Arike Ogunbowale and the Wings are about to break into the WNBA’s upper echelon

The Dallas Wings are still on the cusp of breaking into the upper class. There are nights they can put together, like Win 85-77 طريق against the Connecticut Sun On May 24th. Then there are evenings everything piles up the wrong way, like 84-79 loss at home for Seattle Storm last weekend.

Although the Wings (6-8) had a four-game losing streak in Friday night’s game with Phoenix Mercury (6-9), these L’s were up against two of the league’s top four teams in Storm (9-5)) and Las Vegas Aces (12-2). The end results were close: six, one, five, and eight.

After that, Mayo beat the Sun, who scored four consecutive victories, striker Sato Sabali chirp“Three years ago we had lost this game. We are improving and it is very interesting to see it.”

Arike Ogunbowale, the cornerstone of the franchise and WNBA’s top five scorer, sees the same thing.

“I think everyone has grown up and learned from past mistakes,” Ogunpole told Yahoo Sports in an interview last week with Red Bull.Dallas has Wiiings“partnership” [we’re] Just trying to be better this year. You can see in the off season that everyone got their solo act. I know that’s upgrading our team too, people get extra time in the gym. And I think this was just shown.”

She sees Dallas Wings guard, Ariki Ogunboal, build her team toward a watershed point.  (Abe Bar/Getty Images)

She sees Dallas Wings guard, Ariki Ogunboal, build her team toward a watershed point. (Abe Bar/Getty Images)

Dallas’ net rating is -1.6, better than -2.2 in 2021 and a notable difference from -5.6 and -7.1 in the previous two years, According to her collar stats. In 2019, nearly all of the main team’s stats were in red from win ratio (.294, 10) to points (71.6, 11th place) and pace (78.2, 12th place). This is no longer the case.

That was Ogunbowale’s first year when she averaged 19.1 ppg and earned the MVP vote with 2017 fourth year pick Allisha Gray. The following spring, the franchise drafted Sabally for second overall and was traded to Marina Mabrey, who won the 2018 NCAA Championship alongside Ogunbowale at Notre Dame.

“We were building,” Ogunbwale said. “We’ve had key pieces since a junior year. We’ve added great players, but now we’ve been playing together for two years, and some three years already. So we’ve learned each other. We still have ways to go off, but we definitely have learned each other and the chemistry is getting better and better. And it just shows on the court. “.

Ogunbowale, 25, held steady after finishing third (19.1 ppi), first (22.8), fifth (18.7) and fourth (18.3) in the league during her short career. She’s inside the arc with an average of 41.5%, which is better than her career low last season, and 33.3% of her 3 career high attempts are making 8.1 attempts per game. She hit a game of at least 30 points each year and already put up 37 points in May against Mercury, two points off her career high of 39 points in 2020.

Gray, 27, climbed to an average of 14.5 ppg (up from 11.9 in 2021) and a 42.9% shootout outside the arc (she ranked ninth and better than her career average of 34.1%). Mabry, 25 and the other half of the title “Marek”, is more effective this season as he takes fewer shots in and out of the arc, but hits them with a higher clip (51.4% 2s and 42.6% 3s). His 56% free throw mark can use a strengthening.

Sabali, 24, returned after winning the Turkish League title with an average of 11.6 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists in eight matches. Striker Isabel Harrison, 28, leads her double-digit performer at 10.1 ppg.

Consistency, Health, and Availability are key for the Wings to slide to the Qualifier Point. In that last week’s loss to the storm, Ogunbowale He was fired , Mabry stayed on health and safety protocols and Sabali was discharged with a knee injury. Mabry has since returned, but Sabali did not play in Wednesday’s loss to the Aces and is on the daily roster.

Dallas hosts the Sparks on Sunday.

WNBA Fantasy Notes

My fictional experience in a nutshell: I’ve run out of infrared sites.

If there’s one big piece of advice I’ve had so far, it’s that an eight-team league might be too much for a 12-team league. There aren’t many great wiring options when an injury hits since almost every start has already been taken. And sure, there are players who might be stepping up in the meantime. But am I really going to drop Sue Bird to pick up another guard when she’s leaving for a few days due to illness?

Lynx guard Moriah Jefferson (21.6 FPPG) is selected into more tournaments as Liberty Marine guard Johannes (14 FPPG), who has played only two games.

Highlight of the week

That’s some great ball movement I’ve got there.

The Sun (11-4) reached the century mark for the first time this season to firmly hold its second place in the standings. Courtney Williams scored 20 points and eight rebounds In winning 105-92 against the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday night. Natisha Hiedeman 18 added.

AD Durr played his second game with Atlanta (7-7) and led the attack with 21 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal. The points total was three times the previous season’s high while with New York. Ari MacDonald scored 19 points, shot 7 of 12 and added five assists.

Game of the week

It’s already Sue Bird’s last season. A fitting red solo cup cheers up for #TheFinalYear.

Bird and the Seattle Storm (9-5) announced in conjunction with the franchise on the East Coast swing. First up is a rematch with the Connecticut Sun (11-4) on the road from the Storrs, where she won two NCAA National Championships with the UConn Huskies.

It’s a battle between two of the five aforementioned .500 teams just a few games from the halfway point of the season. lost storm, 93-86, on June 5 While he lost (36-26) and was unable to contain Jonkel Jones (25 points, eight rebounds, six assists) and Deewana Bonner (21 points, three shots). Alyssa Thomas is close to a hat-trick with 12 assists, 11 rebounds and eight points.

Next to Bird’s farewell is a trip home for the last time. Byrd, a native of Syosset, won a New York State High School Championship where he played for Christ the King in Queens, a short ride (probably) from Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Seattle won both games at home against Liberty (5-9) on Memorial Day weekend by margins. eight and 31. The birds were lost while in health and safety protocols.

But this Liberty squad is settling into modernity and coming off a two-point loss to the defending champions. Sabrina Ionescu has been more than fantastic in June and Marin Johannes is already putting out great passes.

what you missed

WNBA on TV schedule

Games that are not broadcast on national television are available via the WNBA League Pass as well as games on Twitter and Facebook. All times are EST

Friday: Storm at Sun (7 p.m., CBS Sports Network), Mercury at Wings (8 p.m., Twitter), Dream at Sky (8 p.m., Facebook)

Saturday: There is no match schedule

Sunday: Storm at Liberty (noon, ESPN), Sun at Mystics (2 p.m., CBS), Sky at Fever (3 p.m., Fever Facebook), Sparks at Wings (4 p.m., Amazon Prime), Lynx at Aces (6 p.m., CBS Sports) network)