The Dream fell to 1-5 in June, which included four straight losses to Minnesota and Seattle. The Dream have remained competitive in those competitions, but there is an obvious missing piece as second-year goaltender Chennedy Carter continues to recover from an elbow injury sustained May 27 against the New York Liberty.
The twitch of the Dream’s spin is near, however. Carter has been listed as questionable for a number of games, but is getting closer to a comeback.
“It’s a bit of a work in progress because it’s the first major injury to my arm,” Carter said on June 8 during his only meeting with reporters since the injury. “I used to have a lot of swelling, but now it’s going down. I should be back soon. Earlier than I thought, honestly.
Carter’s arm gradually improved with numerous treatment sessions and increased involvement in the practice. She does range of motion exercises daily, uses stimulation to reduce swelling, and works frequently with training staff to speed her return to the field.
Petersen said Carter does a lot of shooting practice and 5-on-0 work during the sessions. Carter also gets live work with dribbling and faster moves to keep the guard’s change of direction sneaky.
Carter also saw improvement when looking at games from a different perspective. Tianna Hawkins praised Carter for continuing to be a valuable asset to the Dream with infectious energy and a willingness to communicate.
“She did what she needed to do to get healthy and get back on the pitch,” Hawkins said. “We will be much faster with his back. It allows us to run in transition and move the ball a little better.
Carter averaged 15.7 points per game in the first six games for the team, which ranks 18th in the WNBA despite six games missed, according to Her Hoop Stats.
Petersen called Carter’s injury a “silver lining,” but the Dream were able to take advantage of their deep backcourt. The Sims bounced back from a slow start to the season and stepped into the starting role, Tiffany Hayes remained a consistent all-rounder, and Courtney Williams continued to be a 3-point threat despite a cooler shooting performance. against the Mystics.
Again, each of the guards has contrasting styles. Carter’s return gives the Dream another dangerous weapon and allows them to adopt more of a fast-paced playstyle.
“Chenn gives us a little more downhill and helps us get to the rim,” said Petersen. “This will give us another piece of the puzzle that we try to put together when she comes back.” “
The WNBA season is approaching the midpoint and the Dream have remained in the playoff position despite playing half of the season without a leading player. The Dream fixed it, but hopes Carter’s return rekindles the group’s winning ways.
It could happen soon, but adjustments without # 3 in the fold are continuing.
“It’s one of those deals where you’re missing until you’re not,” Petersen said.