Liberty

Liberty Loading Up On Talent

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WNBA Free Agency is underway and moving fast. One of the bigger signings around the league was Stefanie Dolson to the New York Liberty. Stef should be in Seafoam for awhile, as it was reported that the signing was a multi-year deal.

Homecoming for Dolson

Dolson joked about her homecoming in her first press conference with the Liberty, but seemed eager to work with the young core of NY players. A veteran presence isn’t necessarily needed on the roster. Natasha Howard and Betnijah Laney can both play that role. However, Stef noted the importance of having a leader down low and on the perimeter. Her and Sabrina Ionescu already have chemistry and should work well together as captains.

One of the main reasons Dolson was signed was to improve the team’s biggest weakness, defense. Out of all players in last season’s WNBA playoffs, she was eighth in defensive rating and eighth in defensive win shares. Per 36 minutes in the playoffs she was averaging 1.5 blocks. It’s safe to say Stef will make life difficult in the paint for any Liberty opponent foolish enough to drive on her.

Besides her defensive prowess, the UCONN product was brought in for pick and roll purposes as well. Ionescu and Laney will thrive with Stef popping and rolling off of screens. Look at the fluidity Dolson shows in the play below. Set the screen, pop out to the 3-point line, and pull the trigger as soon as she’s open. Plays like this should be a commonality this season in NY.

Becca Allen Back

The Liberty intend to maintain the chemistry brewing year-to-year with the hybrid rebuild. What better way than to resign a veteran like Rebecca Allen. Allen, a sharpshooter who can defend multiple positions, is a solid role player that any winning team needs.

Not to mention the Liberty just brought in new Head Coach Sandy Brondello, a fellow Aussie native who has coached Allen on the Australian Opals. Last year Allen averaged career highs in points per game, blocks per game, steals per game, assists per game, and free throw percentage. All while shooting 38.1% from deep. This was a no-brainer signing for New York and should bode well for the team moving forward.

Things are looking up

The Stefanie Dolson signing will likely be the biggest one the Liberty make this offseason. Also, it will probably have the largest on-court impact. Hats off to the front office for landing such a great player, and job well done bringing back Rebecca Allen. Jonathan Kolb and company have an intelligible and direct goal. Create a winning culture with a vibrant roster that plays well together. It’s coming together beautifully and with the momentum swirling around this squad anything is possible.

About Mike Perry

NBA and WNBA writer and podcaster

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