Game Preview: Dallas Wings (3-5) vs. Los Angeles Sparks (8-0)
Date: Saturday, June 11th
Time: 7:30 PM (CDT)
Site: College Park Center (Arlington, TX)
Wings- Karima Christmas, Plenette Pierson, Courtney Paris, Odyssey Sims, Erin Phillips
Sparks- Essence Carson, Nneka Ogwumike, Candace Parker, Alana Beard, Kristi Toliver
The Wings wrap up a two-game homestand against the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday night. Dallas hopes to get back to winning ways at home, where they are 1-3 this season, while the Sparks come into the game as one of two remaining undefeated teams in the league.
Karima Christmas notched her second double-double of the season on Wednesday night vs. Washington. The fourth-year guard is averaging 13.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, and is the only Wings player to score double-digits in every game this season.
Odyssey Sims was one assist shy of tying a career mark vs. Washington. Sims dished out nine on Wednesday night, her high mark for the season, and is averaging 4.2 assists in her last four outings.
Rookie Aerial Powers has led the team in scoring for two straight games, dropping 23 at Minnesota and 17 vs. Washington. Powers ranks third among rookies, scoring 11.9 per game.
Both Dallas and Los Angeles rely heavily on three-point shooting. The Wings and Sparks are 1-2 in the league, respectively, in getting their points from behind the arc. Dallas has 25.8 percent of their points scored from 3, while Los Angeles stands at 24.1 percent. Both teams lead the league in three-pointers made per game (Dallas-7.0, Los Angeles-6.9).
What the Wings are saying about Saturday night’s game…
Head Coach Fred Williams- “We have to guard them all the way through. Candace Parker is a player who can develop a lot of things in the open floor. We just have to try to contain their fast break situations.
“Steals and turnovers are very important categories against a team who has been really playing well in the first half of the season. We have to keep our turnover rate low and go out there and gamble a little bit for some steals.”
Assistant Head Coach Bridget Pettis- “This is a team that has been six years in the making. Their core has been together for a while. We just have to contain them and put pressure on them, and do what we haven’t been doing for while which is start well at the beginning of the games. That has been our focus, to get strong starts.
“We need to take care of the ball and value the possessions. Playing teams like this make you play smarter and make you play better, so I expect that we do turn it up.”
Forward Glory Johnson- “I think that we have to play with a chip on our shoulder. We know exactly what we are capable of, and we’re probably the ones that stop ourselves. Knowing that, we’re our own worst enemy. We have to play as hard as we can and we have to play like we are capable of. Everyone on the floor has to bring their “A game” against a team like this.”
Forward Aerial Powers- “We’ve been preaching defensively, we’re going to have to trust each other and be there for one another, especially on rotations. We’ve also been focusing on rebounds with this team. They rebound really well and we need to rebound.”