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myrtle



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PostPosted: 05/09/22 11:47 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

while that's all reasonable...I still want to see her on the floor. Laughing


root_thing



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PostPosted: 05/10/22 12:23 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

myrtle wrote:
while that's all reasonable...I still want to see her on the floor. Laughing


I do too. And it should be for a reasonable stretch of time. I don't want to see 2-3 minutes every other game. Seriously, I'm sure getting Han over here wasn't easy -- for her or the team. So, why waste everybody's time if you're not going to use her?



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 05/10/22 4:11 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Playing ball denial on defense means you have to change where your help defense comes from if you need it, or if you want to double and from where. It’s hard to have one player fronting the post if the other players don’t because it changes your whole scheme. Especially with a team that’s only had five players on the floor for a portion of camp. Also Howard locked down JJ which would have put Han on Brionna Jones, who she doesn’t only have to defend. She also has to keep her off the offensive glass. Fronting her with such a strength disadvantage also invites numerous offensive rebounds. You also would have to beat her spots as she moves, not an easy task for Han who’d have to get to the spot first and avoid getting sealed off.

If Han had played then Cubaj would barely have, and it worked out. I could see if it didn’t work out. Sandy has identified situational usage frequently. Connecticut is the strongest team in the league by a measurable amount. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Han on the floor for much larger minutes in each of the next three games. Way too soon to judge.

But, if this is how Han is used moving forward, that’s a different story. I can’t see why she wouldn’t get on the floor at minimum for the weekend games, if not against Chicago.



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Bob Lamm



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PostPosted: 05/10/22 11:18 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The Liberty just posted a short video which I'm assuming is from this morning (Tuesday). Both Laney and Richards were on the court and seemed to be participating. Hoping they'll both be in action tomorrow night.



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 05/10/22 4:39 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I believe Jackie Powell mentioned they were both expected to play tomorrow but I could be wrong.



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PostPosted: 05/10/22 5:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
I believe Jackie Powell mentioned they were both expected to play tomorrow but I could be wrong.


It certainly looked that way... though that's just an impression.



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PostPosted: 05/11/22 10:33 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I'm VERY curious about tonight's game. Assuming/hoping that Laney and Richards will be playing, this will be our first opportunity to see how Sandy Brondello distributes 200 minutes of playing time among 11 of her 12 roster players. And of course it'll also be interesting when Rebecca Allen returns and hopefully all 12 are healthy and available.



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PostPosted: 05/11/22 5:23 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Yes, I feel like a lot of people are curious about what’s going to transpire in some form. #1 on the board is clearly the usage of Han. If her non-usage on Friday was a one-game thing, that I understand. But generally speaking, I do think she’s ready for some minutes and can really provide an offensive boost. I expect her to play tonight and I’d be surprised and disappointed if she didn’t.

Also wonder if DiDi will play any backup PG tonight. I also wonder if we see any of Laney at the 2 and Willoughby at the 3. That’s a nice size/defensive combo.



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NYL_WNBA_FAN



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PostPosted: 05/11/22 5:41 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

https://twitter.com/mylesehrlich/status/1524513376956727296?s=21&t=9iwMeNqxkOk23fTjLvoDrQ



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PostPosted: 05/11/22 9:57 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

So we got our first look tonight at how Sandy Brondello will handle our roster when most of the 12 players are available.

Brondello started Willoughby rather than Whitcomb. When the game didn't seem completely lost, she used only eight players. Richards, Han, and AD sat on the bench. It's possible that Richards wasn't yet 100%; I have no idea. By the time Brondello sent in Han, the game was really over.

We'll see what's next with these 11 players.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 05/11/22 10:25 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Didi was in street clothes -- with her shirt rolled up of course.

Ionescu, Laney, Howard, and Dolson combined for 24 points. They were outscored by that superstar tandem of Dana Evans and Rebekah Gardner who together had 29.

