August 16, 2023
Beating top three teams a confidence booster for Dallas Wings
'We just continue to believe in ourselves'
The Dallas Wings have gone through a tough stretch, only winning two of their last five games. But the 91-81 win over the Connecticut Sun on August 11 was significant for more than just breaking a three-game losing skid.
With the win against Connecticut the Wings now have a win against the top three teams: the Sun, the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty.
Head coach Latricia Trammell said after the win against the Sun that having beaten the top three teams speaks to what the Wings are capable of doing in the playoffs.
“When we’re playing our game and we’re connecting and sharing the basketball and defending together as a team, this is a very dangerous team,” she said.
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The team is currently fourth in the standings with a 16-14 record. The team has been led by guard Arike Ogunbowale and forward Satou Saballly. They are fifth and tenth in scoring in the league averaging 20.9 and 18.4 points, respectively.
They are a long team that can stretch the floor with their shooting, around two 6’7 centers in Teaira McCowan and Kalani Brown. They are dominant whenever they can establish a strong presence inside the paint.
Dallas leads the league in rebounding with 38.9 and 11.8 in offensive rebounding. The team has three of the top ten rebounders in the league. Sabally is fourth, averaging 8.7 rebounds per game and McCowan and Natasha Howard each average 8.3 per game.
While Dallas leads the league in rebounding with 38.9 again and 11.8 in offensive rebounding, they are just ninth in effective field goal percentage at 47.9. And the same top teams they have beaten have returned the favor.
Teams have been able to put Dallas on their heels when they slow the team down and crowd the paint. The 2-3 zone has proven to be most effective when they are not able to get the ball inside.
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In a 104-84 rout against the Las Vegas Aces, Dallas trailed by as many as 41 and could not recover. The Wings were out rebounded 45-30 that game and Vegas shot 50 percent from the field.
The win against the Sun came at the end of a particularly difficult stretch, four games in eight days, but Trammell said during the stretch that being tired was no excuse.
“We’re coming off a crazy schedule of traveling plus games and it keeps hitting us,” Trammell said. “I’m sure a lot of teams in the league have to go through that. We just have to find a way to hold on, stay together, and just know that little break where we can reset, and recover is coming up, but these players are tired.”
Teams have had time to recover due to the break for the Commissioner’s Cup. Dallas will return to action on a three-game road trip beginning in Connecticut on Friday. The Wings are 6-8 on the road. After the win over the Sun, Sabally said beating them last time proved they belonged in the conversation for the top teams in the league.
“I know there’s always so much talk but it’s okay to lose games like as part of the progress,” Sabally said. “We just continue to believe in ourselves and I think today was a proof of that. Even as other things happen, as long as we continue to push, this season will look different for us.”