By: Anthony Miller
After the Dallas Wings suffered a third straight loss, the team is looking for answers on how to break the losing streak.
Saturday was an offensive shootout between the Dallas Wings and the Seattle Storm that saw two players score more than 39 points by themselves. The Storm at one point in the game had a 15-point lead, but Dallas was able to fight back and take the lead. It was the fourth quarter that made the difference as Seattle scored 35 points in the quarter. That would be the difference as the Wings fell to the Storm 109-103.
Arike Ogunbowale continued her hot streak on offense this season as she had a career-high 41 points in the game. Ogunbowale also had three assists and three steals in the loss. Satou Sabally’s streak of double-doubles came to an end but still performed well with 25 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. The third of the big three Natasha Howard also scored 20 points and ten rebounds with three steals and three assists.
Dallas’ defense struggled defensively allowing a season-high 109 points as it is the second time in three games, they allowed over 100 points. Seattle shot 50.8 percent from the field and converted 17 three-pointers to be 50 percent from the three-point line.
Dallas’ losing streak was increased to three and now find themselves under .500 with their record standing at 5-6. The good news for the Wings is they are still in the playoffs as of right now sitting seventh in the standings. They will have a lot of work to do if they want to move up in the playoff standings.
Concerns With Dallas Wings
This young Dallas Wings team has a ton of talent and has already shown early on they have the offensive weapons to compete with the rest of the league. Sabally has proved to be playing at an MVP level averaging 20.9 points and 11 rebounds per game this season. Ogunbowale is one of the best scorers in the WNBA having scored more points than any other player in the league with 258 which is an average of 23.4 points per game. Howard is also showing her worth scoring 15.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
The biggest concern is that the Wings have these three players who are consistently balling out each game. What about the other players? Are the role players able to step up and play well on a consistent basis? So far, there might be a few that can, but it isn’t nearly enough for them to be a championship team.
There really aren’t too many concerns about the offense as the Wings’ offense is second in the league in points per game with 85.5. Dallas’ defense has had four games where the opponent has scored more than 90 points they are 1-3 in those games. If this team wants to be considered one of the elite teams in the WNBA, they will need some of their players to step up as that fourth option for them.
Dallas Wings Players to Watch
The Dallas Wings are probably counting their blessings if they were able to re-sign Kalani Brown back onto the roster as she has had a good impact on the team this season. After being cut at the end of training camp and being brought back, Brown has recorded 8.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game in eight games played. Some could argue she is creeping in as that fourth option for the team this season.
What has made her a significant impact on the team is her ability to play tough in the paint. It has opened the option for Sabally to shoot from outside and Howard to convert from mid-range. Brown can be that post presence to have the other two forwards focus on shooting.
Should Brown be more consistent, she could emerge as the fourth option for Dallas as they look at their younger players like Maddy Siegrist to learn from the bench. Dallas’ paint presence has improved since Brown joined the team. It makes sense to see her step up as the next player to get it done for the Wings.
The Wings were sure happy to have one of their starting guards back in the lineup after missing four games with an ankle injury. Crystal Dangerfield scored 15 points and three assists in her return. For the season, Dangerfield has scored 9.7 points per game.
What helped was she was one of the highlights for Dallas on Saturday when it came down to the defensive side of the ball. Dangerfield was impressive in the third quarter shutting down the guards for Seattle with the Wings allowing just 19 points in the quarter. The ankle didn’t really seem to bother her as she was moving well and quick on the court throughout the game.
Ogunbowale will always get the attention of the guard since she is such a prolific shooter. What the Wings need from Dangerfield is to play tough defense and get the ball in Ogunbowale’s hands. Scoring between 12 to 15 points per game would also be massive for Dangerfield. She was impressive in her return, but Dallas will be looking for Dangerfield to do more of the same in upcoming games.
Featured Image via Twitter (@DallasWings)