Monday, June 28, 2010
Who: The Atlanta Dream (11-4) take on the Phoenix Mercury (5-9) in an interconference game.
The Dream are led by Angel McCoughtry, who is scoring 20.5 points per game. Sancho Lyttle (15.1 ppg/10.9 rpg) is an All-Star post, and Iziane Castro Marques (17.2 ppg) will be playing on the Brazilian national team at the end of the season with Erika de Souza (12.3 ppg/8.7 rpg). The Phoenix Mercury might be without Diana Taurasi (22.9 ppg) but the high-scoring Mercury also have Candice Dupree (13.1 pgg/7.6 rpg) and Penny Taylor (15.9 ppg/4.9 apg).
What: The second of two regular season games against the Phoenix Mercury. On May 28th, the Dream won 96-93 at the US Airways Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta.
When: Tip-off is at 7 pm Eastern time, Tuesday June 29th. The game will be shown on NBA TV - at least the Dream's website claims that it will - but will probably be blacked out in Atlanta. However, you should be able to watch the game on Sports South - if not live, then game-delayed.
Why: For those who like to joke about a WNBA game ending with a score of 8 to 4 - you need to update your jokes by about 15 years. The Mercury average 91.8 points per game, and the Dream are #2 at 82.7 points per game. In the NBA, this would be 110 points and 99 points per game.
However, the Mercury have a couple of problems. The first problem is that even though the Merc score 91.8 points per game, they give up 91.9 points per game, more than any other team in the WNBA. Somewhere, the Mercury have forgotten how to play even minimal defense and they've lost their last four games. Second, Diana Taurasi hurt her back on the road in an 95-85 loss to the Mystics in Washington. She went to the locker room in the third quarter and didn't return to the game. She's currently listed as day-to-day and might not play in the Atlanta game, which could make it a five-game losing streak for the Mercury. You have to go back to 2005 to find a Phoenix Mercury team that lost five straight games.
A win against the Mercury would give the Dream a 3-3 record lifetime and would be the first ever season sweep by the Mercury. The last time the Mercury played in Atlanta the Dream won 106-76, the biggest win in Atlanta Dream history in terms of points scored and in winning margin, so let's all knock on wood. Atlanta is favored by 6 1/2 points by covers.com and by 10 points by masseyratings.com. If you want to see a fast-paced, high-scoring game against the defending WNBA champions that the Dream have a good chance of winning, tomorrow night is your night!