Also thrilled to see Suuuuuuuueeeeee celebrating great post play, T Edwards on the edge of her seat, and Val Ackerman one of the original “Originals” stalking the Garden steps. I even have a little love for the Dolson family – even though you were cheering for the Mystics. I see why she’s such a lovely woman…
The Lib and Mystics put on quite the show and, as many observers have noted, the electricity was back.With all my intellectual understanding of how important a NY win is to the league (no disrespect intended to the Mystics fans – they have been amazing and need to recover from some serious mis-management) I was taken aback by the surge of emotion that went through me when Stokes sealed the win with her block and Sugar super-sealed it with her free throws. It’s been a long time, kids.
Of course, as a reward, we get to play back-to-back games as we’ve been doubly evicted from the Garden.(First it was Madonna, then it was the Pope… I’m expecting Julio Iglesisas’ secret twin brother Jesus to announce a surprise concert.)
The conference finals open Wednesday in the East (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET) when New York plays its second game at Madison Square Garden in as many days.
No. 1 New York (23-11 in the regular season) vs. No. 3 Indiana (20-14)
No offense to Washington, but from a league visibility standpoint, having New York in the Eastern Conference finals is a boost to the WNBA. But can the Liberty make it to the WNBA Finals for the first time since 2002? The team trying to stop them has more playoff experience as a franchise — 11 consecutive postseason appearances — and beat the Liberty four of five times during the regular season.
From Swish Appeal: Heavyweight battle: 5 major keys to Eastern Conference Finals
A LATE ADDITION from William: As Liberty Seek Title, Tina Charles Can Now Do More Than Dream
Charles played the full 40 minutes Tuesday and will, in all likelihood, have to play 40 more Wednesday.
No rest? No sweat.
“Being born and raised in New York, nothing is easy,” Charles said Tuesday. “Nothing really goes your way. So it doesn’t surprise me that we have to play tomorrow. It’s New York. Things like this happen. You just got to respond.”
For Charles, who was raised in Jamaica, Queens, and starred at Christ the King High School, Tuesday night brought back memories of the rocking Garden of her youth, cheering for women playing in a new women’s pro league that gave young players new horizons, new hope.
In Minnesota, the Lynx led wire-to-wire as Candace’s Superwoman cape wasn’t quite big enough. More of interest to me is the appearance of Sylvia Fowles. It looked like she was finally interested in taking an active role in this whole “pursuit of a championship” thang.
The Sparks, however, fastened their defense midway through the second half and pulled within one point early in the fourth quarter after a pair of Parker free throws.
But the experienced Lynx dug in, leaned on their veterans and rattled off a 9-0 run.
Augustus knocked down a 14-footer. Sylvia Fowles asserted herself in the paint and muscled through Sparks defenders for a couple of buckets. Superstar Maya Moore hit a step-back jumper and earned several trips to the free-throw line.
“We played on the edge every possession tonight,” Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen said. “A couple lapses here and there, but that’s what it takes to win those games,”
In other news:
It was a tense game between two third-grade basketball rivals, but it wouldn’t be until two months later that one team’s coach would feel the full effects.
Jessica Curs was coaching a team of 9-year-old girls in Burleson, Texas, when things got so heated that fans started heckling her, her husband and other coaches, she said. But it was when one particular fan, who turned out to be a plainclothes police officer, said he heard the coach fire back with her own comments that things escalated quickly.