Indiana Fever at New York Liberty
|Date & Time||Friday May 24, 2019, 8:00 PM (EDT)|
Westchester County Center
White Plains, New York
The Line: New York Liberty -2 -- Over/Under: 158.5
NBA TV, YES
The Indiana Fever and New York Liberty meet Friday in WNBA action at the Westchester County Center.
The Indiana Fever have nowhere to go but up after just six wins last season, but they built positive vibes with a 3-0 preseason record. The Fever will once again be led by veteran Candice Dupree, who is starting her 14th season, but this franchise is more worried about the young players who will be the core of this squad moving forward. A trio of Teaira McCowan, Kelsey Mitchell and Natalie Achonwa is what the Fever should be most focused on given that those are the players who will soon be asked to carry the team. It should also be fun to see the return of Shenise Johnson, who has missed nearly two years with a torn ACL after playing some of her best basketball in the 2017 season. The Indiana Fever likely aren’t a playoff team this season, but the talented youth is intriguing and makes this a team worth watching if you’re into rebuilding projects with upside.
The New York Liberty won just seven games last season and finished the year on a 13-game losing streak. The Liberty are pretty much the same team last year, which probably doesn’t provide much hope. However, it is the second season under coach Katie Smith, so maybe some of those growing pains are a thing of the past. The Liberty also still have one of the best players in the league in Tina Charles, and I’m always hesitant on writing a team off that’s led by a top tier player capable of taking over. In order for the Liberty to take a step forward and compete for a playoff spot, Kia Nurse has to build on what was a solid rookie season, and current rookie Asia Durr has to hit the ground running. The New York Liberty need scoring in the worst way and those are two players who can provide it. The Liberty can’t have one double-digit scorer again and expect this season to be better than it was a year ago.
The Fever are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 vs. Eastern Conference and 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games overall. The Liberty are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference. The Fever are 4-0 ATS in the last 4 meetings in New York and 6-2-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings. The over is 6-1 in Liberty last 7 home games. The under is 3-1-1 in Fever last 5 road games.
The Indiana Fever didn't change much from a year ago as possibly the worst team in the league, and while they can play better, they're still not a playoff caliber roster. The New York Liberty can be much improved from a year ago if a couple of players can make some shots and take some of the load off Charles. On paper, the Liberty are a clear better team over the Fever, so at home, I'll lay the bucket.