By: Anthony Miller
After starting the season 3-1, the Dallas Wings have dropped two straight games on the road as they need a bounce-back week.
Things did not go according to plan for the Dallas Wings in the last two games as they had an east coast road trip to the Washington Mystics and the Connecticut Sun.
In their first contest against the Mystics, it was a back-and-forth game with the first quarter being a defensive battle with a 14-14 tie. Washington found some momentum as they took a 36-30 lead at halftime. The Wings’ offense found some momentum as their offense put up 27 points in the third quarter taking a 57-55 lead going into the final quarter. Costly turnovers and forced shots would be the downfall for Dallas as Washington took a 75-74 win.
The Wings’ second game against Connecticut didn’t get much better for them as they fell behind 44-30 at halftime. Despite putting up more points in the second half with 44, it wasn’t enough to catch up to the Sun as Connecticut won 80-74. 17 turnovers and just six points off the bench are what hurt the Wings in the game. Arike Ogunbowale had a season-low eight points and shot just 19 percent from the field.
Biggest Factor to Two-Game Losing Streak for the Dallas Wings
The biggest issue the team is facing is their offensive production through the last two games. Dallas’ first four games of the season saw the team averaging 90.5 points per game and a field goal percentage of 42.6 percent shooting per game. In the last two games, those numbers have gone down to 74 points per game and shooting an average of 35.5 percent from the field per game.
One factor to the offensive struggles is Ogunbowale not being the high percentage shooter she has been this season as she is shooting just 26 percent from the floor the last two games. Her shots and many of the other players’ shot selections have felt forced like they are playing catch up. They have had decent deficits in both games, so the Wings’ offense has been forced to shoot low-percentage shots to catch up.
Dallas did not see their big three (Arike Ogunbowale, Natasha Howard, Satou Sabally) work together as well in the Connecticut game outside of Sabally who has posted double-doubles in each of the last two games. Despite Howard earning a double-double in the Washington game, Howard and Ogunbowale combined for 19 points in the loss.
Adding to the offensive struggles, the team has scored a combined 27 points in the first quarter in the last two games. The slow starts have hurt the team trying to get some kind of momentum or flow with shooting the ball. Dallas has found itself behind in games to the point where it becomes difficult to keep up with a lack of consistent scoring.
What Can Help Dallas Get Back on Track
Faster starts to games would be a good way for the team to get on track quicker. The Wings have had success scoring in the paint with Sabally and Howard, so they need to lean more on them to score points inside and utilize Ogunbowale to slash into the paint for some easy layups as well. Finding high-percentage shots will only help the Wings score more points in the first half.
Their defense has been stellar the last two games with teams shooting just under 39 percent from the field the last two games. This is a big difference for the team that has had two of their first four opponents score over 90 points in games. With the defense hitting their stride, they need to make sure they continue to play tough defense and not allow easy shots.
Being at home will be good for the Wings as they look to end their losing streak against the Phoenix Mercury Wednesday night.
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