The most honest thing Brondello can do is to show her true feelings by NOT playing Han on AAPI Heritage Night. Twisted Evil



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 12:41 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Cubaj got 17 1/2 minutes against Chicago; Han got nine. It will be very interesting to see how many minutes each of them gets on Friday and Sunday.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 1:03 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

New York is playing 4 games in 7 days. There won't be much time for practice. Even if they could squeeze in some scrimmages, you run the risk of tiring out players even more. Whatever adjustments Brondello makes can't be the kind that requires a lot of practice. They have to mostly roll with what they've got.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 6:22 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

To me, let’s look at grading the players. Cubaj on a 10 scale is a 1 on offense and a 7 on D and probably an 8 rebounding.

Han is a 9 on offense. I think it comes down to is she a 1 on defense and rebounding or more like a 3? Because if the staff deems her unplayable for defense/rebounding reasons it also highlights Cubaj’s deficiencies.

Bottom line is either Han needs to play or if the staff thinks her deficiencies outweigh the merits, then you need to find someone who can. You can’t have non-entities on your roster (or what your coaching staff feels are non-entities) as immediate players off the bench. I personally think Han is good enough to play through certain deficiencies and improve while giving your offense a major contribution. But if Sandy doesn’t, then this three post thing is not sustainable and needs to be fixed. And that’s all there is to it.

In Sandy’s defense, 0 rebounds and 2 fouls in 9 minutes do highlight both deficiencies so…I’d rather she play, but there’s an argument for why she can’t.

That is still on the Liberty for roster construction though. It’s also why I thought Shook should make the team back before her current status was known. While not great, Shook is a 3-point threat and functional defender. She doesn’t have a major deficiency in any area the way Cubaj and Han do.

If the core 3 would play like it consistently, this convo might also be less necessary too. I mean, geez. The whole team really didn’t show up. I thought Dolson was the only player who played with energy in the first half.



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Bob Lamm



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 8:30 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
That is still on the Liberty for roster construction though. It’s also why I thought Shook should make the team back before her current status was known. While not great, Shook is a 3-point threat and functional defender. She doesn’t have a major deficiency in any area the way Cubaj and Han do.


I wish Kylie Shook well with whatever is happening in her life right now and in whatever is ahead. Unlike Walt Hopkins, I believe Shook has no future in the WNBA. In my view, there's a reasonable chance that Cubaj, Han, or both will get better. I don't think that's true for Shook.

There are many things that you and I agree on, but not on Kylie Shook and not on Walt Hopkins.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 10:58 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I don't think we've seen any indication that Han is a bad defender. Committing two fouls in 9 minutes obviously isn't good, but it's hardly an unusual event in basketball. I didn't see the opposing post players scoring on her regularly. Now, my screen did freeze for a minute, so I missed some action -- including the 3-pointer that Han herself made. But while I was watching, I don't recall any post player even shooting with Han guarding them. When Hebard was out there, she mostly floated around outside. I remember Han leaving to double on Parker, and Candace made a slick pass to the player Xu just left. That led to a layup, but it's debatable whether Han made a mistake. Otherwise, I didn't see anything obvious that could be described as her being out of position. In the 4th Quarter, the Sky hit a bunch of open 3s because the Liberty perimeter players kept collapsing toward the middle. Whether they were instructed to collapse and help Han or they did it on their own is hard to say. However, I didn't see a need for them to provide help. I've said all along that Han is good on offense, satisfactory on defense, and poor at rebounding. I think that's the more accurate description of her ability.

In terms of how playing time is being distributed, I wonder if future considerations are driving the decision-making. Dolson will be here next year because she has a big contract. Cubaj is in the first year of her rookie deal and fully controllable by the team for 4 years. Meanwhile, Han's return is always a question mark. So, maybe Brondello is reluctant to fully invest in her. That's understandable, but my guess is that if Han plays well and generates good PR, then the Chinese will be happy to send her back. Anything that stokes their propaganda machine is positive motivation.

