The Atlanta Dream tries to reach its fifth straight playoff appearance and its third Eastern Conference Championship in four years for 2013. How will the Dream get ready for 2013?
Our own James Bowman had a Q&A;with Coach Williams this past December where he gave some insights on what he wanted to do this offseason. However, as a GM and head coach, Coach Williams is probably not going to tip his hand too much in any direction aside from the painfully obvious. Here are some things that I think the Dream needs to consider for its 2013 campaign.
1. Re-sign Angel McCoughtry
She is a restricted free agent and there will likely be some teams that will consider her for offer sheets. In the Q&A;, Coach Williams basically stated that she is untouchable, and I agree. Without McCoughtry, it would be a major step back for Atlanta, and even if she is tradeable, Coach Williams still has to sign her to a deal of some kind so she can’t walk for nothing.
2. Re-sign Lindsey Harding
Harding has had a 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio over the last couple seasons and has become a top five point guard in the WNBA. In addition, she is an unrestricted free agent so I would argue that signing her may be an even higher priority than McCoughtry since Williams can match an offer sheet once Angel comes back with one.
3. Acquire additional three point shooting support
The Atlanta Dream was the second worst team in the WNBA for three point shooting percentage with 29.6% of their shots made, and they only made 144 such shots all season while opponents made 205 such shots. Considering that the WNBA is moving this three point line back, you would think that the Dream’s shooting percentage, and maybe even three point attempts altogether will drop even more, and that may hurt this team this season, even with McCoughtry as a strong slasher to the basket to compensate for her relative lack of elite three point shooting ability. In addition, even Harding isn’t a strong three point shooter, so in essence, the team needs to acquire free agents and draft players who can fill this need.
The Atlanta Dream had another successful season by heading to its fourth straight playoff appearance. Though the team is relatively strong in the post with Sancho Lyttle and Erika de Souza, a pretty big concern with this team from a basketball only standpoint is three point shooting considering the new rules. With some reinforcements in this area and by re-signing at least McCoughtry for here sophomore WNBA contract, the Dream should still figure to be a competitive squad that figures to be in the playoff picture and perhaps beyond in 2013.