The New York Liberty will face the Washington Mystics in a winner-take-all WNBA Playoffs 2nd Round game on Sunday, Sept. 10, at The Garden at 5 PM. The Liberty earned the No. 3 seed in the WNBA Playoffs and received a bye into the 2nd Round. The No. 6 seed Mystics advanced to the 2nd Round with an 86-76 win over the No. 7 seed Dallas Wings on Wednesday night.
• The Liberty surged to 3rd place in the WNBA and 1st in the Eastern Conference by winning 10-straight games to close out the regular season. The 10-game winning streak matched a franchise record from 2010 and is also the most consecutive wins to end the regular season WNBA history.
• New York is in the midst of one of its most successful 3-year stretches in franchise history. The Liberty have earned 3-straight WNBA Playoffs berths and posted the best record in the Eastern Conference in each of those years. Since the start of the 2015 season, New York has gone 66-36 (.647) posting 3-straight 20 win seasons for the 1st time in franchise history.
• The Liberty led the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage (.408) for the 3rd-straight season, becoming the 1st time in league history to lead the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage over a 3-year span.
The New York Liberty finished with the best record in the WNBA Eastern Conference for the 3RD-straight season, going 22-12 overall, earning the No. 3 seed in the WNBA Playoffs.
• The Liberty posted 3-straight seasons with at least 20 victories for the 1st time in franchise history; New York has gone 66-36 (.647) since the start of the 2015 seasons.
• New York closed the regular season on a 10-game winning streak, which matched a franchise record, and is the longest streak to end the season for any team in WNBA history.
• After making a change to the starting lineup at the midway point of the season, New York went 14-3 over the final 17 games of the year.
• The Liberty once again led with their defensive, ranking 1st in the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage (.408). New York is the 1st franchise in league history to lead the league in defensive field goal percentage for 3-straight seasons (2015-17).
• From Aug. 20-Sept. 1 the Liberty held 5-straight opponents to fewer than 70 points, the longest such streak in the league since the Indiana Fever had 5 in a row in 2013
• Tina Charles submitted another MVP caliber season averaging 19.7 ppg (3rd) and 9.4 rpg (4th)
The Liberty led the WNBA in defensive field goal percentage in 2017, holding teams to .408 from the field for the year. It was the 3rd-straight season the Liberty has led the league in opponent shooting percentage, making New York the 1st franchise in league history to accomplish the feat three years in a row. This year’s mark bested the 2016 number of .413, but did not match the near historic .393 teams shot against New York in 2015.
BOOST FROM THE BENCH
When the Liberty made a change to its starting lineup midway through the season, with explosive guard Sugar Rodgers coming off the bench, New York saw a big production increase from its 2nd unit. Through 17 games, New York ranked last in the WNBA averaging 14.8 bench points per game, but over the final 17 games of the year, the Liberty averaged 24.0 ppg from its 2nd unit. This allowed the Liberty to improve to 9th in the league, at 19.7 ppg, and the 24.0 ppg if averaged over the course of the season would have been the 4th-best mark in the WNBA. New York went 14-3 during the 2nd half of the season.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE DROUGHT FINDS OASIS
Tina Charles closed out the regular season with an 18 point, 18 rebound double-double in an 82-81 win at Dallas, her 12th point/rebound double-double of the season. However, that snapped a stretch of 11-straight games without a double-double for Charles, by far the longest of her career, exceeding the previous long stretch of 6 games without a double-double. For her career, Charles ranks 2nd in WNBA history with 141 double-doubles. She is the only player in league history to have posted a double-double in more than 50 percent of her career games played, securing one in 53.4 percent of her games.
LIBS SNAG AP HONORS
Epiphanny Prince was named the Associated Press WNBA Comeback Player of the Year and Sugar Rodgers was tabbed as the AP Sixth Woman of the Year. Additionally, Liberty forward Tina Charles was named AP 1st Team All-WNBA. Prince missed all by 6 games in 2016 while recovering from a torn ACL suffered in Nov. 2015. She returned healthy for 2017 and averaged 12.0 ppg, to go along with 3.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Rodgers became a critical member of a Liberty 2nd unit that developed into one of the best in the league over the 2nd half of the season. For the year, she ranked 5th on the team averaging 10.5 ppg, and again was one of the best 3-point shooters in the WNBA, knocking down 63 triples, which ranked 6th. Charles, who finished the season ranked 3rd in the WNBA in scoring (19.7 ppg) and 4th in rebounding (9.4 rpg) also recorded 12 double-doubles.