The decisions on Laney, Whitcomb and Willoughby may also follow the same considerations. Laney's big contract continues through next year, but Whitcomb's does not. Whether you believe the Breanna Stewart rumors or you think the Liberty will need cap space for a different free agent, Sami is the obvious player to drop. Willoughby is somewhere in between. By May 15, the team has to decide whether or not to guarantee her 4th-year option. So, giving Jocelyn extended playing time now can directly impact that decision. To some extent, she is auditioning to replace Sami. However, if Willoughby doesn't impress, then it's clearly better to decline her option. That leaves the team with even more cap flexibility to pursue free agents.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 11:15 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Han Xu's 2022 season for the Liberty so far consists of NINE MINUTES on the court. Han is certainly a better player than she was during her previous Liberty stint in 2019. Is she good enough to be our #4 post player? Will she be better than Cubaj? Can Han be a genuine force off the bench? I don't know and I doubt that Sandy Brondello knows yet. Nothing wrong with posting our impressions during and after each game. But let's not rush to judgment.



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readyAIMfire53



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 11:50 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Bob Lamm wrote:
Han Xu's 2022 season for the Liberty so far consists of NINE MINUTES on the court. Han is certainly a better player than she was during her previous Liberty stint in 2019. Is she good enough to be our #4 post player? Will she be better than Cubaj? Can Han be a genuine force off the bench? I don't know and I doubt that Sandy Brondello knows yet. Nothing wrong with posting our impressions during and after each game. But let's not rush to judgment.


A team with Stef Dolson as starting center is not contending for a championship. Period. Chicago did not win until Stef came off the bench. She was a key bench player and darn good backup post, but does not give her team an advantage when starting.

I'm not a Lib fan so you can discount my vote on that basis, but I vote for giving Han more minutes. She has obvious advantages on offense and less obvious deficiencies on defense. It takes time, especially for players unfamiliar with the system and the language, to learn a new system and be effective in it. The Mystics are seeing that with Rui Machida right now. Not getting blockbuster numbers, but slowly learning where to be and where the passes are - and players are learning to expect a pass when they're instantly open, whether they're looking or not.

Back to Han, I expect her defense will improve exponentially if she gets time on the floor. She has to integrate Brondello's system - when to double and when to hedge for the entire team defense to work. She has the length to overcome minor errors and, being in the right place she can easily deny the easy bucket.



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root_thing



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 12:16 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I've been watching Han in FIBA tournament games since 2018, so I'm evaluating from more than just 9 minutes of PT this year. I also attended the open practice. In terms of Han's poor rebounding, it looks like a correctable problem. She isn't always aware when shots go up, and even when she's watching, Xu doesn't react. She goes into spectator mode. I saw the same problem with Mercedes Russell at Tennessee. However, Russell seems to have fixed the problem. I don't know if Mercedes figured it out herself or the Seattle coaching staff worked with her, but the issue got resolved. I don't see any physical reason why Han can't be a good rebounder. It's just a matter of focus, effort, and learned instinct. The Liberty coaching staff should make it a priority to help her.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 12:20 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Also, I don't claim to have seen an enormous amount of Cubaj, but she seems like even if she sticks in the league for a while she'll end up solid. Decent. And that's about it. Han's ceiling, if she ever got close to it, is so much higher than that. So if it's anywhere close to a toss-up for playing time between the two, give the one with the super-high ceiling a chance. If she starts getting bullied or worked over then fine, pull her. But damn, they were down 26 before she got into last night's game. Come on.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 2:28 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Just for the record, I don’t think Han has the skills of a terribly bad defender either. I’m just trying to articulate what the staff might be evaluating. Are there things she needs to work on? Well, yes, to an extent. But I’ve watched a good amount of Han in highlights and her FIBA play and I think Root is right. I think Han’s lateral movement has dramatically improved. She might get out-positioned on occasion and as a 6’10” player, it’s not the easiest thing to move laterally and avoid getting called for fouls. It’s still a work-in-progress but I thought it was vastly improved from what we saw in the open scrimmage.

