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Atlanta Dream: Angel McCoughtry ruled out for rest of 2018 WNBA season

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McCoughtry suffers season-ending injury, Atlanta Dream confirm

The Atlanta Dream announced Thursday that Angel McCoughtry will miss the rest of the 2018 WNBA season after suffering a torn ligaments in her left knee.

The injury came during Tuesday’s 109-100 win over the Las Vegas Aces, which was a bittersweet occasion in retrospect. Atlanta clinched a playoff berth but lost one of its best players in doing so.

McCoughtry shared a statement about the injury in the Dream’s press release:

I want to thank all the fans, my coaching staff and teammates for giving me the chance to come back and play for the Dream this season. I am disappointed with the injury but I believe our team is in good hands. We have a supportive group and a lot of goals to still accomplish. I plan to be there every step of the way to help us reach them. I appreciate everyone and know I will come back stronger than ever.

The knee injury is a disappointing conclusion to a somewhat underwhelming season for McCoughtry by her incredibly high standards.

The 31-year-old averaged 21.5 points per 36 minutes, the third-lowest of her career, per Basketball Reference. Her 19.3 player efficiency rating and .154 win shares per 48 minutes were also the worst of her WNBA career.

With that said, it’s impossible to understate the impact of McCoughtry’s absence as the Dream try to win their first WNBA title.

Atlanta entered Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Sparks in second place (19-10) despite owning the third-worst offensive rating in the league. The Dream were also second-worst in effective field-goal percentage (.454) and true shooting percentage (.500).

Now, the team will have to be without its second-best scorer, and more importantly, somebody who seemingly relished playing on the big stage. McCoughtry is averaging 22.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33 career postseason games.

The Dream have a suffocating defense to which they owe the bulk of their turnaround in 2018, and a great defense is a key ingredient for any contender. But that defense can only take Atlanta so far on its own.

Finishing with a top-two seed becomes even more of a priority in the wake of McCoughtry’s injury. If the Dream can avoid the two single-elimination games, then they may still be on course to capture a championship.

Via Summithoops

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College & HS

Barrett helps lead way as Duke sweeps exhibition

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MONTREAL — R.J. Barrett had 23 points and 11 assists to help Duke beat McGill University 103-58 on Sunday night in the Blue Devils’ third and final game on a Canadian exhibition tour.

Duke opened the tour with two games in Barrett’s hometown of Mississauga, Ontario, beating Ryerson 86-67 on Wednesday night and the University of Toronto 96-60 on Friday night. Barrett scored 34 points against Ryerson and 35 against Toronto.

Barrett had 11 assists against McGill, with the Redmen trying to limit his scoring.

“It’s just the ability to read the game, and they were trying to take away from me scoring,” Barrett said. “I was playing against one of my former coaches [McGill’s David DeAveiro] who knows what I do, so he was trying to limit me from scoring, which left my teammates wide open.”

DeAveiro coached Barrett for two years with the Canadian national cadet team.

Fellow freshman star Zion Williamson led Duke with 36 points and 13 rebounds. Alex Paquin had 29 points for McGill.

“We obviously have more talent, but we’re young. R.J. and Zion are 18. Alex Paquin is 24, he’s really good, and he’s a man,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “That’s one of the things when we get to NCAA play: We have to beat teams that have juniors, seniors or even graduate transfers. So that balances sometimes the talent aspect.”

Via ESPN

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The Game

GameThread: Mystics looking for win against Lynx to capture No. 2 seed

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The last two games of the WNBA regular season feature four teams that have all made the playoffs. Here’s how to watch.


Dallas Wings (15-18) vs. Seattle Storm (25-8)

When: Sunday, August 19 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: KeyArena – Seattle, WA | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN3, JoeTV, WNBA League Pass

Injuries: For the Wings, Kaela Davis (vertigo) is out.

Scouting Report:

The Seattle Storm will end their 2018 regular season at home against the Dallas Wings on Sunday night. The Storm clinched the No. 1 position in the playoffs with a 85-77 win over the New York Liberty on Friday. Breanna Stewart had 22 points and 15 rebounds in the contest.

