It’s Go Time for Sabrina Ionescu


The New York Liberty sit with a record of 1-4 through the first five games of the 2022 WNBA season. It is an unexpected slow start for a team that entered the year with a lot of hype and excitement.

Much of the buzz surrounded former number one overall pick Sabrina Ionescu, who is finally healthy after battling ankle issues her first two years in the league. Despite returning to 100 percent, she has continued to struggle in what has been an uneven season.

Ionescu began the year with a sizzling 25 point, four rebound, six assist performance in a win over Connecticut on opening day. In the next game at Chicago, she only scored two points and took just five shots. It is this kind of game to game inconsistency that has plagued her all season. The question is, what are the biggest issues and how can they be fixed?


The Liberty rank in the bottom half of the league in nearly every major statistical category, including pace and three-point percentage. As the point guard, Ionescu is responsible for bringing the ball up the floor and moving the offense.

Under new head coach Sandy Brondello, we expected to see a dynamic and fast paced system with lots of scoring, one similar to what Ionescu ran at Oregon. The results have not been good to this point, as the team ranks last in points per game and next to last in field goal percentage.

Former head coach Walt Hopkins often deployed a small ball lineup, playing Natasha Howard at center along with an athletic forward. Brondello has taken a different approach, opting to play big with Stefanie Dolson and Howard on the interior.

As a result, the offense has looked much slower, and Dolson is struggling to make a scoring impact, notching just 39 points through five games. Going small will give Ionescu and the offense more spark and speed, as well as a chance to unlock their three-point shooting.


Along with their scoring woes, another major issue for the team has been turnovers. The Libs are averaging a league worst 18.4 giveaways per game. The team looked no worse than in their last outing against Connecticut where they coughed it up 32 times.

A part of the problem is New York’s lack of ball handlers outside of Ionescu, who has not been able to feature her playmaking as much due to her ball handling responsibilities. To help ease the load, the team has signed former Rookie of the Year Crystal Dangerfield to a hardship contract.

Her presence at the point will allow Ionescu to play off the ball where she can take more shots and as a result, limit turnovers. We have been waiting to see her fully unlock her scoring potential on the offensive end, and the addition of Dangerfield could go along way in making that happen.


Ionescu and the Liberty have got some much needed rest following the blowout loss to Connecticut. They will next face Minnesota on the road tonight. This game will serve as a great opportunity for her to get in a groove offensively against a league worst Lynx defense.

She has always been known as an elite facilitator, giving her teammates an opportunity to shine. But for New York to have a chance to compete and remain in the playoff mix, she will have to stay aggressive and consistent as a scorer and be in attack mode game in and game out. It’s go time.

About Hamilton Neill

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