Rebounding is a weakness. There’s different factors that come into play there. Physical strength, strong hands. But I think you’re either going to have to let her play through these things on a situational basis or it’s a waste of a roster spot. Against CT, fine. It’s a bad matchup. I don’t think last night was a mismatch situation. Especially since Howard was off her norm anyway. If they’re going to play three-deep in the post, they’re going to eventually pay. They look like a tired team already and it’s only game 2.



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Shades



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 3:00 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
To me, let’s look at grading the players. Cubaj on a 10 scale is a 1 on offense and a 7 on D and probably an 8 rebounding.


She should eventually rate higher than a 1 on offense, because facilitating is part of offense, and she led Georgia Tech in assists as a post player. Kinda rare thing that got me intrigued with Cubaj as a possibility for the Lynx.

But being a good facilitator takes time to learn how to play with your team. Give these rookies time to develop.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 3:37 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

Shades wrote:
NYL_WNBA_FAN wrote:
To me, let’s look at grading the players. Cubaj on a 10 scale is a 1 on offense and a 7 on D and probably an 8 rebounding.


She should eventually rate higher than a 1 on offense, because facilitating is part of offense, and she led Georgia Tech in assists as a post player. Kinda rare thing that got me intrigued with Cubaj as a possibility for the Lynx.

But being a good facilitator takes time to learn how to play with your team. Give these rookies time to develop.


The thing is I like Cubaj, and I agree about her developmental potential. But two things. First, to facilitate you usually need to draw two defenders. Cubaj literally draws no defensive attention, so it’s hard to pass when the team is ignoring you to cover everyone else. Secondly, I’m fine if she’s your fourth post. Or fifth post if the team carries 5. One of the things the Libs face moving forward is that they either justifiably can’t or unjustifiably won’t play Han meaningful minutes. So, Cubaj is the first post off the bench. A role that she’s probably not ready for on an every-game basis. My problem isn’t with Cubaj or Han. My problem is that in my view the roster construct is either flawed or the coaching isn’t using the players in a way that maximizes their performance. Take your pick on which one it is, but either way I think you need four posts to rotate better and your first post off the bench can’t average 1 point per game on 25 percent shooting. Numbers that I don’t foresee changing in the near future very much.



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PostPosted: 05/12/22 7:33 pm    ::: Reply Reply with quote

I guess my perspective is a little different than that of some Liberty fans here. (Not that mine is right and anyone else's is wrong.) Our team was 2-20 in 2020, 12-20 last season. Right now we've played two teams that were far better than New York in 2021. One won the WNBA title; the other had the best record in the regular season. So far New York is 1-1. Yes, last night's game was painful to watch... but we're still 1-1 against two better teams.

The next three home games in this difficult four-games-in-seven-days stretch will tell us more. I am hopeful that the Liberty can beat Indiana and Dallas. I'm skeptical that we'll beat Connecticut again. If we are 3-2 to begin the season, with a road game against Minnesota after that, I'll view that as a good start. Seems a reasonable possibility to me.

I see our current team as a definite step up from last season but not a championship contender. If the Liberty can finish 19-17, make the playoffs, perhaps advance a bit there, I'd view that as a very positive result for 2022. Then perhaps we can be a genuine championship contender in 2023.



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PostPosted: 05/14/22 6:02 am    ::: Reply Reply with quote

The Liberty should consider a 2-3 year rebuild....Howard is clearly on the downside (Turns 31 this season) and your not winning anything with Dolson as the starting center.

* Trade Howard to Seattle or Minny for a pick/young player and take back one bad contract.

* Trade Whitcomb for a futire 1st rd pk...I'm sure there are teams that need a shooter (Phoe, LA. Minn, etc...)..... take back a bad contrat if you have too

* Trade Dolson to Vegas for a first rd pk....and again, take back a bad contract (Stokes)...Vegas was one of Dolson's original FA destinations..

* Play all of your young players 20+mpg (Han, DiDi, Cubaj, etc...)...Let them sink or swim.


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