Saturday, July 3, 2010
Who: The Atlanta Dream (13-4) take on the Chicago Sky (7-9) in an Eastern Conference game.
The Dream are led by Angel McCoughtry, who is scoring 19.8 points per game. Sancho Lyttle (14.5 ppg/10.6 rpg) is an All-Star caliber post, and Iziane Castro Marques (17.1 ppg) will be playing on the Brazilian national team at the end of the season with Erika de Souza (12.0 ppg/8.0 rpg). The Sky are led by Sylvia Fowles (18.7 ppg, 8.8 rpg) who is an MVP attender, and the Sky are backed up by Jia Perkins (10.4 ppg) and rookie Epipphany Prince (9.8 ppg, 19.6 mpg).
What: The third of five regular season games against the Chicago Sky and the last meeting until the middle of August - out of three three final games of the regular season for the Dream two will be against Chicago. The teams have split so far this season, with Chicago winning in Atlanta 80-70 on June 4 and Atlanta returning the favor in Chicago for the Dream's first win in the Windy City, 93-86 on June 15th.
Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta.
When: Tip-off is at 7 pm Eastern time, Saturday, July 3rd in Atlanta. You should be able to watch the game on Sports South in Atlanta and on NBA TV elsewhere. Comcast 100 in Chicago should also be showing the game. And of course, there's WNBA Live Access for those who have computers.
Why: Atlanta and Chicago might not be rivals, but the Sky always seem to know the answer for any question Atlanta poses. The Dream have won five straight and six out of their last seven but this is the Dream's fourth game in seven days and the only thing anyone can talk about is fatigue. It's something that Dream fans should be worried about given Chicago's success against Atlanta - the Sky are the only reason the Dream are undefeated at home this year. The Sky have won three of their last four games including an impressive 92-80 win against Connecticut in Chicago .
Something to look out for: the first half score. If the Dream are leading at the half, it's a good portent. The Dream have a 5-0 record in games where they've led at halftime...which means that 12 times this year the Dream were behind at halftime.
Another thing to watch is free throw performance. The Dream shoot 68.1 percent from the free throw line. It's not the worst of all time, by far - the 1998 Mystics shot 64.5 percent from the free throw line - but it is pretty bad, 11th out of 12 teams in the league. Iziane Castro Marques is hitting 62.5 percent from the free throw line and Erika de Souza is hitting 51.4 percent of her free throw shots. (Last year Erika hit 65.3 percent of her free throws.) You know it's a bad year for Erika when Armintie Price is outperforming her at the stripe.
Atlanta is favored by 6 1/2 by covers.com...but is only favored by one point by masseyratings.com. If you can get out there tonight and support the Dream, they'd appreciate it.