As the sixth seed in the WNBA playoffs, the Dallas Wings aren’t supposed to make it out of the first round. Last season, the Chicago Sky were the No. 6 seed and won the championship. Dallas was one of the teams Chicago beat on its way to the title, so the Wings know quite well what is possible in the postseason.
Dallas has put itself in position to achieve its own first-round upset. Last Sunday, the Wings beat the third-seeded Connecticut Sun 89-79 to even the series at 1-1 and send the best-of-three matchup to Dallas for Game 3 on Wednesday.
Here’s what Dallas needs to do to win the series decider and advance to the second round.
Grab offensive rebounds
In Game 2, the Wings scored 40 points in the paint and 23 second-chance points off 23 offensive rebounds. Their ability to stretch offensive possessions was a huge part of why they were able to overwhelm Connecticut. In Game 1? Dallas only scored seven points off eight offensive boards. Isabelle Harrison and Teaira McCowan need to continue to battle in the paint for those rebounds.
Take smart shots
The Wings’ shot selection was much better in Game 2 with a field-goal percentage of 48.0%. From the 3-point line, they shot 42.1%, a huge improvement from their 25.0% in Game 1. They weren’t rushing their shots like they did last Thursday in a 93-68 blowout loss. Instead, Dallas moved the ball around — notching 28 assists as a team — and took the best shot possible.
The Wings, who moved to Dallas from Tulsa in 2016, are hosting a playoff game for the first time since moving to Texas., and the College Park Center crowd will be loud and persistent. The Wings are a young team, so they’ll need to work hard to keep their focus on the game. Even with the backing of the home fans, they must continue to communicate well because losing focus — for even a minute — can be dangerous in the playoffs.