It’s no secret that the Dallas Wings have had more than their fair share of bad luck to start the season.
“I gotta give the credit to every one of these nine players,” said head coach Latricia Trammell after practice on Thursday. “They’re contributing in a positive way and have the will to win. And I’m gonna keep mentioning that because that is something that I’ve been the most proud of.”
It’s almost as if she saw the future. Critical contributions last night powered an 84-79 win over the Phoenix Mercury.
“I told them in the locker room. I just love this team,” said Trammell after the win. “I mean it. They’re willed to win and the love [they have] for each other, it makes my job a lot easier.”
Teamwork makes the dream work and through seven games, it is crystal clear how quickly this team has come together as one in the face of a barrage of adversity. Diamond DeShields and Lou Lopez Senechal have yet to play as they deal with injuries. Crystal Dangerfield is in a walking boot and is day-to-day currently. When Dangerfield spoke with The Athletic’s Dorothy Gentry Wednesday afternoon, she said what she felt was not like any other ankle roll she’s ever had, but it’s getting better each day.
Barely through the third week of the 2023 WNBA campaign, the Wings qualified twice for the league’s emergency hardship provision with the signings of Kalani Brown and Irving native Odyssey Sims.
In the first start of her career, Brown dropped a career-high 17 points and 15 rebounds while shooting 50 percent and a near perfect night at the free throw line (7-for-8). Not to mention that she played a hair over half of the fourth quarter with five fouls while corralling six rebounds.
After signing with Dallas and joining the team Wednesday morning, Sims delivered a team-high 6 assists. Her sole bucket came at the 1:42 mark in the fourth quarter that aided the comeback.
The No. 3 overall pick from this year’s draft in Maddy Siegrist made her presence felt within the professional ranks with a new career-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Siegrist grabbed eight crucial rebounds, including five off the offensive glass, resulting in a 21-to-4 advantage in second chance points. She led the team in plus-minus with 19.
Fun fact: Dallas’ defense held Phoenix scoreless through the final 5:26 of the game, a span that saw a 10-0 run by the Wings.
Satou Sabally’s fiery start to the 2023 campaign continued without delay as she tied Brittney Griner for a game-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in her return to her home state of Texas. Sabally now has four straight double-doubles and five in the team’s first seven games. Although the season is young, the former No. 2 overall pick in 2020 is coming into her own after dealing with nagging injuries to start her career. Sabally is quickly playing herself out of the Most Improved Player conversation and into one for Most Valuable Player.
Sabally, Brown, and Siegrist combined for 33 of the team’s 50-to-26 rebounding advantage. They also combined for 11 of the team’s 15 offensive boards. These two differentials were crucial aides in the victory as Dallas shot just 17.3 percent on 3s while posting a 48.1 percentage on 2s.
On a 40 percent true shooting clip, Arike Ogunbowale finished with 17 points. In her first seven games of the season, she’s at 41 percent on 2s and 26 percent on 3s. Those are the lowest marks since her second year in the WNBA. While the shooting stroke is struggling, Ogunbowale is averaging a career-high 4.1 assists per game. Coach Trammell has implied on numerous instances that this was a goal of theirs in training camp.
Dallas hosts the Mercury again for Pride Night on Friday at 7:00 pm on ION.