Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Who: The Atlanta Dream (14-12) take on the Sacramento Monarchs (9-18).
The Dream have Chamique Holdsclaw (13.9 ppg) as well as All-Star Team members Sancho Lyttle (13.1 ppg) and Erika de Souza (11.0 ppg). Nicole Powell (16.3 ppg) leads the Monarchs in scoring and Rebekkah Brunson (10.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg) leads Sacramento in rebounding.
What: The first of two games this year against the Monarchs. The Dream are 0-2 lifetime against the Monarchs.
Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA
When: Tipoff is 7:30 pm Eastern on Tuesday, August 25. The game is available on WNBA Live Access.
Why: The Dream are getting ready for a western road swing that can decide Atlanta's playoff fate. After tonight, the next five games are on the road, with their final four games a pair of back-to-backs. The Dream have been 3-2 so far during this six-game home stand and with Atlanta barely hanging on to second place in the Eastern Conference, every game counts.
As for Sacramento, the Monarchs could make a push for the playoffs. They've changed coaches, firing Jenny Boucek and replacing her with John Whisenant, the only coach to win it all for Sacramento. The Monarchs don't have Yolanda Griffith anymore but Sacramento has won four of the last five under Whisenant and would love to prove that their a team to be taken seriously. Despite a 9-18 record, the Monarchs are just two games out of playoff contention in the weakened Western Conference.
There are two interesting sights to see on the Sacramento bench. One is rookie Courtney Paris, the highly touted draft pick out of Oklahoma. Paris gets about 13.5 minutes a games, and is still being brought along by the Sacramento organization. The other is Kristin Haynie, a member of that 2005 WNBA title team and former member of the Atlanta Dream. Expect some spare "Haynieacs" to be floating around Philips Arena.
Another question is whether or not Chamique Holdsclaw will play. Holdsclaw's gimpy knee kept her out of the Los Angeles Sparks games. Will she or won't she? Only her MD knows for sure. If not, expect to see Rookie of the Year candidate Angel McCoughtry get the start.