Freshly crowned MVP Breanna Stewart and the New York Liberty will look to rebound from an offensive power outage in Game 1 as their gritty semi-final series against the Connecticut Sun continues tonight.
The much-hyped Liberty were held to just 34% shooting in the opener as the Sun powered to a 78-63 win while forcing Stewart into a rough 7-for-25 shooting night.
Connecticut’s monster defensive effort got all the headlines, but Rebecca Allen’s sharpshooting was another X-factor for the visitors as she drilled four triples on the way to 18 points.
Sun vs Liberty Game 2 best odds
Sun vs Liberty Game 2 picks and predictions
New York Liberty coach Sandy Brondello didn’t mince words after Game 1, calling it their worst performance of the season. It’s easy to see why when New York managed just 23 points in the second half.
I expect that blunt assessment to spark a backlash tonight, especially with the added buzz at Barclays Center after Breanna Stewart was named 2023 WNBA MVP. Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu combined to miss 28 of their 39 shots on Sunday – and I don’t anticipate a repeat of those numbers.
Even after their Game 1 dud, the Liberty are 17-6 at home this year and won all four meetings with the Sun in the regular season, including two lopsided scorelines. As well as Connecticut defended in the series opener, I don’t buy the idea that the visitors have solved an offense that averaged 89 points a night this year.
It’s also worth noting that the Sun had their own offensive struggles at the weekend. DeWanna Bonner scored 20 points but needed 19 shots to get there, while Alyssa Thomas was limited to eight points. I have more faith in the Liberty’s scorers flipping the switch and finding their groove tonight.
This isn’t quite a must-win game for New York, but things will start to look bleak for the hosts if they don’t bounce back here. I’m picking the Liberty to look much more like themselves and cover this spread.
My best bet: Liberty -9 (-110 Bet365)
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Sun vs Liberty Game 2 spread and Over/Under analysis
It says a lot about this Connecticut team that they were able to grind out a road win despite a quiet game from Thomas – by her high standards. Thomas still had 10 assists but went 4-for-11 from the field.
Even so, the Liberty are big favorites to level the series tonight, with the line sitting as high as 9.5 at some sportsbooks. There’s logic in thinking that Stewart will put up better numbers tonight and I’ve made the case for New York to be locked in from the jump.
That includes playing at a faster pace (they had zero fast-break points at the weekend) and more touches for Jonquel Jones, who was the Liberty’s best player in Game 1 but only took eight shots as New York struggled to make its size advantage count in the paint.
As we knew coming into this series, the New York trends scream Over and the Connecticut trends point to the Under – part of what makes it a fascinating duel. The Over has hit in the Liberty’s last four games after an ATS loss and it’s 4-1 in their past five outings at Barclays Center.
Meanwhile, the Under is 9-2 in the Sun’s last 11 games against fellow Eastern Conference teams and it’s 4-1 in their past five contests after a win. I’m leaning towards the Under again tonight, with both teams so savvy at the end of the floor.
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Sun vs Liberty betting trend to know
Don’t overthink New York’s poor shooting in the series opener. The Liberty had scored 85 points or more in 12 straight games before the Game 1 horror show. Find more WNBA betting trends for Sun vs. Liberty.
Sun vs Liberty Game 2 game info
|Location:||Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY|
|Date:||Tuesday, September 26, 2023|
|Tip-off:||8:00 p.m. ET|
Sun vs Liberty Game 2 key injuries
Sun: Bernadett Hatar C (Questionable), Brionna Jones F (Out)
Liberty: No injuries to report.
Find our latest WNBA injury reports.
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