The Atlanta Dream went through many changes before the season started; a new ownership group took over and head coach Nicki Collen suddenly stepped down to take Baylor’s women’s head coaching job just weeks before the season began. Mike Peterson took over as interim coach. Since then, Atlanta fans have had a lot to talk about. Unfortunately, it’s not all great news.
Courtney Williams has been a bright spot for the Dream, averaging 16.3 points per game, along with 6.1 rebounds, while shooting 41% from beyond the arc. Williams’s outstanding first-half earned her a trip to her first All-Star Game.
Tiffany Hayes did not play last year in the bubble but came back strong this year, averaging 17.6 points per game and shooting in the mid-40s from the field and three-point land before going down with an injury.
Another bright spot has been the improvement of Crystal Bradford. She’s turned into a reliable perimeter player for Atlanta, averaging 8.7 points per game and shooting 44% from the field and 40% from beyond the arc.
While these individual performances have been great to see, they haven’t been able to keep Atlanta competitive.
So far this season, Atlanta is 6-13 and is scoring 82.7 points per game but giving up 88.3 points per game. That’s the worst PPG allowed in the WNBA. If that wasn’t bad enough, Atlanta also ranks last in total rebounds. Atlanta’s roster lacks size, and it’s tough to improve on either of those stats with the personnel group as it looks right now. They just can’t compete with other teams that have elite bigs on the court. Often the Dream’s defense can force misses on the defensive end, but they lack the muscle to get the defensive rebound. Williams, a guard, has been doing an excellent job helping out rebounding, but it’s just not good news when a guard is your leading rebounder.
One BIG issue looming over the Olympic break for Atlanta is the Chennedy Carter situation. The elite guard was suspended by the team “for conduct detrimental” back in early July, so it will be interesting if both parties can move past what happened and move on. The longer the suspension goes, the less likely we are to see Carter in a Dream uniform ever again. That would certainly be an ugly scenario for everyone involved.
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