August 9, 2021 

Dallas returns from break with a new renewed focus

The Wings look to make a playoff push

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There is no shortage of Wings in Dallas. The team will return from break with an All-Star, Satou Sabally, an All-Star MVP, Arike Ogunbowale; and an Olympic Gold Medalist, Allisha Gray.

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The Olympic break allowed for Dallas to rest, recuperate and take their mind off basketball for a little while. Ogunbowale told reporters after practice on Aug. 5 that she spent some time in Mexico with some of her teammates to not think about basketball.

“We’re like, we’re not going to think about basketball, you know, and this week talk about basketball, relax, because we’ll have three weeks before when we get back to focus on that so just taking that break you don’t really get that a lot,” Ogunbowale said.

Sabally said she used the break to do nothing.

“I think I did a good job of taking my time off and just doing nothing because I really needed it.”

Gray was able to get a few days off to rest as well. Head coach Vickie Johnson said the medalist returned from the Olympics better.

“Just confidence, shooting the ball very well. Great defense. Some maturity level overall has increased, Johnson said. “She’s a little bit more talkative as well; which is always a great thing from Allisha.”

Gray said competing in the Olympics allowed her to work on things.

“Three on three is a game of where you have to go get a bucket and you have to score, so for me, it just allows me to continue showing how I can create my shot and go get a basket when need be,” the Gold Medalist said.

Now that the team has returned to the gym, the focus is now on what needs to be done to make their way into the playoffs. 

The team was on a three-game losing streak before the break and they are currently ninth, a half-game behind the final seed.

Sabally said that the Wings do not have to do anything differently, they just have to do things better than what they were doing before the break.

“We know what we can do and we know what we have to get better at. But it’s all a mindset thing,” Sabally said. “We’re capable of a lot of things and we just need to keep our focus for 40 minutes and do the little things right.”

Johnson said there are four things the team is focusing on coming out of the break. Defense, rebounding, attacking in transition and passing the basketball.

“Our intensity has to pick up in one on one defense. And also, rebounding the basketball better, and then being able to attack and transition, we very poor in transition, offensively and we don’t pick that up and assists as well,” Johnson said.

Dallas has 11 games remaining with only four of them on the road. This gives the Wings a good chance to claim a playoff spot with just a one-game difference between the fifth and eighth seed. 

The Wings resume play on Aug. 15 and will host the Connecticut Sun.

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

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