to win. Now it's time to get it done.