Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Atlanta vs. Detroit, Thursday August 13

Who: The Atlanta Dream (11-11) take on the Detroit Shock (9-11) as Atlanta tries to put some distance between itself and other playoff contenders.

The Dream have Chamique Holdsclaw (14.8 ppg) as well as All-Star Team members Sancho Lyttle (13.1 ppg) and Erika de Souza (10.8 ppg). Detroit has Deanna Nolan (14.3 ppg) along with the legendary Katie Smith (13.3 ppg) and rookie Shavonte Zellous (11.3 ppg)

What: The third of four games this year against Detroit. Atlanta has won both games so far this year. They won at home in June 96-86 and then won in Auburn Hills in July 98-95.

Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.

When: Tipoff is 7:30 pm Eastern on Thursday, August 13th. That's tomorrow!

Why: With the teams clustered up in the Eastern Conference, it appears that aside from the Fever (which lead the East by 5 1/2 games) nothing is in stone with regard to a post-season berth. Therefore, the Dream have to win every game they can, because with the WNBA's parity a 17-17 record is no guarantee of anything. A win not only helps the Dream count coup, but would clinch any tiebreaker against the Shock.

The Dream might need that tiebreaker. The Shock started the season 2-7, miserable with the loss of Plenette Pierson for the season and the abrupt resignation of coach Bill Laimbeer. The Shock struggled to find an identity, but it seems like they've recovered their Bad Girls' swagger - they've gone 7-4 since that awful start and the Shock have won three of their last four. In two of those three wins, Deanna Nolan - who has also struggled this season - scored over 20 points. The Shock are playing well, so it will be a fight.

Another reason Dream fans might want to attend is that it will be Mascot Night. Kids will certainly love Mascot Mania, and I've written about it before. For single people, Mascot Mania might seem like one of those scrolls in Revelations has opened up: "And I saw a hand, which opened the scroll, releasing mascots into the city that they might wreak havoc."

Unfortunately, the Georgia Force mascot will no longer be with us - but hopefully, the mascots from the Hawks, Falcons, Thrashers, Georgia State and Georgia Tech will be there. When I followed Georgia Tech over the off-season I experienced a lot of Buzz, the Georgia Tech mascot. Buzz is pretty cool, but you don't know if the same person will be in the suit this year.

And if you see that guy wearing the banana suit that was there last year...peel him. He's annoying. Bring Me The Head of Banana Man.

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