Wings may be a woman down against Dream

The Dallas Wings might be without starting forward Glory Johnson for their home opener Sunday against the revamped Atlanta Dream.

Johnson may be out of the lineup after suffering a leg injury in the season-opening loss at Phoenix on Thursday. She left the arena with crutches. Dallas coach Fred Williams said it is a hamstring issue.

If Johnson is out for an extended period, second-year forward Kaela Davis and rookie Azura Stevens will see more playing time.

The game will be the season opener for Atlanta, which was named the WNBA’s most improved team during the offseason in a vote of league general managers after finishing 12-22 last year.

The Dream, with new coach Nicki Collen, a former Connecticut Sun assistant, signed veteran free agents Renee Montgomery and Jessica Breeland after last season.

Montgomery, a point guard, is a former first-round draft pick of the Minnesota Lynx who won WNBA titles in 2015 and 2017. Breeland, in her eighth year in the WNBA, is a former All-Star forward.

“If there’s one thing I’ve tried to do since I’ve come, it’s getting to know these players and their games and getting them to buy in,” Collen said of her new team. “I think we have the talent to be successful, but I think it takes them figuring out how to share the basketball and taking a better shot.”

In Friday’s 86-78 loss to Phoenix, Dallas struggled to find consistency on offense despite having the presence of talented post player Liz Cambage, a member of Australian’s national team who was out of the WNBA for four seasons while playing overseas.

Cambage, who stands 6 feet 8, scored 14 points on nine shots in the first half but made only 1 of 5 after halftime. Point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith got on track in the second half with 16 points after scoring only two in the first half.

“For us, we’re still learning each other and trying to figure it out,” Diggins-Smith said. “It’s not an effort thing, just a few mistakes. You have to give them credit. Quick turnaround, we have another home opener on Sunday and it was good for us to get out there and compete.”

Defensively, Dallas looked dominating, holding Phoenix to 40 percent shooting from the field. Cambage held four-time All-Star center Brittney Griner to 4-of-12 shooting form the floor.

“Just having her in the paint dramatically changes things for us defensively,” Dallas team president and general manager Greg Bibb told the Dallas Morning-News. “I think we’re going to be a significantly better defensive team this year because of her.”