Allisha Gray completely established herself as one of the best two-way players in the league last season with the Dream. Rhyne Howard put the league on notice even more than her rookie season that she is one of the future stars in this league. They have a real claim to being the best wing duo in the league and still have ways to improve their games. After a disappointing end to their season, being swept by the Wings, I’m sure both are motivated to get that bad taste out of their mouths.

Gold Medal Lish made her first WNBA All-Star game, and it feels like there’s more to come. She has yet to make an all-defensive team, which is surprising, but sometimes you need to make waves to get that kind of recognition. She averaged a career-high in points (17.1), assists, and field goal percentage. Her three-point percentage dropped a bit but she had an expanded offensive role for the first time in her career and was still very efficient for her position. 

Rhyne made her second All-Star team in her second season, showing she’s ready to be the leader of a team from the start. She has the talent and potential to be a future MVP in this league. She averaged 17 points per game herself last season, funny enough her and Allisha’s numbers are very similar. Rhyne’s struggled with efficiency her first two seasons, but I don’t think that’s something to dwell on. She has been the focal point of an offense in her very young career, and her team is dependent on her shot output for them to succeed. 

I’m willing to bet the percentages jump this season with another year under her belt and being able to see what ways defenses are trying to defend her. The tough shots she takes are always going to be there, but can the coaches and team find ways to get her easy looks more often? 

Allisha’s shot output is very deliberate I feel like, she never feels forced to take shots she isn’t comfortable with. There aren’t many wing players who are adamant about getting to their spots and creating more than adequate for themselves or others. Gray being next to Rhyne is the perfect pairing, in my opinion, she isn’t a bashful or selfish player. She’s serious on the court, but full of jokes and laughs off of it. She brings the perfect balance that Rhyne needs as a young franchise star. Allisha is willing and capable, of taking the challenge of guarding the best offensive player on the defensive end.

In a sport where players love to take tough shots, it’s refreshing to watch a player like Allisha. Her nifty footwork, size, speed at the position, understanding of the game, and ability to score within the offense are underrated. Allisha Gray is the definition of a one-woman fastbreak.

I expect Allisha to be on the 3×3 team again this summer in the Paris Olympics, and that felt like something that helped her gain confidence, especially on the offensive end. Playing that pace forces you to make quick decisions when you have the ball and she’s become elite at it. Every team needs an Allisha Gray type of player on it, and I can’t say that many do. 

Everyone in the league knows how talented Rhyne Howard is, but this is the season she fully puts the league on notice. She is undoubtedly one of the best scorers in the league, her ability to score in any way you ask her is special. She can shoot the three, on or off the dribble, is adept at putting pressure on the rim, and is proficient in the mid-range game. She finished 12 in free throw attempts per game, and with her talent and aggressiveness, she can make her way into the top five. 

The top five in free throw attempts last season were Jewell Loyd, A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Napheesa Collier, and her teammate Allisha. Those first four names were either all in MVP considerations, the MVP, or led the league in scoring. She has the capabilities to be in that echelon of players. 

She was top four in three-point attempts per game last season, and while she is a good shooter I think the defense takes a sigh of relief when she decides to shoot it. She is such a dynamic player with the ball in her hands because she literally can do anything with it and that’s a scary feeling for a defense. Only one player in the top 10 in three-point attempts shot over 40% and that was Sabrina Ionescu. 

They are two totally different players, with different shot outputs, but I feel 2-3 more free throw attempts and 1-2 fewer three-point attempts open up a ton. As she gets more and more experience in the league, her playmaking ability will continue to progress as well. She doesn’t need to average 7-8 assists, but if you can get comfortable in that 4-5 per game range, it makes the player that much more difficult to defend. Rhyne Howard is a nightmare to guard for anyone in the league, and that puzzle won’t get any easier to solve. Good luck WNBA.

With a player like Tina Charles, who has seen everything, now at the center position it should help everyone have more one-on-one opportunities. At the very least, Gray, Howard, Charles, and Cheyenne Parker-Tyus are capable of hitting the three so there’s no one really to help off of without losing an advantage defensively. Coaching will be a big piece too, but with the talent around them, Rhyne and Allisha should be able to lead this franchise to high places. 

They have a good chance of having a top-4 seed this season, and getting out of the first round. We’ll see how things play out, but keep your eyes on the duo of Rhyne Howard and Allisha Gray.

 

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