The Atlanta Dream lost its third straight on Wednesday night as the Washington Mystics came into Phillips Arena and won in overtime 85-80 as Atlanta’s injuries continue to mount.
Angel McCoughtry became the latest Dream injury victim. Sancho Lyttle, Tiffany Hayes, and Armentie Herrington are already out of the line-up; Lyttle is not expected to return until the playoffs with an ankle injury, Tiffany Hayes has a knee problem while Armentie Herrington sustained a head injury against the Chicago Sky on Sunday and did not play last night.
With the 3.25 left and the game on the line Angel McCoughtry went up for a loose ball, came down heavily on her ankle and had to be helped from the court. While McCoughtry returned to the court she was not the aggressive, defensive force she had been prior to the injury.
After the game, Atlanta coach Fred Williams wasn’t sure of McCoughtry’s prognosis. “She rolled her ankle a little bit,’ he said. “I think they’re going to ice it up and get it X-rayed.”
McCoughtry’s injury was significant as it was Mystics’ Monique Currie who swept McCoughtry’s defense aside and drained a three pointer to tie the game with 6.4 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime, a period the Mystics dominated finishing the game winners by five points.
While it was their third consecutive loss there were some positives to come out of the game especially in comparison to the tired showing the Dream put out against the Sky. The Dream were not as one dimensional as they had been. While McCoughtry was still Atlanta’s leading scorer with 23, was joined in double figures by Jasmine Thomas (18) Erika de Souza (15) and Aneika Henry (10). De Souza’s and Henry’s contribution was particularly encouraging as it indicated that Dfream are getting the ball inside with greater effectiveness.
Coach Williams was encouraged, saying “I think our inside game looks good with Erika getting double-doubles for us, [but] we still have to get the basketball inside more.”
Atlanta needs to keep getting the ball inside as their outside shooting, especially from three point range is awful. Wednesday night the team shot a collective 2 for 14 from three point range with Jasmine Thomas 1 for 6. Atlanta is the worst three point shooting team in the WNBA this season.
The Dream’s season has taken a turn for the worse. Their record now stands at 14-12, a far cry from their dominating 10 and 1 start. They need to get healthy and turn the momentum around. There are only eight games left in the regular season and Atlanta’s Dream need to recapture some of that early season momentum if they are going to progress through the playoffs.
The Dream are on the road next with an away game at the Chicago Sky on Saturday while the Washington Mystics don’t play again until September 6 when they travel to Connecticut.