In a good opening game Liz Cambage served notice to the rest of the WNBA on notice.
The first two points of the WNBA season went to Liz Cambage in what could be considered an omen. Last season, the Dallas Wings spent a lot of time finding perimeter shots. This game they looked to go inside more thanks to the presence of Cambage.
Watching Cambage last night, the Wings have got a tremendous season coming up. She took on one of the preimer centers in the world in Brittney Griner and ended up with the better statisitcal line.
In 36 minutes Cambage had 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks. She shot 7-of-14 from the field and 4-of-5 from the line. Compared to that, Griner had 13 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. She was 4-of-12 from the field and 5-of-5 from the line.
However, it is not just the more points or rebounds which was telling here. Cambage has become so good at dribbling out of double teams or even better, passing out of double teams. The four assists are key as if you double Cambage, she will find someone for an open shot. This is going to be crucial for the Wings all year.
Cambage also showed she has grown as a player since her last stint in the league. Her ability to take the ball to the rim with a bigger player on her is going to define her season. Griner defended the Australian as well as anyone and Cambage was able to just power on through.
Cambage has given the Wings something they did not have last year, a presence in the middle to be feared. While she only got two blocks, she changed quite a number of shots. This is such a difference on the pick and roll defence as Cambage can stay with the guard on the switch.
She can also drop back and protect the rim. At one point of the game, Diana Taurasi took the ball at Cambage, putting the shot up. Cambage swatted it away like she was giving a high five.
It is going to be interesting to see how Cambage can develop her game with first round draft pick Azura Stevens. If the Wings can start Cambage at 6’8″ and Stevens at 6’6″ they are going to have a scary front line.
Unfortunately for the Wings they lost the game. Skylar Diggins-Smith did not have her most efficient game going 6-of-19. Aliisha Gray was also quiet with only seven points. However, once the Wings are able to gel together, this team is going to be good.