Former Arizona Wildcat stars Sam Thomas and Ari MacDonald meet in Week 4 of the WNBA

These were the first two games that Arizona fans had been waiting for. Mercury Phoenix went on the road to visit the Atlanta Dream, giving Sam Thomas The opportunity to visit her teammate who helped her build the Wildcats program into what it is today. Ari MacDonald The dream came true, but seeing the two women on the same court with the pros was a win for Arizona.

Ari MacDonald and the Atlanta Dream

The dream continues to hum straight through and MacDonald is right in the middle of it. The team played two matches during the fourth week of the season. They split the competitions, but MacDonald had strong games on both days.

Atlanta did not have a game with the Washington Mestics on Tuesday, May 24. DC was a rude host, beating the dream by 20 points and keeping them at the lowest point in the season total. In the end, it was 70-50 loss for visitorsMacDonald, however, kept up her good showing.

While MacDonald still offers most of her value on the defensive side, she is proving her ability to score in this league despite her small stature. It has a defensive rating of 92.5 According to Her Hoop . statsand put it in the 79th percentile of WNBA players.

Her offensive rating of 92.8 is still behind in the 29th percentile, but she has put in double digits in her scoring in four of the team’s eight games this season. She only did it seven times in 30 games last season as her minutes fluctuated wildly.

Against the Mystics, she was the only member of the Dream to hit double digits in a game no one from Atlanta wanted to write about. I just got to that level with 10 points in a 3-9 shot. She went 2-5 from behind the arc, and showed an improved outside shot again.

McDonald’s is shooting 36.1 percent off there this season after only hitting 30.8 percent last season. Its exceptional success rate of 61.9 percent from a two-point range has an overall firing rate of 45.6 percent.

Ari McDonald's screenshot chart from WNBA.com

Aari McDonald’s chart against The Washington Mystics on May 24, 2022
Courtesy of the WNBA

The additional/negative ratings of Dream players did not fare well against Washington, as the score indicates. McDonald’s was one of the best performers on this scale. She had a -4 while playing just over 27 minutes. The only superior numbers (-2) were by two reservists who only spent 4:25 on the ground.

MacDonald added rebounds, assists and steals to her baseline against the Sufis. As has been the case all season, I struggled to maintain control of the ball. I flipped it three times.

Dream flipped the script when they faced Phoenix Mercury in a nationally televised match on the CBS Sun, on May 29. Atlanta dominated Phoenix from start to finish, ending with a 81-54 home win. He improved the team’s record to 5-3 per season, and helped Dream reach more than half as many wins in eight games as they achieved in 32 last season.

MacDonald played under 26 minutes and scored again 10 points. I went 4-9 from the ground and 2-6 from the outside. She also showed off her prowess on the boards, as she tied for second on the team with eight rebounds. Only Cheyenne Parker, who is 6 feet 4 feet tall, has outstripped MacDonald on her team.

MacDonald added five assists and two steals. On the downside, she made up for those five passes with five turnovers.

the dream You will play three matches Next week. They start things off on Wednesday, June 1st with the hosting of the Minnesota Lynx. They will stay at home and face defending champion Chicago Sky on Friday, June 3, then wrap up the week with a home match against Indiana Fever on Sun. , 5 June.

Sam Thomas and Phoenix Mercury

Mercury continues to struggle with internal issues and the absence of Britney Greiner. They are now 2-6 and have lost five in a row.

With that, Thomas achieved a personal feat. She hit her first basket as a pro, calling in a two-point shot in Mercury’s loss to Atlanta. She also had a huge playing time in both games this week.

In Mercury’s narrow five-point loss to the Los Angeles Sparks, Thomas was on the ground for 14:35. This was the first time in the regular season that I watched 10 minutes or more of play.

Thomas did not score against Sparks, but she contributed rebounds, assists, steals, and a block without overturning the ball. The scoring monkey finally crawled off her back in the second game of the week.

While Mercury didn’t put up a fight against Dream, Thomas entered the match late and played her trademark defense. I hit one of four shots, and scored two points. She added rebounds and steals in 22 minutes of play. It was her longest outing this season.

She also had her moment with her old teammate.

Mercury will try to get out of the hole in which they put themselves, but it will not be easy. they face Three strong competitors this week, kicking off the road in Chicago against champion Sky on Tuesday. , May 31. On Friday, June 3, things get even more difficult as they head home to host the Connecticut Sun, who leads the Eastern Conference at 6-2. The weekend features another match against Sparks on Sun, June 5, this time in Phoenix.