Monday, September 22, 2008

And then there was one (game) ...

Greetings from Mohegan Sun Arena. Tip-off for Game 3 of the Sun-Liberty first-round series is about 40 minutes away. Here are a few numbers and notes to chew on in the meantime:

* The Sun are 12-3 all-time at home during the playoffs. They've only been eliminated here just once (against Detroit in the 2006 Eastern Conference finals) and are 4-1 when facing elimination at home, including Saturday's 73-70 win in Game 2.

* Dating back to last year's first-round playoff series with Indiana (a span of five games), the Sun have allowed 45 3s on 104 attempts (43.2 percent). Don't be surprised if those numbers rise again tonight. New York averaged a league-high 7.62 3s per game during the regular season. If they're not hitting from long range, the Liberty are going to have to do something spectacularly different or get a big night from Janel McCarville inside.

* Svetlana Abrosimova is starting at shooting guard for the second straight game, joining Lindsay Whalen, Kerri Gardin, Asjha Jones and Tamika Whitmore in the Sun's starting lineup. For New York, it's the same group as usual: Essence Carson, Loree Moore, Shameka Christon, Cathrine Kraayeveld and McCarville. Tonight's officials are Cameron Inouye, Scott Twardoski, Lamont Simpson.

* Whitmore had a rather quiet night offensively in Game 2, scoring six points on 2-of-8 but adding a career-high three steals. But this a player who can carry the Sun's offense when she gets hot and is more likely to do it in the playoffs. She's second all-time in playoff appearances and owns the league's single-game scoring record in the playoffs (41). Just seeing Whitmore around the court the last few days, you can tell her intensity level has risen a few notches. She has the defensive responsibility of corralling Janel McCarville, so expending the extra energy doesn't always bode well on the offensive end. But keep an eye on Whit, which you can on ESPN2.

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