Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Who: The Atlanta Dream (8-10) take on the Western Conference leading Phoenix Mercury (14-5).
The Dream have Chamique Holdsclaw (15.1 ppg) as well as All-Star Team members Sancho Lyttle (13.6 ppg) and Erika de Souza (11.1 ppg). The Mercury counter with Diana Taurasi (21.6 ppg), as well as Cappie Pondexter (20.1 ppg) and Aussie Penny Taylor who has just returned and has yet to play a game this year - she could take the court for the first time against the Dream.
What: The first of two regular season games with the Mercury, and the only home game the Dream have with Phoenix this year. The Dream are 0-2 all time against the Mercury.
Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta GA
When: Tipoff is 7:30 pm Eastern on Thursday, July 30th. If I'm right, the arena should open up one hour before tipoff. Lots of food.
Why: If the Dream is going to show that they're deserving of a playoff spot, they're going to have to beat the tough teams. The Mercury is definitely one of them, and now that Penny Taylor has rejoined, they've become that much more dangerous.
Another reason is a chance to look at two of the top rookies in the WNBA. The Dream have Angel McCoughtry (9.4 ppg), the number one draft pick of the 2009 draft that doesn't get as many minutes as she should...but she makes full use of her time. The Mercury have DeWanna Bonner (11.6 ppg), a draft choice out of Auburn that might have a long career in the WNBA.
Furthermore, the Mercury are 12-0 when scoring more than 90 points a game - but they're 2-5 when they don't. If Atlanta can shut down the Phoenix perimeter, it could be a big upset for the Dream. If you have a family member whose knock on the WNBA is that teams can't score(don't mention the fact that WNBA games are shorter than NBA games), the Mercury scored 97 points against us at home in our loss last year...and 110 in the road loss. Trust me, scoring isn't going to be a problem.