Sunday, May 16, 2010
Who: The Atlanta Dream (1-0) take on the Indiana Fever (0-1) in Atlanta's home opener.
Here are the final rosters of both clubs:
Atlanta: Alison Bales, Iziane Castro Marques, Erika de Souza, Chamique Holdsclaw, Shalee Lehning, Sancho Lyttle, Angel McCoughtry, Coco Miller, Kelly Miller, Armintie Price, Brittainey Raven
Indiana: Tully Bevilaqua, Tamika Catchings, Jessica Davenport, Katie Douglas, Ebony Hoffman, Briann January, Jessica Moore, Jene Morris, Shay Murphy, Allie Quigley, Tammy Sutton-Brown
What: The first of four regular season games against the Indiana Dream, who are the defending Eastern Conference champions. Last year, the Dream played three games against the Fever, going 1-2. The last time the two teams met was an 84-79 loss by Atlanta at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on July 17, 2009.
Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.
When: Tipoff is at at 7 pm Eastern time, today. (May 16, 2010.) The game is supposed to be televised on Sports South, but I don't know if you'll be able to see it in Atlanta. This game should be available on WNBA Live Access.
Why: Last year the Dream started their march to the playoffs with an 87-86 double-overtime thriller in Atlanta in the Dream's opening game, with Chamique Holdsclaw scoring 23 points, Erika de Souza scoring 16 points and 17 rebounds and Angel McCoughtry debuting for 15 points. And hey, if a win against Indiana worked once, it will work again, right?
The previous game against San Antonio implies that the Dream might use Angel McCoughtry and Iziane Castro Marques as a duo to stretch enemy defenses - defenders can either let McCoughtry and Izi roam the perimeter and give up 3-pointers, or they can hunt down the two in vain as either one feeds the ball to Sancho Lyttle or Erika de Souza. But the Dream can't depend on that plan for long - the starting five scored 70 of the Dream's 75 points in the win against San Antonio, and Erika de Souza didn't look too sharp despite Erika hammering the Silver Stars for 11 points and 15 rebounds.
For Indiana, the question is whether or not Indiana's Tamika Catchings can stay healthy. That, and if she can put behind her a 72-65 loss to Washington where she scored 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting and had four personal fouls. Those are good numbers, but they are not Tamika Catching numbers. Everyone is present on the roster - there are no holdouts and Indiana isn't waiting at the airport for anyone - so the Fever will be trying to avoid an 0-2 start to the season.
Chamique Holdsclaw still remains on the Dream's roster. Not suspended, not traded, and not showing up. Sooner or later, the Dream might have to consider suspension or release, but two wins without Holdsclaw will ease the pressure for an immediate resolution to the Holdsclaw drama. Brittainey Raven, who played Holdsclaw's forward role in training camp, is the only member of the Dream (besides Holdsclaw) to get no time in yesterday's game. With Leuchanka still on her way to Atlanta, expect to see more of Alison Bales.