By: Anthony Miller
After advancing in the playoffs for the first time since 2009, the Dallas Wings prepare for game one against the top seeded Las Vegas Aces.
The Wings had quite the first round against the Atlanta Dream with some adversity in game one. After the Dream got off to a 20-point lead on the Wings, Dallas stormed back to win 94-82 thanks to WNBA’s Most Improved Player of the Year Satou Sabally’s franchise playoff record 32 points.
Game two was close in the first quarter, but Dallas dominated the rest of the game winning 101-74. It was the first time since moving to Dallas that the franchise advanced through the first round of the playoffs.
It was a different story for the Aces as they dominated through two games against the Chicago Sky. Each game, Las Vegas won by at least 22 points to advance to the semifinals.
During the regular season, the Dallas Wings went 1-3 against the Aces. Their only win against Las Vegas was back on July 7 where they won by two points 80-78.
How Dallas Can Pull Off Game 1 Win
This will be the biggest challenge of the season for Dallas.
In a five-game series, the Wings have two road games in Las Vegas starting out. Friday will be their first home game of the series in game three. If necessary, Dallas will host game four on Sunday, October 1. Game five would go back to Las Vegas on Tuesday, October 3.
Dallas’ key to win starts offensively being balanced with scoring. What made them successful in their game two win was seven players scoring more than ten points which is the first time in WNBA playoff history.
That movement starts with the Big 3: Arike Ogunbowale, Satou Sabally, and Natasha Howard. In the first round, Howard was not as much of a factor offensively. Ogunbowale averaged 22 points per game in the first round. Sabally had a quiet 13 points in game two after scoring 32 in their previous game.
A’ja Wilson is the main focal point for the Aces. Wilson averages 22.8 points and 9.5 rebounds during the regular season claiming back-to-back defensive player of the year awards.
Other stars on the team include Jackie Young, Chelsea Gray, and Kelsey Plum. The Aces have one of the most complete starting lineups in the league matching up neck-to-neck with the New York Liberty.
Dallas will need to hit about 50% of their shots and block shots like they did in game two when they had seven shots blocked. If the perimeter defense can play solid defense and force Las Vegas to score inside, Dallas can compete.
The Wings have a tough path to the finals so winning one game on the road is critical. Game one should give Wings fans an indication of what kind of series it will be.
Featured Image via X (@DallasWings)