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The 2023 WNBA season has entered its decisive stage and in the first of the semifinals the fancied New York Liberty take on the season playoff warriors Connecticut Sun in a battle between the 2nd and 3rd seeds from the regular season. Will the Liberty reach their first WNBA Finals in 21 years? Will the Suns’ experience, the fifth semifinal in a row, help them? Here are our game 1 Liberty vs Suns predictions.
New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun – Game Predictions
- 1 New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun – Game Predictions
- 2 Liberty vs Sun Preview – bright talent vs experience
- 3 New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun Game Details
Liberty are in their first playoff appearance since 2015. The Sun are making their fifth consecutive semifinal appearance. Liberty swept the regular-season series between the sides. Who will prevail now in game 1 of the WNBA semifinals?
Prediction 1: Connecticut Sun under 77.5 total points @ -110 (10/11)
Our first Liberty vs Sun prediction is that the visitors won’t score more than 77 points. In two of the four regular-season clashes between the teams Liberty were so dominant that the Sun never got beyond 65 points.
Liberty’s defending has only been improving throughout the season, especially at home where they are 16-5 this campaign they tend to allow only 76.2 points per game. This is why we don’t fancy Connecticut’s chances to go above 77 points.
Prediction 2: New York Liberty to win the first quarter @ -200 (1/2)
Liberty have the second-best home record in the entire league coming into this match. They won the first quarters in 17 of their 21 home matches so far this season. They also won the opening quarter in 3 of the 4 regular-season games vs the Sun. All that makes us confident that they will do that again now.
These odds were correct at the time of writing.
Liberty vs Sun Preview – bright talent vs experience
Fresh from lifting the Commissioners’ Cup in August New York Liberty enter this semifinal full of confidence and hope. The Sun were the only team from the semifinalists that dropped a game in the previous round. However, the Sun have vast experience and this is their fifth consecutive WNBA semifinal appearance.
New York Liberty News, Injuries, and Starting Lineups
New York Liberty come into this match enjoying a 10-1 run. They swept the dangerous Washington Mystics in the quarterfinals after 90-75 and 90-85 wins. Liberty also won 32 of their 40 games during the regular season and they won all 4 matches vs the Sun.
The big advantage for the Liberty in the coming matchup will be their star centre Jonquel Jones. She has a huge size mismatch in this fixture and we expect to see the guards feeding her balls inside and leaving her to go to work. Jones had a similar mismatch in the quarterfinals vs the Mystic and in those games, she averaged 19.5 points, 13.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks.
The other key player will once again be the starting backcourt, Sabrina Ionescu-Courtney Vandersloot. They will be handling the Sun’s big star Alyssa Thomas and if they can neutralise her again the Liberty will dominate.
Liberty Injury Report:
Han Xu (C) – out
Liberty Starting Lineup:
Courtney Vandersloot, Sabrina Ionescu, Breanna Stewart, Betnijah Laney, Jonquel Jones
Connecticut Sun News, Injuries, and Starting Lineups
Connecticut Sun became the only higher-seeded team to lose a match in the quarterfinals. They secured blowout wins in the other two matches vs Lynx though and with this reached the WNBA semifinals for the fifth year running. The Sun were in the Finals last season so they don’t lack experience.
The recent form had been patchy though 6-4. Also, the Sun lost all 4 regular-season clashes vs the Liberty. The main reason for that was the awful mismatch for the Sun’s beating heart Alyssa Thomas. She’s averaging 23.5 points and 9.3 assists in the postseason and yet her numbers in the 4 clashes vs Liberty so far were much different. In four games against New York this season, Thomas averaged 11.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, six assists and 3.5 turnovers on 32.7% shooting from the field. If she can’t find a way to improve the Sun are as good as doomed.
Sun Injury Report:
Sun Starting Lineup:
Rebecca Allen, Tiffany Hayes, Tyasha Harris, Alyssa Thomas, DeWanna Bonner
Liberty vs Sun head-to-head record in 2023
- 02.09.23 WNBA New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun 89-58
- 24.08.23 WNBA Connecticut Sun vs New York Liberty 90-95 OT (82-82)
- 27.06.23 WNBA Connecticut Sun vs New York Liberty 81-89
- 27.05.23 WNBA New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun 81-65
- 10.05.23 WNBA Connecticut Sun vs New York Liberty 63-57
New York Liberty vs Connecticut Sun Game Details
- Date & Time: Sunday, September 24, 2023, 06:00 p.m. GMT / 01:00 p.m. ET
- Venue: Barclays Center in New York City, New York
- Where to watch the match: Sky Sports Arena (UK/Ireland), ESPN (USA), Hulu TV, fuboTV, or the WNBA App/League Pass
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