Angel McCoughtry bumped from starting five for undisclosed violation
The Atlanta Dream benched Angel McCoughtry for Tuesday’s 86-83 win over the Connecticut Sun as the result of a team violation, the Dream confirmed to High Post Hoops.
Atlanta surprised fans when it revealed its starting lineup and McCoughtry was missing:
A team spokesperson initially told High Post Hoops’ Arielle Chambers after the game the move was a coach’s decision.
Despite getting relegated to the bench, McCoughtry played 30:59 in the game, scoring a team-high 24 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.
“I had a couple of missed defensive assignments on [Rachel] Banham, so that really hurt the team,” McCoughtry said of her performance after the game. “But we just got stops after that we didn’t hang our heads and came back and played through it. Tiffany Hayes hit and amazing shot and that better be on ESPN and that was just amazing to watch.”
Hayes won the game with a half-courter at the buzzer:
McCoughtry’s demotion came on the same day she earned a trip to the WNBA All-Star Game for the fifth time.
McCoughtry’s All-Star nod was somewhat surprising. Her 95.2 offensive rating is the lowest of her career, per WNBA.com, and she’s hitting 25.0 percent of her three-pointers after Tuesday night. Prior to Tuesday, her true shooting percentage (.501) and effective field-goal percentage (.427) are on pace to be career lows, according to Basketball Reference.
The Dream’s defense makes them difficult to beat on any given night. Atlanta is holding opponents to 41.9 percent shooting overall and 33.1 percent on three-pointers. The former ranks first and the latter ties for third in the WNBA.
McCoughtry may be the key to the Dream’s hopes of making a deep playoff run, though.
Atlanta is 4-5 when allowing at least 80 points, compared to 9-4 when it surrenders fewer than 80 points.
Should the Dream find themselves in a shootout during the postseason—a likely outcome when the level of competition climbs in the postseason—having McCoughtry at her best would be a huge luxury for Atlanta.