On Tuesday night, the New York Liberty will visit the Seattle Storm in a game headlined by Breanna Stewart’s return to Seattle. Stewart’s new team is off to a much better start than her old team through the first week and a half of the 2023 WNBA season. With the Liberty being heavily favored going into this matchup, it is expected for that to continue at Climate Pledge Arena.
New York Liberty Rounding Into Form
The New York Liberty dropped their first game of the season on the road against the Washington Mystics, scoring just 64 points in a double-digit loss. Since then, they have won two games in a row at home, beating the Indiana Fever and Connecticut Sun by an average of 16.5 points per game. Now, the Liberty look for their first road win of the season, as they bring Breanna Stewart back to Seattle for her first game as a visitor.
A huge question mark for the Liberty coming into this game will be how Jonquel Jones performs as a new member of their lineup. Jones has struggled with foul trouble early in her Liberty career, and has only averaged 8.7 points per game as a result. Look for the Liberty to try and get her more involved early on here, as they need her to be a more consistent option behind Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu.
Seattle Storm Looking For Second Option
The Seattle Storm are 0-2 to start the 2023 WNBA season, getting blown out by the Las Vegas Aces before losing a tight game against the Dallas Wings. In both games, Jewell Loyd has been great for the Storm, as she has averaged 26.0 points per game. But it is the rest of the Storm roster that has been a concern, as they have lacked a consistent second option behind her now that Stewart and Sue Bird are no longer on the team.
Seattle will hope that Kia Nurse will blossom into that second option, as she had a breakout performance last time out against the Wings. Nurse hit six three-point shots against Dallas to help the Storm claw back from a double-digit deficit. If she can continue to be a threat from behind the arc, that could open up more lanes for Loyd to drive the ball and get to her spots from the mid-range.
Liberty vs Storm Betting Prediction
New York comes into this game as a 15.5-point favorite, and deservedly so, with the way both of these teams have played so far this season. But that may be too many points to lay, as the Liberty have not yet proven that their new nucleus can blow opponents out on the road. Because of that, we like the Storm to cover this double-digit spread at home.
In this game, expect the familiarity the Storm have with the Liberty roster to come into play. Seattle obviously knows a ton about their former star in Breanna Stewart. But Seattle guard Sami Whitcomb also played for the Liberty last season, and knows a ton about their roster and the system of head coach Sandy Brondello, which could become a factor.
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