The Wings are also coming off a victory Friday night that clinched them the eighth and final spot in the playoffs, defeating the Las Vegas Aces 107-102. Liz Cambage poured in 43 points and 13 rebounds in that game, and Skylar Diggins-Smith added 23 points and 8 assists. But the Storm are playing great basketball heading into the playoffs and in their last game set a new WNBA record for threes made by a team in a season.


Washington Mystics (22-11) vs. Minnesota Lynx (17-16)

When: Sunday, August 19 at 7 p.m. ET

Where: Target Center – Minneapolis, MN | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN2, WNBA League Pass

Injuries: For the Mystics, Ariel Atkins (hip) and Natasha Cloud (ankle) are questionable. For the Lynx, Rebekkah Brunson (concussion) is questionable.

Scouting Report:

The Washington Mystics are flying high after a buzzer-beater win over the Sparks on Friday night, 69-67. Another win for the Mystics and a loss for the Atlanta Dream on Sunday night could lead to the Mystics taking the No. 2 seed in the playoff rankings. The difference in the seed position would mean two bye rounds instead of one. Elena Delle Donne continues to lead the Mystics with 21 points and 7.3 rebounds per game on the season.

The Lynx are coming off of a 96-79 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Friday night and are heading into their last game of the regular season on a three-game losing streak. In the loss, Sylvia Fowles had 25 points and 8 rebounds, while Maya Moore had 12 points and 7 rebounds.

Via Swish Appeal

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The Game

GameThread: Dream, Mercury play for higher playoff seeds at 6 p.m ET

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Every WNBA team is playing on Sunday to close out the regular season. Here’s the preview for the three games at 6 p.m. ET.


Las Vegas Aces (14-19) vs. Atlanta Dream (22-11)

When: Sunday, August 19 at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Mandalay Bay Events Center | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN3 (national streaming) | AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain (Las Vegas-area TV) | WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming)

Injury report: Angel McCoughtry (knee) is out for the Dream.

Storylines to follow

The Aces are eliminated from the playoffs, but they can still play spoiler for the Dream. If they beat Atlanta in their season finale and the Mystics defeat the Lynx later tonight, the Dream will fall to the third seed while the Mystics move up to second. That said, the Aces probably don’t feel enthusiastic about helping the Mystics. They forfeited a game to Washington a couple weeks ago and the Mystics were pretty adamant that the Aces should have played instead.


Phoenix Mercury (19-14) vs. New York Liberty (7-26)

When: Sunday, August 19 at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN3 (national streaming) | MSG Plus (New York-area TV) | WNBA League Pass (worldwide streaming)

Injury report: Sancho Lyttle (knee) is out for the Mercury. Epiphanny Prince (knee) and Shavonte Zellous (ankle) are out for the Liberty.

Storylines to follow

The Mercury will finish their regular season against the Liberty, who have lost 12 straight heading into tonight. If the Mercury win, they could finish higher than sixth if the Sparks lose to the Sun when these teams tip off. If not, they will at least host a playoff game against the Lynx. The Liberty are playing for pride at this point, and it remains to be seen if they can do it.


Chicago Sky (13-20) vs. Indiana Fever (5-28)

When: Sunday, August 19 at 6 p.m. ET

Where: Wintrust Arena | TICKETS

How to watch: ESPN3 (national streaming) | The U Too (Chicago-area TV)

Injury report: Jamierra Faulkner (knee) is out for the Sky while Shenise Johnson (knee) is out for the Fever.

Storylines to follow

Like Tamryn mentioned on Saturday, the Sky and Fever are out of playoff contention. That said, the two teams are still playing in something of a playoff series by default, since this game is the second half of a back-to-back for both teams.

On Saturday, the Sky won on Indiana’s home floor with Courtney Vandersloot getting another near triple-double while rookie Diamond DeShields scored 24 points of her own. Meanwhile for Indiana, head coach Pokey Chatman is still preferring to start veteran Cappie Pondexter over standout rookie Kelsey Mitchell. Will that change in the final game when both teams really don’t have much more than pride to play for in their season finales?

Via Swish Appeal

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