Saturday, September 20, 2008

Game 2 pre-game notes

Tip-off is moments away for Game 2 of the Sun and Liberty's first-round series, so here is a speed round edition of notes:

(1) The starting lineups were just released and the Sun made an interesting change: Svetlana Abrosimova is starting in place of rookie Amber Holt, who was the only Sun player to start every game during the regular season. Players and coaches will make a point to say it matters more who finishes a game, but this appears to be the Sun's way of creating more of an offensive spark from the get-go.

Holt is a talented scorer, but she has struggled in recent weeks. Since scoring in double figures in three straight games from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5, she's averaged just three points per game, including her two-point performance Thursday in New York.

Everything else remains the same. The Sun are also starting Lindsay Whalen, Kerri Gardin, Asjha Jones and Tamika Whitmore. For New York, Essence Carson, Loree Moore, Shameka Christon, Cathrine Kraayeveld and Janel McCarville make up its top five.

(2) Keys for the Sun include: Better passing out of double teams in the post, getting better shots and opportunities by incorporating more movement into their offense, and limiting New York from getting a rhythm from behind the 3-point line. The Sun regressed into a lot of one-on-one play on Thursday because New York switched off screens more often, but expect them to make some adjustments.

Jones will also have to find a rhythm. She said it was difficult Thursday with New York collapsing on her more often than in previous games; she shot 4-for-13 from the floor.

"They always double team but they really came after me on every possession," she said. "I think before it was just going in the post. But now it's coming anywhere I touch the ball. So that's a little different."

That's it for now. Check back during the game for updates.

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