With just two games under her belt, Atlanta Dream rookie Rhyne Howard is showing why she was the No. 1 pick in the WNBA Draft.
Atlanta will build around Howard and she is more than up for it, “I take it head on. I don’t let it cause too much pressure on me,” Howard said. “At the end of the day, it’s not just about me. I take it and feed my energy into my teammates. I would run through a wall for them.”
Howard was confident heading into the year that she’d compete for Rookie of the Year and even a WNBA Championship:
Howard has helped lead the Dream to a 2-0 record early this season. In the Dream’s first victory against the Dallas Wings, Howard led Atlanta in scoring with 16 points. She shot 4-14 from the field and 4-12 from three-point land. Not the best shooting percentages, but you love that she was aggressive. Howard also showed off what she could do on defense blocking four shots and getting two steals.
Howard played well again in Atlanta’s home opener against the Los Angeles Sparks. She again led the Dream in scoring with 21 points on 7-18 shooting and went 5-10 from beyond the arc. Howard also grabbed eight rebounds as the Dream beat the Sparks 77-75.
I love how Howard is playing this season. She is very aggressive from the field and is playing outstanding defense. She has shown she will do whatever it takes to win.
In her first two games, Howard has taken 22 three’s, but there is a reason for that, “I always had the catch-and-shoot. I was never this open before,” Howard said as her teammate Cheyenne Parker laughed. “I had to let it fly. I’ve never seen this much space.”
If Howard is open, she will continue to take more threes, knocking them down. The Rookie is currently shooting 40% from beyond the arc. Howard will need to get her field goal percentage up from 33%, but she is playing outstanding this season for Atlanta.
Next for the Dream is another home game against the 2-1 Las Vegas Aces Friday, May 13th. It should be a fun game with two teams who like to play at a fast pace.