Sunday, August 23, 2009

Atlanta vs. Los Angeles, Sunday August 23

Who: The Atlanta Dream (14-11) take on the Los Angeles Sparks (12-13), a game between two potential WNBA playoff teams.

The Dream have Chamique Holdsclaw (13.9 ppg) as well as All-Star Team members Sancho Lyttle (13.4 ppg) and Erika de Souza (10.9 ppg). Lisa Leslie (15.1 ppg) and Tina Thompson (12.2 ppg) lead the Sparks in scoring, and Candace Parker (10.9 ppg, 8.8 rpg) is always a threat.

What: The first of two games this year against the Sparks. The Dream are 1-1 lifetime against the Sparks.

Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA

When: Tipoff is 3:00 pm Eastern on Sunday, August 23. The game is available on WNBA Live Access.

Why: There are so many whys that it's very difficult to pick one of them. As a matter of fact, if I were only allowed to see one Dream home game this year, this one would be the one.

1. This will be the last time Lisa Leslie appears in Atlanta as a player. She's retiring after this year. She is a 3-time WNBA Most Valuable Player, is the only player in the WNBA to score 6,000 points in a career and is a four-time Olympic gold medalist. If you don't see her during her last game in Atlanta, you have no one to blame but yourself.

2. This is the final weekend home game of the year. Furthermore, there are only two more home games left after this one - Tuesday's game against Sacramento and a game in Saturday against Connecticut. Of course, there's always the playoffs....

3. Tennessee head coach Pat Summitt is going to speak to the crowd after the game. Summitt is the only head coach, male or female, in NCAA Division I basketball to win 1,000 games in a career. And you don't even have to pay extra to hear her speak.

4. The Dream have won three straight. The Sparks have won four straight. So someone's winning streak has to die.

5. If you're a Betty Lennox fan, you get to see her in the enemy uniform. Lennox was the lead scorer for the Dream during the 2008 season.

6. Dunkamania. Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker are the only two players who have dunked in a regular season WNBA game. Michelle Snow of the Dream has dunked in college, but not in the pro game. It is not out of the realm of possibility that someone could throw down.

7. Really, who doesn't want to beat the damned Sparks? They get all the popular players. They're always in the news. It's always "Lisa Leslie this" and "Candace Parker that" in the print media. (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution might even show up!) It's time to develop some good old fashioned hatred and cheer for the home team against the Sparks.

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