Posts Tagged ‘ Cappie Pondexter ’

New York Liberty line-up issues

June 23, 2011 9:47am

Over on the Rebkell board, a hot topic of discussion involves Liberty fans’ dismay over the starting line-up. Losers of four straight games, the Liberty need to find themselves before digging a bigger hole. As one of the least talented teams in the WNBA, it is imperative that they utilize the best scoring combination from the onset to give themselves a better shot at winning games.

One of the biggest issues WRT the line-up is finding minutes for fourth-year guard Essence Carson. Carson, who is averaging 14.7ppg (second on the team) and is the team’s best perimeter defender. This, in all likelihood, makes her the second-best player on the team. Simply stated, she cannot continue to be brought off the bench in favor of one of two weak spots for NY–PG (Leilani Mitchell, who is a one-dimensional shooter with very little defensive ability) and SF (Nicole Powell, who, unlike Mitchell, isn’t even hitting shots and is even worse defensively). One of those players will have to be benched in favor of Carson if the Liberty are to compete in the East for a playoff spot. Because Cappie tends to play better when she’s not managing the offense and because Mitchell can actually hit shots (40% 3-point shooter this season), that leaves Powell as the odd (wo)man out.

What can the Indiana/New York weekend home-and-home tell us?

June 11, 2011 12:53pm

Prior to the start of the 2011 WNBA season, Indiana was considered a strong challenger for the Eastern Conference Finals crown while New York was considered a first-round playoff team. After two games, New York sits atop the Eastern Conference while Indiana checks in at 0.500. A win for New York would solidify their position as the first place team in the East while a win for Indiana would tie them with New York for first place in the East. But what else could this mini-series tell us about each team?

For New York, a win tonight would give them three wins over the favorites to play in the Eastern Conference finals (Atlanta and Indiana twice). Furthermore, it would strongly support the line-up changes made by John Whisenant prior to the season (putting Cappie Pondexter at the PG position and moving Essence Carson into the starting lihe-up).

For Indiana, a win against New York would give them an important season series split and an opportunity to immediately redeem themselves. Because the previous game’s end result was close (81-80) despite New York holding double-digit leads during the second half of the game, tonight’s game would give the Fever a better sense of where they are at this point in the season (for rotation purposes).

Tonight’s game is at 7pm EST at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ.

To the point, Part 2 (New York Liberty)

May 21, 2011 11:51am

The New York Liberty open up the 2011 season with a new coach and a new home.  Head coach and general manager John Whisenant brings to New York (er…New Jersey) a winning pedigree, drawing upon his experiences as a WNBA champion in 2005 and league runner-up in 2006 with the Sacramento Monarchs. The biggest issue surrounding the Liberty outside of the height issue is the issue of point guard play. Though 2010 WNBA Most Improved Player Leilani Mitchell returns this year, there are concerns about her lack of size (Whisenant is used to coaching taller guards in his system), which leads to questions about her ability to defend in the White Line system and ability to create offense for shooters like Cappie Pondexter and Nicole Powell (both likely starters). MVP candidate Cappie Pondexter, who can play point guard and actually led the team in assists last season with nearly five a game, is a viable option at the point for the Liberty assuming that fourth-year pro Essence Carson, a 6-0 guard, starts at SG. The Liberty have also brought in second year guard Whitney Boddie and 2nd round draft pick Sydney Colson to get more looks at possible PGs. For now, though, it appears that the position is Mitchell’s to lose. Unlike in years past, there are plenty of other options available.

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