The Dallas Wings have yet to hit their stride this season with one of their best vets not playing. Regardless, the team still has pair of vets in Glory Johnson and Theresa Plaisance on the court. But those vets have not produced solid numbers in the same game or played the role of vocal leader. The Wings have also struggled on the road and on defense recently. It’s time that changed.
Return to Glory?
As we know, the team has had its struggles throughout the year. They have not had any sort of win streak aside from back-to-back wins in mid June. During this 2019 campaign, Theresa Plaisance and Glory Johnson have yet to make heavy contributions offensively in the same game. It’s either one, the other, or neither. When Glory was away for Eurobasket during the month of June, Plaisance stepped up and played a major role as the Wings got a few wins.
It’s been different since Johnson returned. In those 4 games, Plaisance averaged a mere three shots per game. She averaged more than double that number in the time when Johnson was gone and even, in the time before Johnson left. Her attempts have gone down and, in turn, her role in the offense has decreased.
Dallas is 1-3 since Glory rejoined the team and 4-3 when she was away. Now, this is not to say Johnson is the problem by any means. But since her return, the ball isn’t moving around the same and the defense has faltered. It’s fair to say that Plaisance was a focal point in Johnson’s absence and has not been reintegrated with Glory in the fold. Johnson has said to W-Insidr that she is just trying to “get in where I fit in.” She has played up to par. But with the constant change and flux of injuries, the team just hasn’t been the same with Johnson.
Dallas needs to get the monkey off their back and seize a road win, which are crucial in the W. A while back, Head Coach Brian Agler spoke about the fact that the team hasn’t won on the road. He said that “from [the media’s]vantage point, you guys look at the W’s and the L’s…and I look at how we play.”
— Unc (@UncleDrewWNBA) July 9, 2019
Despite what coach said, only two of their road games have been decided by single digits while all the rest were by 10+ points. While even the 10+ losses were tight for the majority of the game, the team hasn’t been able to sustain to get a road win.
This is a big problem. You have to be able to win in a hostile environment on the road to have any chance of a playoff run, let alone a title. For example, the 2017 Champion Minnesota Lynx had an 12-5 road record and last year’s Champions, the Seattle Storm, had a 13-4 road record. In the past two seasons, this team made the playoffs, faced a road matchup in the first round, and got handed a double digit loss both times. The Wings’ road record in those two years: 6-11 in 2017 and 5-12 in 2018. They will have to do better than their 0-7 pace to even get back to the playoffs this year.
It Starts On Defense
Defense was supposed to be the main point of focus for this year’s team with Agler at the helm. But it hasn’t necessarily worked out well just yet. The Wings allowed 70+ points in all of their losses aside from a 69-68 defeat to New York. We have yet to see that defense kick into gear. Johnson mentioned how their defense allows for more opportunities on offense in a post-game interview with the W-Insidr after their win against the Sparks.
— Unc (@UncleDrewWNBA) July 9, 2019
On the other hand, Dallas has also been handed some bad luck. On the road, they faced teams on multi-game losing streaks that desperately wanted a win. Unfortunate situations, injuries, inconsistency and just not getting it done have been the conditions for the Dallas Wings. But it’s time to get wins regardless of the situation and who is on the floor. They can’t let games slip away or be the team that allows the opponent to stop their losing streak on. It starts with your veterans in the locker room so that it spreads like an infection through the team. Time to put their foot down and say enough is enough, it’s time to win more games. Period.