Evaluating the Atlanta Dream through one quarter of the 2018 WNBA season

The Atlanta Dream started off their first 10 games with a 6-4 record. With their new head coach, NIcki Collen, have they performed up to the standards so far?

The Atlanta Dream have played more than ten games and are 6-6 in the WNBA right now. This piece is only going to cover the first 10 games of the Dream's season. The other recent two games (losses at Indiana and NY) will be covered in the mid-season piece. The Dream started off the 2018 season with a new head coach, a new starting point guard and a new small forward. They also welcomed the return of superstar Angel McCoughtry after she took the 2017 season to rest.

With all the new additions, Atlanta's expectations were to be a playoff contender. With their record through the first 10 games, they started on the right track. Let's break down the Dream wins and losses (through the Dream's first 10 games), the players and stats so far.

Atlanta Dream Schedule Through the First 10 Games

Wins

Chicago road win, Minnesota @ home, Connecticut @ home, Las Vegas road win, Seattle road win, Indiana @ home.

Losses

Road loss in Dallas, Dallas @ home, Phoenix @ home, road loss against LA.

Best Win Through the First 10 Games

Minnesota, Connecticut @ home, Seattle road win.

Worst Loss Through the First 10 Games

Road loss in Dallas

Dream's record against the top 4 teams in the WNBA: The Dream have played four games against the top 4 teams in the WNBA through the first 10 games of their season and are 2-2 against them.

Dream's record against the bottom 4 teams in the WNBA: The Dream have played three games against the bottom 4 teams in the WNBA through the first 10 games of their season and are 3-0 against them.

The Dream had a hectic road schedule as they were on the road five times in the early part of the season. They also had a West coast trip scheduled in it.

Team Stats

Through the first 10 games, the Dream averaged 74.8 points per game (the lowest among the teams) and gave up 75.7 points per game (the best among the teams).

Players

Becoming a star

Tiffany Hayes started the season really well and became the top scorer, even with Angel McCoughtry beside her. She averaged 18.3 ppg (the best in her career).

Disappointments

Never a fun category to be a part of, but the Dream's 2017 WNBA All-Star duo really struggled in the Dream's first 10 games of the season. After having career years the year before, they both are currently averaging 5.7 ppg (Williams) and 4.7 ppg (Clarendon)** Although both of their minutes were greatly reduced, they just did not impact the game as much as they did last season. The Dream cannot win games going forward if these two continue to struggle.

**Note - Both Clarendon and Williams' stats are through 12 games played.

New additions

Both Renee Montgomery and Jessica Breland are the third and fourth scorers for the Dream right now. Despite having some mixed success for both players, they both can still get better as they are veterans and know that more is expected from them moving forward.

Rookies

Both Monique Billings and Blake Dietrick have played in limited minutes and both could use some more development time as there have been flashes of their potential. Moving forward, they will still most likely play in limited minutes but if Coach Nicki Colleen sees improvement, there may be chances for more playing time.

Trends / Habits

The Atlanta Dream play really good defense thanks to Elizabeth Williams, Jessica Breland, Angel McCoughtry and others. But, the major problem is they cannot shoot the basketball well. Through the first 10 games, they are shooting around 33% which will not win many games, regardless if you play elite defense. It's not just their FG% shooting numbers that are horrid at the moment, but their three-point shooting is below par as well. They brought Renee Montgomery in for her shooting and she has not yet delivered as she has struggled herself. Maggie Lucas is also a pretty good three point shooter but she has looked rusty in the limited game minutes we have seen of her so far. The Dream have the uncanny ability to get to the FT line a lot thanks to Hayes and McCoughtry, but if they cannot score with their jump shooting, opponents will have a much easier time to defend them.

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