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WNBA Team Preview: Dallas Wings (#7)

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The Dallas Wings have accumulated a lot of talent in the last several years. But they must improve on defense to hit their potential.

Layne Murdoch - NBAE/Getty Images

The Dallas Wings made the 2017 WNBA Playoffs after a 16-18 regular season, but lost in the first round to the Washington Mystics (despite a good run to keep things interesting until the end).

Since 2011, the Shock/Wings franchise only made the playoffs twice, though these appearances came in two of the last three seasons. That said, Dallas drafted many great players with lottery picks, from Glory Johnson in 2012 to Skylar Diggins-Smith in 2013 and Allisha Gray in 2017 who won last season’s Rookie of the Year Award.

At some point, the Wings should have enough talent where they make a long playoff run. Could 2018 be their lucky year?

What to expect

Familiar faces

The Wings will bring back most of the core players, including Diggins-Smith, Aerial Powers, and Johnson The team also re-signed Karima Christmas-Kelly, who will help them shore up the defense.

Notable newbies

The Wings drafted Azura Stevens sixth overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft. She could be a match-up nightmare for posts and wings, a lot like Kevin Durant, her favorite NBA player.

Dallas also signed Liz Cambage, the franchise’s first-round pick from the 2011 WNBA Draft.

Biggest obstacles

The Wings’ biggest obstacle will be defensive efficiency. Though this team has many draft lottery picks from recent years, Dallas had the worst, or second-worst, defensive team rating every season since 2010 when the team first moved to Tulsa. The players and the coaches have changed quite a bit in eight years. But the defense — or lack of it — hasn’t changed. In short, Dallas must improve as a defensive team if they want to make long playoff runs.

Game zone

Preseason home opener

Wings vs. Aces

Sunday May 13 at 3 p.m. EST

College Park Center — Tickets

Season home opener

Wings vs. Dream

Sunday May 20 at 3 p.m. EST

College Park Center — Tickets

National TV: Twitter