The San Antonio Stars (0-3) take on the Dallas Wings in a game featuring two rebuilding teams. The Wings (1-1) are the youngest team in the league, and the Stars have several new pieces as well. The Stars are coming off a 78-72 loss to the Phoenix Mercury, while Dallas is coming off a nail-biting 89-87 loss to the Minnesota Lynx. Here are three things the watch.
The regular season debut of Moriah Jefferson and Kelsey Plum
After missing the first three games of the season, Jefferson and Plum are finally slated to play. Jefferson had an impressive rookie campaign a season ago, where she averaged 13.9 points, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Plum, the first pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft, left the University of Washington as the all-time leading scorer in NCAA history. So, it’s safe to say her regular season debut has been highly anticipated.
However, even without two main pieces, San Antonio has been competitive in each of its games this season. Now at full strength, the team will be able to answer the questions many have, with the main being will a three guard line-up end up being successful for the Stars.
How will the Stars deal with Dallas’ size?
Dallas is a team filled with young and athletic players at every position. At almost every spot on the floor, the Wings will have a size advantage. Skylar Diggins-Smith is the leader for this team, and is coming off an impressive 22-point performance Saturday night against the Lynx. On the perimeter, Allisha Gray, Kaela Davis and Karima Christmas-Kelly all are at least 6′, which can potentially cause problems if San Antonio opts to go small. In the post, the uber athletic Glory Johnson is always active and Courtney Paris rebounds extremely well.
So, with all the length the Wings possess, one of the keys for San Antonio will be to defend and box out to secure rebounds.
How will a small lineup work?
As stated before, one of the questions many have is how will a backcourt of Jefferson and Plum work? Starting these two together also forces Kayla McBride to play small forward, where she is a bit undersized. Mix that all together, and the Stars have one of the smallest starting backcourts in the WNBA.
So, it will be interesting to see the problems they cause for Dallas’ defense. Having to chase those three around will be tough for a team known for their defensive struggles. Conversely, with such a size advantage, it will be intriguing to see how Dallas tries to utilize it.
Tip-off for the game is set for 11 a.m. CT from the AT&T Center. The game will also be broadcast live on Twitter.