Dallas Wings Show Promise In Their Opening Night Loss

Allen Pettigrew
opening night

No team on the opening night of the WNBA season embodied the word more than the Dallas Wings. They shared the ball not to feed one another’s ego but to get the job done. They congealed right in front of our eyes washing away any chemistry questions you might have had.

Their hustle and smart play shone through all night. Two double-digit scorers and two others less than a bucket away from making it four. But even the best recipes can end poorly as the Atlanta Dream handed the Wings a loss in their season opener.

The Wings didn’t get the outcome they expected, but they showed up big. Let’s focus on the highlights that should give every Dallas fan hope this season.

Rookies are ready for the W

Arike Ogunbowale and Brooke McCarty-Williams made their debuts count. They spotlighted their games against a team that many WNBA fans and experts have penciled in as title contenders. Their productivity pushed within striking distance and a few questionable calls.

Ogunbowale’s 12 points land in the second leading scorer spot for the team. She scored at every level of the game despite inefficiencies. She stayed aggressive and didn’t let the misses get in her head. In due time her her shot will fall leaving 5-16 shooting few and far between.

McCarty-Williams was dialed in from deep building off her great performance in the preseason. With two more shots from deep, she’s on the precipice of being the team’s best outside threat, a weakness for them last year.

Rebounding against size

The beauty of having a 6’7” unicorn coming off your bench is that she’s nearly unmatched against opponents off the bench. Imani McGee-Stafford was all over the place in her 16 minutes of play. Against the Atlanta Dream, that size earned Dallas 4 second chance possessions.

McGee Stafford wasn’t the only player clearing the boards against the Dream. The smallest player on the court McCarty-Williams grabbed 5 rebounds through the Atlanta trees. The team outrebounded their opponents by +11. It’s a team effort and on a night where the other team doesn’t shoot 29 free throws, this performance is a win in the record column.

Depth & Defense

Coach Brian Agler played every available player he had, and it worked well. The opening night’s starting five comprised Ogunbowale, Tayler Hill, Kaela Davis, Glory Johnson, and Isabelle Harrison. They played with energy and effort on the defensive end as Harrison anchored the paint with five blocks while the bench brought the scoring punch.

Four of Dallas top three scorers backed up the starting five injecting the offense with the life they needed to push the Dream . Of their 72 points, 39 of them came from the pine. It’s a little too early to say but Dallas has the makings of the best bench unit in women’s basketball.