Scouting Wings-Dream: Why finishing August strong is vital to Arike Ogunbowale's Rookie of the Year case

Atlanta Dream at Dallas Wings

When: 3 p.m., Sunday

Storyline to watch: Winning the Rookie of the Month award for August could have a big impact on the Rookie of the Year race between Wings guard Arike Ogunbowale and Minnesota forward Napheesa Collier. Each has won one Rookie of the Month award thus far through the season. Including the Wings’ Sunday matinee against the Dream, they have just three games left in the month. Ogunbowale is averaging 22.5 points on 45% shooting for the month. But with Collier right on her heels, Ogunbowale needs to finish the month strong to secure the Rookie of the Month award if she wants a shot at Rookie of the Year. 

Scouting the Wings: Dallas (9-19) is still technically in the playoff hunt, but is on the brink of being knocked out of it after an 0-2 road trip. The Wings are 4.5 games behind eighth-place Phoenix (13-14) and have just six games left in the season. Allisha Gray is playing possibly the best basketball of her WNBA career, averaging 20 points on 51% shooting in her last three games. Her emergence combined with the recent sustained success of Ogunbowale has helped the Wings form a potent backcourt. Ogunbowale just logged her 12th 20-point game of the season, tying the Wings’ franchise rookie record.

Scouting the Dream: Atlanta (6-22) is coming off its first win since July 12 after knocking off the New York Liberty on Friday. With the worst record in the league, the Dream are the lone team that has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Dream have been without All-Star Angel McCoughtry all season because of a knee injury she suffered near the end of last season. The Dream still have veteran guard Tiffany Hayes, who is averaging a team-high 14.6 points, but is hovering near her career-low shooting percentage, shooting 39.4% on the year. 

Twitter: @LopezSelby31

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