Thursday, August 27, 2009

27/2009 - Dream 103, Monarchs 83 - "Out of the Frying Pan...."

The win over Sacramento was a nice boost to send the Dream into a five game road trip against some tough competition: Detroit, which is in a hot streak. Seattle, which is in a hot streak. Los Angeles, which is really in a hot streak. And Sacramento and Phoenix, where we:

a) play back-to-back, and
b) both teams are looking to avenge blowout losses. (If we keep to within 20 of Phoenix, I might be happy.)

So what kinds of statistical goodness can we take away from our Tuesday night win against Sacramento? Maybe Dean Oliver's Four Factors will tell us something.

Field goal shooting: Sometimes the best explanations are the simplest ones: we just out shot Sacramento. Whisenant bemoaned his team's lack of defensive intensity, and it showed in the numbers. The Dream shot 55.6 percent from the floor whereas the Monarchs shot only 40 percent. When there's a 15 percent gap in field goal shooting, you have to do a lot to lose the game.

Looking at effective field goal shooting - which counts 3-pointers as 1 1/2 field goals - makes the gap even more painful. Atlanta's effective field goal percentage was 60.4 percent. Sacramento's was 41.4 percent. Egad.

Turnovers: Sacramento had 18, Atlanta had 17. Thanks for the extra turnover.

Offensive rebounds: Atlanta's numbers aren't that great, but really - we didn't have anything to offensive rebound since we were shooting so well. In total rebounds, we only had 9 offensive boards to Sacramento's 11. However, we got 32.1 percent of our available offensive rebounds, and Sacramento got 32.3 percent of theirs.

Free throw visits: We sent Sacramento to the line 33 times, compared to just 21 visits for the Dream. It didn't matter. We actually shot 76.2 percent from the free throw line; the Monarchs shot 75.8 percent. Sacramento got nine more free points than we did from the line, but it wasn't enough.

Now, let's look at Sacramento's players:

Rebekkah Brunson: 15 points and 7 rebounds. 4-for-13 shooting.
Nicole Powell: 13 points, 4 assists. 5-for-17 shooting.
Ticha Penicheiro: 9 points, 11 assists.
Scholanda Robinson: 5 points, but 6 turnovers.

Raw plus-minus of Monarchs starters: -21, -20, -20, -14 and -20

(* * *)

And now, let's peek at the Dream:

Iziane Castro Marques: 30 points off 13-for-21 shooting. What's more amazing is that out of those 30 points only one point came from the free throw line. She also had four assists. Iziane was clearly the Dreamer of the Game.

Angel McCoughtry: 20 points, 4 rebounds. 6-for-10 shooting with 7-for-8 from the free throw line. She had a very good game and got a couple of nice steals.

Shalee Lehning: Her 10 assists were a career high, and she pulled down 4 rebounds and had 3 steals. After a horrible start to the season Lehning is beginning to peak.

Erika de Souza: 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting. Only 4 rebounds, though, but Erika's power wasn't needed.

Sancho Lyttle: Lyttle had 13 points and 9 rebounds, with 3 assists. However, 4 personal fouls and 3 turnovers.

Coco Miller: This is about as good as a game is for Coco Miller. 10 points and 2-for-3 from 3-point range.

Michelle Snow: She didn't play much - less than 10 minutes total. Shot 1-for-3 and had 4 rebounds but 4 fouls as well.

Ivory Latta: Latta got 10 points in 11 minutes played. However, she had 3 turnovers - two occurring during the final two minutes of the game, and she let Whitney Boddie take a steal from her, too. Latta was starting to snooze with a comfortable lead.

Jennifer Lacy: Four personal fouls in six minutes of play. ("What are you trying to do, break Kasha Terry's record?") We liked the two offensive rebounds, though.

Armintie Price: Sort of a wash. Six minutes played, missed a shot, had a couple of rebounds, turned over the ball. It all sort of cancels itself out. who is winning the Still Snoozin' demerit? No one. Good job, everyone! Now go out on the road and get us a couple of wins!

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