New York aims to liberate potential in final weeks of WNBA season

New York Liberty guard Bria Hartley noted that the team won its last 10 games of 2017 regular season, so why not aim to end the 2018 season on a winning streak. Not quite as plausible as previous seasons, but the team reconvened after the All-Star break intent on playing with conviction.

Tina Charles was the lone Liberty player to play in this year’s All-Star Game, which took place Saturday in Minneapolis. She was a member of the winning team, Team Parker, which defeated Team Delle Donne 119-112. Charles scored seven points and had five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Maya Moore was game MVP.

While Charles was in Minneapolis, the other members of the Liberty enjoyed a bit of downtime, with some going to visit family and others savoring a little rest and relaxation. Hartley got in some mommy time with son Bryson. Before taking off, the members of the Liberty spoke about their goals for the final nine games of regular season play.

“That game against Minnesota (an 85-82 loss), we played pretty well for the most part,” said Hartley. “Even though we didn’t get the win, we were out there, we competed. That game could have gone either way. So, hopefully we can take that with us into these last nine games and try to really make a push.”

In a highly competitive league such as the WNBA, any team can win on a given night, but those nights have been few and far between for the Liberty this season. Hartley said the team as a whole has lacked the consistency needed to dominate.

“Each of us can kind of get a little bit better to become more consistent, becoming more of an offensive threat and working on our team defense a little bit more,” Hartley said. “Not give up as many points, not foul as much. Some of the little things that really make a difference in winning or losing games.”

She added, “We have nothing to lose. We want to go out there and make a statement and make sure we’re competing in each game.”

The Liberty play the Indiana Fever at Westchester County Center Saturday afternoon and return to Madison Square Garden Monday morning for a camp day game against the Seattle Storm.