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Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty appears to refocus during the Olympic break

There was a moment towards this Olympic break, as Sabrina Ionescu achieved his career’s best 12 assists in Dallas last week, leading the Liberty team to an important victory.

And there were other games when one of the most famous faces in women’s games almost disappeared. Ionesk had a hard time finding the rhythm when playing under a minute limit designed to limit stress on the surgically repaired left ankle.

“Restrictions were sometimes frustrating,” Liberty coach Walt Hopkins said on Sunday. “She really rolled us [early] Indiana, but we need to think about the third and fourth quarters. I can’t leave her there, and I have to pull her off the court while she’s playing really well. And it hurt us in the game.

“She really had a lot to deal with injuries in the first half of the season. She tried to get over it, but it definitely affected her. This break and this break are strange to her. I think it will be … “

Ionesk and Liberty certainly seemed to be able to rest in the last two games for a month-long Olympic break. The team had to win one of these two to finish more than .500 in the break. Instead, hampered by some travel issues, Liberty suffered explosive losses to both the league’s worst-recording teams, Indiana and Connecticut. Ionesk achieved a total of 7 assists in two games, shooting a total of 2 to 13 and 0 to 6 in the range of 3 points.

Fierce competitor Ionesk was trying to mark this season after missing most of last year’s three ankle sprains in his third professional match. In the first five games of 2021, she averaged 18.4 points, 8.8 assists and 6.4 rebounds. The stretch included hitting the winner of the game with the opening night buzzer and becoming the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double.

Since then, the reality of recovery from a serious ankle injury has begun. Ionesk missed two games in early June due to ankle tendonitis. Since then, her minutes have been hovering in about 25 games. Compare with the first eight games when she averaged less than 34 minutes per game.

“I don’t want to talk about how frustrating it is for her, that’s what she says,” Liberty’s general manager Jonathan Kolb said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “For us, we keep in mind that it’s not just a season, but a long career. From there, we want to make sure we’re doing everything medically right for the Sabrina people. Bring her as a player. That’s our job. “We listen to the doctor and help her in the right way.

“Sabrina and we are all convinced that she wants to be 100% healthy now, but the processes we carry out and the steps we follow get her there. It’s just a matter. When that time came, we saw a flash of talent and the job of entering that talent to make her the cable player she exists in. “

Fortunately, Liberty may be ready to push in the last 11 games of the regular season after returning from the break. Ionesk is expected to be ready to play for a few more minutes after almost a month of no games. And Natasha Howard, who played just two games before twisting the MCL, will return on August 15th, when Liberty hosts Lynx.

Liberty, who won two games last year, was hoping for a big step forward by exchanging first place in the draft with Howard and Samiwittcom in February. Liberty has a record of 10-11 and is currently sixth in the league where the top eight teams play off. The league is so crowded in the middle that they can use a healthy stroke as the 9th place team is just the game behind Liberty.

Hopkins clearly had high expectations for his team and was clearly disappointed with the way he enthusiastically stretched for a break.

“No doubt 10 wins are great. It’s a good start,” Hopkins said. “But we are all convinced that we could have had at least three that could have put us in a good place to take a break. They were controllable.

“Part of my job is to let them know how good they are. That’s the cause of frustration. It’s not personal frustration. They’re ready to accept the next person right now. It’s frustrating not to understand what you’re doing. Step. “

The next first step is August 15th, when Liberty will host Lynx.

Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty appears to refocus during the Olympic break

Source link Sabrina Ionescu, Liberty appears to refocus during the Olympic break

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