New York Liberty Stars Talk Upcoming Playoff Game With Phoenix Mercury

The New York Liberty (21-13) may have clinched the third seed in the WNBA playoffs, but that only qualified them for a matchup with the Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner led Phoenix Mercury (16-18) tomorrow night (Sept. 24), at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off for the one game elimination playoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST and you can catch the match up nationally on NBA TV.

Read: WNBA Fines Three Teams For Their Anti-Violence Apparel

Vibe caught up with Liberty’s own Brittany Boyd and Shavonte Zellous to talk playoffs, Bill Laimbeer, national anthem protests and much more at the flagship 5th Ave NBA Store in New York City. They both agreed that the old playoff format was better than the new one. Instead of having home court advantage for the series, it will be a winner-takes-all playoff with everything on the line.

On the biggest key in defending Olympians Taurasi and Griner, “You have to play smart basketball, it’s a team collective thing,” said Zellous, who confirmed she’ll be out there tomorrow despite a back injury she sarcastically didn’t acknowledge as real. Boyd added, “Just being in their space, making them feel uncomfortable.” Defense sounds like it’ll be the key to a Liberty victory.

The Indiana Fever collectively took a knee for social injustice in America before their playoff game Wednesday night (Sept. 21), during the national anthem. Boyd, a California native, has been sitting during the anthem the past five games in support of Colin Kaepernick, saying, ” I think it’s good that they’re bringing awareness to the social injustices that are going on today. I think as more people in the league continue to do that, it’s going to bring more awareness and hopefully create change. For me, I’m going to continue to sit on the bench during the national anthem.”

Read: WNBA Withdraws Fines From Teams And Players In Protest With Black Lives Matter

Zellous piggy-backed off her teammate. “I think a lot of people are getting our protesting and taking it in a bad way against our country,” she said. “Around the league there’s several players and coaches that have had family members in the military and with them kneeling it kind of took a stance….I really applaud them (Indiana Fever) for taking a stand because it is social injustices that we are going through and we’re taking it one step at a time. It speaks more volumes when you stand together.”

The team doesn’t have anything planned yet regarding a protest during the anthem of Saturday’s (Sept. 24) playoff game. The Orlando native said the team, “is still in discussions about it so we’ll see,” and whatever we do we will do it “as a team.”

Good luck to the ladies of the New York Liberty. Make sure to tune in to NBA TV tomorrow at 7 p.m. EST for their game against the Mercury.