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Essence Carson Feeling Fine, Deserves All-Star Nod

Every now and then I like to believe I have super hero powers. I’m just glad that I didn’t inadvertently put a hex on the New York Liberty.

When Essence Carson suffered a freak eye injury prior to the Libs’ game against San Antonio last Friday night, I had that sinking feeling that I was partly responsible. Now, deep down I know that I really had nothing to do with it, but it’s a freaky coincidence that New York’s second leading scorer was hurt just days after I wrote a post saying the team has remained healthy.

Well one day after Carson was forced to sit out against the Silver Stars to nurse her ailing eye, I learned that everything’s going to be just fine. With an emoticon wink and a smile, Carson used her Twitter account to announce to her fans that she was indeed OK.

Though sensitive to light, she spent most of the Fourth of July weekend wearing sunglasses and protecting her eyes. She was back at practice following the holiday.

It’s good that my personal guilt has subsided, but more importantly, Carson is expected to rejoin and play with the team in its next game. The Liberty will take on the Silver Stars in San Antonio this Friday.

While most attention surrounding the Liberty is centralized around Cappie Pondexter, and deservedly so, Carson just might be the most valuable player on the team. As I described her in an earlier post, the former Eastside High and Rutgers star is an irreplaceable player. She is a proven defender against the league’s best guards and small forwards, and she also has developed a lethal mid-range offensive game.

Perhaps even more telling of her demeanor is the positive attitude that she brings to the court. Carson began the season as one of the team’s starters, and she played like an all-star through the first four games. But a lineup change bumped Carson to the bench and moved Leilani Mitchell, a true point guard, to play alongside and free up Pondexter.

Coming off the bench hasn’t detracted from Carson’s game at all, and in fact, the Liberty have become a more effective scoring and defensive team as a result of the switch. Carson offers an offensive punch when she enters a game and gives the Liberty an immediate shutdown defender.

Carson is 10th in the Eastern Conference with her 14.4 points per game average and 11th in field goal percentage. With five days remaining cast ballot, this year’s All-Star team should include Carson.

It would be a shame if she isn’t selected, but regardless of what happens, Carson won’t be rattled if she’s on the All-Star team or not. That’s just the type of player and person she is.

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