In a season that has seen perennial stars Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally miss a chunk of time due to injury, the Wings wrapped the regular season on a high note with a 116-88 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.
Those 116 points marked a season-high in points, with 61 of those points coming in the first half. Dallas’ scoring came at an efficient 65.6% from the field, which is the highest field goal percentage in franchise history.
This victory also pushed the Wings to a record of 18-18, which is the highest winning percentage since moving to Dallas.
The Wings closed out the regular season as one of the hottest teams in the league, even without their best player. This earned Coach Vickie Johnson West Coach of the Month honors and Teaira McCown was crowned Western Conference Player of the Month.
Toward the latter part of the season, Dallas went on a five game win streak taking down both Chicago and Las Vegas in consecutive games (the respective top two seeds).
In Ogunbowale and Sabally’s absence, players such as Marina Mabrey and Teaira McCowan have stepped up in a big way. Marina carried a lot of the scoring load and McCowan has been considered a walking double-double. Teaira even eclipsed the 1,000 career rebound mark.
Another impressive feat would be Veronica Burton’s 100% free throw percentage for the season. Becky Hammon is the only other player in league history to do so.
The Wings now face a tall task as they head to face the favored Connecticut Sun in the first round. This series will be played without All-Star Arike Ogunbowale, who underwent a successful Iliac Crest Core Muscle Avulsion Repair earlier this month.
Arike is set to make a return if and when the Wings advance to the WNBA semifinals. With a team as hot as the Wings, I wouldn’t rule them out of this series.
First round schedule:
Game 1: Thursday, August 18th @CON, 7pm CST
Game 2: Sunday, August 21st @CON, 11am CST
Game 3*: Wednesday, August 24th vs. CON, tbd (if necessary)