Angel McCoughtry is dreaming of a WNBA championship.
by Sherron Shabazz / @SherronShabazz
Atlanta Dream forward Angel McCoughtry currently sits atop the WNBA scoring throne averaging 22.6 points per game. She’s also the league’s steals leader at 3.15 SPG. The reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, McCoughtry is getting buckets and picking pockets at will but her team is a game under .500 and ranked fourth in their conference.
The Dream started the 2012 season slowly but that’s nothing new. In 2010 the Dream finished the season as the 5th seed and made it all the way to the WNBA Finals. In 2011 they were the third seed and advanced to the Finals. Much like the current Boston Celtics, it doesn’t matter where Atlanta is seeded; they’ll find a way to win when it matters.
“We have experience,” Angel McCoughtry said. “Who expects us to make it anyway? We know what we can do. We just gotta get there again and win the whole thing this time.”
The Dream are 0-6 in the WNBA Finals, losing to Seattle and Minnesota in their two Finals appearances. Atlanta believes that this year’s team is different from the last two. The offseason addition of Aneika Henry, Jessica Moore, Cathrine Kraayeveld, Laurie Koehn, Ketia Swainer, and Tiffany Hayes gives ATL more depth and experience.
“The chemistry is better,” said McCoughtry. “We’ve been playing a lot longer so we’re just getting better as each game goes by.”
“We just have to continue to get better and fix the little mistakes.”
The mistakes for ATL can be traced back to McCoughtry. In Atlanta’s last three losses, McCoughtry has taken 30 percent of the team’s field goal attempts and shot 34 percent from the floor. In the Dreams last three wins McCoughtry took 25 percent of the team’s shots and shot 42 percent from the field. During that stretch the 2011 All-Star averaged 4.6 turnovers per game.
In short, when McCoughtry shoots less, the Dream is a much better team.
Angel likes to shoot, period. Most star players do. The glory is in scoring and making game-winning shots. You need a certain amount of fortitude to drop 20 points every night, McCoughtry is not lacking in that department.
To win in professional sports, some degree of ego is needed. To be the face of a franchise, a big ego is mandatory. McCoughtry’s ego has bled over into the music business. Angel McCoughtry—the singer has two singles available on iTunes titled “Illusion” and “Baby I’m A Star.” The 2009 Rookie of the Year is nominated for a 2012 ESPY for Best WNBA Player but she wants to win her next trophy at the Grammys.
“It was just something I always liked to do,” McCoughtry said of her singing career. “I just started doing it and it’s starting to grow.”
“In a couple of weeks the mixtape is coming out.”
While we all anxiously await the Angel McCoughtry mixtape, there’s still some basketball to be played at home and abroad. The 7-8 Dream are looking up at Connecticut, Indiana, and Chicago in the Eastern Conference standings and are heading west for a tough four-game road trip.
When that’s wrapped up, Angel McCoughtry will represent Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics.
“It’s a great feeling to be picked for the Olympics,” said McCoughtry. “I’m happy to be a part of it. I can’t wait to get started. My bags are packed.”
While there is no doubt that McCoughtry will be adding a gold medal to her trophy case soon, it remains to be seen if she has what it takes to win a WNBA championship. More of the same from Angel McCoughtry might propel the Dream to a third straight Eastern Conference championship. More of the same could also leave McCoughtry winless and ringless in the WNBA Finals. Which will it be?