Thursday, July 16, 2009
"Hey. I won't let them beat you up."
The Dream manages gets an important road win, and they'll need that momentum as they head into Indianapolis tomorrow night to take on the Indiana Fever, winners of 11-straight. If you've got a lucky cabbit's foot, time to rub it, cause we're gonna need it.
Let's take a look at Dean Oliver's Four Factors:
Shooting percentage: The Atlanta Dream hit 53.1 percent of their shots, and that number is the end point of a decline. Atlanta started out shooting almost 70 percent and that shooting boost put them over the top against the Lynx, who only shot 35.6 percent.
I've written about how a team that has good 3-point percentage can overwhelm a better shooting team. However, the Dream was 7-for-9 at 3-point shooting, and the Lynx were 5-for-24. Nineteen missed opportunities, some of which were undoubtedly converted into Dream rebounds and later scores.
Offensive rebounds: Rebounds were generally equal, but in offensive rebounds the Lynx had a 12-5 advantage. In general, the Dream were kept away from the offensive boards, with Iziane Castro Marques - a guard - leading the ream in offensive rebounds. Charde Houston and Nicky Anosike had enough to match the Dream's offensive rebound total by themselves.
Free throw visits: The Lynx went to the line 25 times and the Dream 18 - however, the Dream shot 90 percent and the Lynx shot 80 percent. The Lynx could only take a four-point advantage away from the free throw line.
Now, we look at the Minnesota Lynx:
Nicky Anosike: 22 points, 5 rebounds. Oddly enough, she was rebounding under her average of 6.9 rpg. She had 4 personal fouls and 3 turnovers.
Charde Houston: 15 points and 12 rebounds for the game's only double-double. 4 assists to boot.
Roneeka Hodges: 12 points, but 1-for-7 shooting from the 3-point line.
Candice Wiggins: 7 points, with 2-for-10 shooting.
Renee Montgomery: 8 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists. And in just 24 minutes of play. She'll be good for the Lynx.
And now let's look at the Dream. As you can tell from the poll that's up, some don't care much for the post-mortem awards. So I'm going to take the sting out of it by referring to everyone under assumed names. See if you can guess which was which...and can you identify where the aliases come from?
The Knick: The Knick had an extremely good game with 28 points and 7 rebounds. She started out hot and stayed there. As a matter of fact, The Knick is not only the Dreamer of the Game, but this was the second best performance from an Atlanta Dream player all year, falling short of McCoughtry's amazing game against the Sky where Angel scored 26 points and 8 assists. The Knick will end up in the Hall of Fame, and games like this are the reason why.
Sacred One: Sacred One had 9 points and 10 rebounds, almost picking up the second double-double. Add three steals to that, and the hope is that even if Sacred One can't make the All-Star starting roster, she can at least make the reserves.
Estrela: Whenever our shining star has a good game, it usually means bad news for the Dream, but Estrela picked up 20 points with atypically good shooting. She hit 4 out of 5 3-pointers and finally provided some power behind the arc.
Homecoming Queen: It's great if your point guard can get assists. It's even better if your point guard can score and get assists. Homecoming Queen managed to get that done with 11 points. Not exactly a homecoming if it takes place in Minnesota, but it will do.
Preacher's Kid: The preacher's kid is always the one getting into trouble, and we wonder when she's going to get out of Marynell's doghouse. The PK had 12 points with 5-for-7 shooting, providing a lot of value for just 12 minutes played.
Above the Rim: 6 points and 4 rebounds, but a -9 plus/minus. However, she kept her personal fouls down to two.
The Beast: Not nearly as scary as she usually is. 3 points and 5 rebounds, but a +23 plus/minus.
Spin Move: Only took one shot - and missed it - but she had 5 assists.
Babadep: In the last five games, four of them have been subpar. This was one of them. Only played six minutes, while Shalalal scored an identical two points.
West Coast: Took three shots. Missed all of them. Bizarre defense played in the second and third quarters. Also picked up a couple of personal fouls. Sorry, West Coast, but you've got to take the Still Snoozin' award. That's okay. You'll need your sleep for Indiana.