WNBA

Was Dallas’ Season a Success?

on

Following an Allisha Gray block on Sabrina Ionescu, the Dallas Wings clinched a postseason berth. Gray, usually a stoic, fist-pumped. Gray, along with teammate Kayla Thornton are two of the last members of the old Wings squad. Despite their loss in the first round of the playoffs, one can see this season as a success. However, there are still some concerns as they have more talent than minutes available, and at times, the roster’s youthfulness hinders tight games.

Early Season

At the beginning of the campaign, Satou Sabally (Germany) and Gray (USA) were overseas helping their respective countries attempt to qualify for the 3×3 Olympics. During this time, Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey led Dallas in scoring, averaging more than twenty points per game apiece. They work best on the court together due to the chemistry they built in college. The Wings started a measly 2-5, though.

Big Wins

The Wings defeated the eventual champion Chicago Sky twice during the regular season, which is why some picked Dallas in an upset bid in the opening round of the playoffs. However, the most encouraging stretch of games came in their three-game series against the Seattle Storm. Though they lost two of the games, each game came down to the wire, with the first two going to overtime. Jewell Loyd ended one with a game-winning three, and then Ogunbowale responded with a clutch game-winner of her own. There is also, of course, the New York Liberty win that sealed their playoff berth.

Olympic Break and Beyond

During the break, Arike was named All-Star MVP after scoring 25 points against team USA. Gray won a gold medal in 3×3 basketball. Unfortunately, Sabally hurt her Achilles, which kept her out of several games when the team returned. Isabelle Harrison contracted COVID-19 and missed games. In the latter half of the season, the Wings finished 5-6, consistent with the up-and-down nature of their play.

The Wings were in at least ten games that up as single-digit losses. This outcome is both good and bad. It was good that Dallas was so competitive in contests they would have lost handily last year. The bad comes from the inability to execute down the stretch.

The Wings eliminated the Los Angeles Sparks from playoff contention, then clinched a seven seed in the playoffs, where their season ended against the Sky.  They got off to a slow start falling behind by more than twenty at one stage.

Concerns

The most significant issue is that the organization seems firm in its commitment to point guard Moriah Jefferson whose contract runs through 2023. To her credit, she shot the ball from well from three at 46% and improved as the season went on. Nonetheless, she has a history of injuries, and Dallas needs a better facilitator to work with Ogunbowale.

In addition, the starting lineup changed often, resulting in roles not clearly defined for specific players. Lastly, a lot of the progress and issues corrected in the regular season seemed to regress or come back up in the playoff loss.

Look To The Future

Heading into the 2022-2023 season, the Wings should build around franchise player Ogunbowale and third-year emerging player Sabally (who recently bought a home in Texas). They have no restricted or unrestricted free agents for this year though a trade could happen.

There are pieces to build off of as the team is ahead of schedule in their rebuild. In the draft lottery, the Wings have the fourth-highest odds of securing the #1 overall pick at 10.40%. Time will tell, though, if the team continues to develop or slips again.

About Tiffany Stegall

Recommended for you

Powered by themekiller.com