Friday, June 4, 2010

Atlanta vs. Chicago, Friday June 4

Who: The Atlanta Dream (6-1) take on the Chicago Sky (2-4) in an Eastern Conference Game.

The Dream are led by Angel McCoughtry, who is scoring 22.9 points per game. Sancho Lyttle (14.6 ppg/9.9 rpg) and Erika de Souza (11.95 ppg/10.0 rpg) are Atlanta's All-Star posts that provide any team trouble. Chicago is led by Sylvia Fowles (18.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and Cathrine Kraayeveld (10.2 ppg)

What: The first of four regular season games against the Chicago Sky. In 2009, the Dream were swept over the course of the regular season by the Sky, losing all three games against them. The last loss was an 82-80 loss at Philips Arena on August 8th, 2009.

Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.

When: Tipoff is at at 7 pm Eastern time, Friday, June 4th. The game will be televised on Fox Sports South, but it could also be blacked out/delayed depending on attendance. If you flip the channel and the game isn't on, come back at about 10 pm.

Why: When the Atlanta Dream played the Seattle Storm this Friday, Seattle was coming into the game with a single loss. That loss was an 84-75 road loss against the Chicago Sky. The Sky can be tough when they want to be, but now, they're 2-4 and sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.

This game is a "mental toughness" game - can the Dream bounce back on their home court after such a big loss to Seattle on the road? If so, it will confirm that in the Eastern Conference the Dream are still the team to beat, one reason being that the Dream beating the Sky is a rarity. The Dream are 1-6 all time against their Eastern Conference sisters, with the only win being the first win ever by the Atlanta Dream franchise in 2008, one that broke a 17-game losing streak to start the 2008 season.

The Sky have at least one good player - Sylvia Fowles, a player that might be the WNBA's true MVP despite all of this talk about McCoughtry and Jackson. Fowles's 18 points per game might not look so impressive compared to McCoughtry's 22, but Big Syl is shooting 63 percent from the floor - 38-for-60 over the season. For the Dream to get that win, Lyttle and de Souza are going to have to negate Big Syl under the basket. Chicago Rookie Epipphany Prince is averaging 9.5 ppg despite playing only 20.5 minutes per game.

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