53° Good Afternoon
53° Good Afternoon

What to watch for in Liberty's second half

New York Liberty's Tina Charles talks with teammate

New York Liberty's Tina Charles talks with teammate Epiphanny Prince before a WNBA basketball game against the Connecticut Sun at Madison Square Garden, Thursday, July 16, 2015. Photo Credit: Jason DeCrow

With a five-game win streak intact, the Liberty are off to its best start since 2001 and sit atop the Eastern Conference entering the second half. The Liberty seem likely to return to the playoffs after missing out the past two seasons, but the offense still has some kinks to address.

Below are three key areas to look out for as the Liberty (12-5) try to maintain their great play in the second half, which begins at 7 tonight on the road against the Indiana Fever.

More swishes for Prince

Although the Liberty have won six of seven games since two-time All-Star Epiphanny Prince debuted midseason, her shot has yet to fall as consistently as hoped. Prince, 27, is second on the team in points per game with 12.7 but is shooting just 35.7% from the field and 27.3% from 3 -- well below her career marks of 39.6% and 37.2%, respectfully.

Those numbers are still a small sample, and consider she's been tasked with learning a new offense rather quickly after being acquired from the Chicago Sky this offseason and missing the season's first 10 games to play in the EuroBasket Tournament. Prince should be expected to heat up soon and jump-start the Liberty's offense, whose 3.3 3-pointers made per game are the league's fewest.

Create separation

Of the Liberty's final 17 regular season games, 12 will come against Eastern Conference opponents, which provides them with plenty of opportunities to distance themselves from the pack.

Unlike the lopsided Western Conference, the Eastern Conference is very balanced with the first and last place teams just five games apart. The Liberty hold a one-game lead over Chicago for the top spot.

Owning the paint

The Liberty have been the league's best rebounding team and allow the second-fewest points per game while blocking the third-most shots per game. The team boasts three centers who are all 6-3 or taller in Tina Charles, Kiah Stokes and Carolyn Swords.

With these three post players protecting the interior, the Liberty's upper hand on defense and rebounding should be what carries them to continued success the rest of the way.


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Top Photos & Videos