The Liberty are returning to a newly-transformed Madison Square Garden this season with a new roster and high expectations.
Even after a disappointing 2013 season in which their 11-23 record tied for second-worst in the league, the Liberty are determined to return to the postseason this year under three-time WNBA champion head coach Bill Laimbeer.
“We always want to make the playoffs,” Laimbeer told amNewYork. “That’s our plan this year.”
Veteran forward Essence Carson echoed Laimbeer and feels there will be no chemistry issues due to the new acquisitions such as center Tina Charles.
“I expect a pretty successful season,” Carson said. “We’ve made some great acquisitions, we picked up some good people, have a good core returning, and I think that everyone who is a part of the team is a good fit for the system that Bill [Laimbeer] has.”
Charles, a Queens native, won just one playoff series in her four years with the Connecticut Sun, and she’s hungry to be successful in her hometown.
“Playoffs, championship,” said Charles, the 2012 WNBA MVP. “That’s definitely everyone’s goal.”
Charles’ new teammates seem to think that her addition will get the Liberty, who open the regular season on Friday in Connecticut a day before their home opener against the Chicago Sky, back to the playoffs.
“Expectations are big,” said two-time WNBA champion Kara Braxton, who won both titles while playing for Laimbeer with the Detroit Shock. “The acquisition of Tina Charles, that just makes us that much better.”
What would it mean to win a championship in New York?
“It would be awesome,” Carson said. “New York would love that, no matter what the sport is — New Yorkers love championships.”