The New York Liberty entered the 2023 season with a ton of hype. And rightfully so. Already with burgeoning superstar Sabrina Ionescu on their roster after drafting her first overall in the 2020 WNBA Draft, the Liberty made major moves in acquiring two former MVPs last offseason.

One of which was Jonquel Jones. Jones won the MVP award in 2021 when she averaged 19.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game for the Connecticut Sun while posting a robust 57.1% effective field goal percentage and 51.5/58.4/36.2/80.2 shooting splits. They also pulled off the biggest acquisition of the offseason and arguably in the history of the WNBA when they acquired Breanna Stewart. Stewart's made five All-Star teams, won the MVP award in 2018, and won two titles with the Seattle Storm. Getting two former MVPs in their prime in the same offseason doesn't happen often in any sport, but New York managed to pull that off.

That's already led to some big success on the court. The Liberty went 32-8 in the regular season. The 32 wins are by far the most in franchise history; their previous record for most wins in a season was 23 back in 2015. The Liberty won the Commissioner's Cup this season; the WNBA's midseason tournament with a similar format soon to be adopted in the NBA starting next season. Only the Las Vegas Aces (34-6) had a better record than the Liberty this season. According to, the Aces were also the only team to post a better Net Rating than the Liberty. That's one reason to be optimistic about the Liberty's chances of winning a WNBA title. But there are two more reasons to be excited about their chances too.

*Stats via

Top 3 offense

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Part of the Liberty's success is how dynamic they are on offense. According to, the Liberty rank second in the WNBA in offensive rating behind only… the Las Vegas Aces. It's a balanced attack too. The Liberty feature seven players with a usage rate of at least 15% that have played at least ten games this season. Of that seven, only Stewart has a usage rate above 25% at 26.2%. That usage rate could sky up for Stewart in the postseason. She's their hammer. The Liberty know that if their movement offense gets taken away that they can just get her the ball and she can create anything at any time in the shot clock.

The Liberty also probably have the best pick and roll tandem in the WNBA with Stewie and Sabrina Ionescu, who can create for herself or find Stewart rolling or sealing for position in the paint or popping out to the three-point line.

Those two are so dynamic and versatile that the Liberty can run inverted pick and rolls between the two and create good looks out of that as well.

To make that tandem even more of a nightmare to defend, the Liberty give them plenty of space to do their thing. New York shot a league-best 37.4% from three this season. They also shot the most threes per game in the WNBA by far with a staggering 29.7 of them. The next highest in both attempts and percentage is… the Las Vegas Aces at 24.9 attempts and 37.2%. The Liberty will be an absolute nightmare to defend. Few teams will have an answer.

Top 3 defense

The Liberty also do their thing defensively. Their 99.4 defensive rating ranks third in the league behind the Las Vegas Aces and the Connecticut Sun. This is where the acquisitions of Jones and Stewart really elevates the Liberty. A year ago, the Liberty posted a defensive rating of 102, which ranked seventh in the league. A frontcourt of Jones, Stewart, and Stefanie Dolson gives the Liberty so much flexibility. Stewart can roam around the paint while Dolson battles it out on the post. The Liberty can go small with Stewart at the five or even Jones there at times. Their versatility let them do many different things on defense.

Liberty: Conclusion

This season was billed as a two-team race between the Liberty and Aces for the WNBA title. The regular season lived up to that hype as they were far and away the best teams in the WNBA. Now, the playoffs are here and the race will only get more interesting. But first, those teams are going to have to handle their business. The Liberty certainly can win that race and win the WNBA title. It'll be fun watching their journey to that destination.