Don’t write off the Wings just yet.
It’s been nearly a month since the Liz Cambage trade and it seems the Dallas Wings (0-4) have yet to find their identity.
Losing the 6’8 All-Star meant new coach Brian Agler had his work cut out for him but the solution appeared to be straightforward: utilize the weapons that are Azura Stevens, Theresa Plaisance, Imani McGee Stafford and Glory Johnson.
Despite their best efforts, the bigs committee hasn’t been effective the way we had hoped and, depending on strategy, it could likely continue to be an issue once six-year veteran Johnson leaves for Eurobasket2019 (Montenegro) June 16.
Yes, Johnson’s absence in the backcourt will undoubtedly be felt, but Dallas holds a dynamic power force in Stevens.
Coming into her second year, Stevens competes with a versatility that makes her a problem for teams.
At 24 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, her role for this young team could potentially be greater than we expected and that’s what makes Stevens so exciting to watch.
Rookie Arike Ogunbowale is taking it “day by day” as she works her way back from an ankle sprain. There is no timetable for Ogunbowale’s return to the court but it is possible we see her in action during the Wings’ three-game homestand this week.
Ogunbowale is fearless, she’s a “gamer,” as teammate Skylar Diggins-Smith has referred to her. She was one of the most anticipated draft pick this season and was voted as a top favorite candidate for the 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year. Ogunbowale isn’t a worry, she’s going to get there. But for that to happen the chemistry for the Wings needs to be established.
Coach Brian Agler has made it clear that the starting lineup is never solidified and we can expect to see rotations with the starting five. For now, the Wings will benefit from continuing the experiment and discovering how to effectively engage everyone in a productive role on the court.
In a season full of change, Dallas has consistently been a squad of fighters and risers who welcome the doubters.
“A lot of people are counting us out, which is fine. That’s good,” said sixth-year guard Tayler Hill. “We want them to keep that same energy… I’m really excited to see where we can take that next step as a team.”
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