June 6, 2023
How does Aari McDonald’s injury impact Atlanta Dream?
Dream's McDonald to miss 3-to-4 weeks with torn labrum
It’s been a rough few weeks for the Atlanta Dream’s point guard room.
On May 20, veteran floor general Danielle Robinson sustained a knee injury that required surgery and will keep her sidelined until the All-Star break.
For the WNBA’s 27th season, save 27% on your subscription!
The WNBA playoffs are here, and our staff of writers is working hard to bring you everything you need to know about every team still in contention. Get started with a paid subscription, which helps support all of our writers, editors and photographers who work tirelessly to bring you this coverage, and save 27%!
McDonald fell on her shoulder diving for a loose ball in the final minute of the Dream’s 92-87 home loss to the Las Vegas Aces on Friday. She started in each of Atlanta’s first five games, averaging 6.0 points and 3.8 rebounds in 28.8 minutes per game.
Atlanta is now down to 10 available players after signing rookie guard Taylor Mikesell on Monday. But the Dream is seriously lacking depth in the ball-handling department.
Head coach Tanisha Wright will likely turn to rookie guard Haley Jones for extended minutes at the point guard position. The recent No. 6 pick is averaging 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 14.2 minutes per game over the last three games, including a 13-point performance against the Sky on May 30.
Given Wright’s positionless philosophy, Howard and Gray will also split on-ball responsibilities in lineups with and without Jones, as has trended this season. The two players have combined to average 7.6 assists to 3.2 turnovers per game – a respectable mark for the wing-sized duo.
“The positive thing about our offense is there really isn’t no four, three, two, or one either; it’s just the nature of bringing the ball up,” Wright told The Next after the Dream’s road win against the Minnesota Lynx on May 23. “The only real position we have is our [center] position, but [even then] we really don’t have [centers] either; we just have people we make play the five.”
Here’s a look at Atlanta’s projected depth chart and minute distribution ahead of its upcoming contest against the New York Liberty on June 9:
PG: Haley Jones (21)
SG: Allisha Gray (34) / Taylor Mikesell (12)
SF: Rhyne Howard (33) / AD Durr (17)