By: Jonathan Donville
Following a successful home opener, the Dallas Wings take to the road for the first time this season for a pair of games against the Seattle Storm and Chicago Sky.
Dallas took home the first contest of the season over the Atlanta Dream by a score of 85-78. Arike Ogunbowale led all scorers with 27 points, followed closely by Satou Sabally who chipped in 25. Natasha Howard filled the box score, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
Against the Dream, Dallas used their defense and a wide margin in free throws to seal the victory. The Wings held the Dream to just 35.4% shooting from the field and 28.1% from three-point range. At the stripe, Dallas made 22 of 26 attempts, compared to just 11 for 14 by Atlanta.
The free throw differential helped the Wings overcome a deficit in rebounding. Atlanta won the battle on the glass 45-40, including 17 offensive rebounds. Atlanta poured in 21 second chance points.
When asked on Wednesday about what the focus of practice on Wednesday, Head Coach Latricia Trammell said, “defense, transition, rebounding, rebounding, rebounding.”
Complicating that challenge is the injury to Teaira McCowan which she sustained during the third quarter of the Atlanta game. It will be a by-committee approach for Dallas to replace their 6’7 center if she isn’t available. McCowan is listed as questionable going into the weekend.
Leading that charge will be Howard, one of the most versatile defenders in the WNBA.
“On defense I usually use my quickness,” said Howard when asked about guarding bigger players. “Some of these post players are bigger than me, they weigh a little bit more than me, but other than that I just use my quickness. And then on offense, I just take full advantage of my athletic ability that I can do on the offensive end against slow post players.”
Seattle Storm – Friday May 26th, 9:00 PM CT, ION
The Storm enter the 2023 season with the task of replacing franchise cornerstones Sue Bird (retirement) and Breanna Stewart (free-agency to New York). The team lost to the eventual champion Las Vegas Aces in last year’s playoff, but it is a new look roster this year in the Evergreen State.
The growing pains were evident in their season opening loss to Las Vegas by a score of 105-64. Jewell Lloyd led the scoring for Seattle with 25 points, however the next closest scorer had just 8 points. Seattle shot just 32.1% as a team and allowed 54.8% shooting by the Aces.
Dallas lost the season series to Seattle last year three games to one, although Dallas scored more points over the three games.
Friday also marks the first Commissioner’s Cup game of the season for Dallas. The Cup is an in-season competition which is comprised of the first home and away game against each team’s five conference rivals. The two teams with the best record in cup games will meet for the Commissioner’s Cup Championship presented by Coinbase in August.
Dallas will be playing this season for the Sisters Network Dallas Inc, a group devoted to increasing local and national attention on the disproportionate impacts of breast cancer on the African American community.
|Dallas Wings||2022 Head to Head Matchup||Seattle Storm|
Chicago Sky – Sunday May 28th, 5:00 PM CT, NBA TV, Bally Sports Southwest Extra
The Sky are currently 2-0 and will battle against the Washington Mystics at home on Friday in advance of their test with the Wings.
Like Seattle, the Sky are entering a new era following the departure of regulars Candace Parker, Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot.
One of the new faces for the Sky is Marina Mabrey, who will compete Sunday against Dallas for the first time since being traded by the Wings this summer.
As of May 25, Chicago has the second-best defensive rating in the league. In their season-opening victory against the Minnesota Lynx, Chicago held the Lynx to just three total points in the second quarter. Using their plus 19-point differential in the second quarter, they cruised to the victory by a score of 77-76.
In their second contest, the Sky defeated the Phoenix Mercury by a score of 75-69.
Kahleah Copper led the Sky offensively in both games and is averaging 17.5 points per game. Elizabeth Williams and Alanna Smith follow closely behind with 12.0 and 10.5 points per game, respectively.
Chicago won the 2022 season series two games to one, en-route to a second place finish in the league table.
|Dallas Wings||2022 Head to Head Matchup||Chicago Sky|