Poor shooting and turnovers continue to be an issue for the Atlanta Dream as they suffered their third consecutive loss on Sunday against the New York Liberty.
The Dream (2-8) missed eight consecutive shots to start the game, and their poor offensive outing was ultimately led to the 74-58 loss at State Farm Arena.
Brittany Sykes led the team in scoring and tied her season-high of 18 points, and Elizabeth Williams dominated in the painted area on both ends of the floor with 10 points, eight rebounds, and four huge blocked shots.
“I thought Elizabeth Williams flew around,” head coach Nicki Collen said. “She played a lot of minutes. I thought early; she was really, really good. I thought she got tired at the end. Defensively, we made Tina inefficient. (Kia) Nurse, who’s kind of been going off on people, I thought Tiffany (Hayes) did a really good job on her.”
Unfortunately, the Dream’s defense could not sustain the firepower the Liberty possessed. Tina Charles was extremely active on the offensive end for the Liberty, scoring a game-high 24 points to go along with eight boards.
Aside from Charles’s brilliant performance, the Dream played solid defense, giving themselves a legit shot to win a crucial game at home. But the Dream failed to make shots the entire game.
During the first half, Atlanta shot just 27 percent from the floor and 28 percent from three-point land. Sykes had the most impressive shooting performance, shooting 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Renee Montgomery and Tiffany Hayes, however, failed to help their team shoot their way back into the game down the stretch.
“Shots are either gonna fall, or they’re gonna rim in and out,” Sykes said. “But like coach said, we got some good looks early on in the game. We just have to step up and make them. Once we start making them, it’s like a hot potato. Everyone starts hitting their shots. We have the utmost confidence in Renee, hitting her threes. We have the utmost confidence in (Williams) making a layup. … We know it goes in. We practice them all the time, so we just (need to) translate it to the game and knock them down.”
Despite their shooting struggles, the Dream failed to do the little things that make a great impact on the outcome of a game, such as not turning the ball over and crashing the glass after missed shots. The Dream had 15 turnovers and gave up 13 more rebounds to the opponent (43-30).
“These guys know, they’re professionals,” Collen said. “You’re not gonna win basketball games shooting 27%. You’re just not. And if you’re gonna shoot 27%, you gotta go get offensive rebounds, and we didn’t do either.”
Playing bad offense led to the Dream falling flat in front of a prideful crowd, but if they want to put together a respectable winning streak, they must play with energy and consistency on both ends of the court.
The Dream is set to face the Minnesota Lynx at the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN on Tuesday.