Who: The Atlanta Dream (12-4) take on the Minnesota Lynx (5-10) in an interconference game.
The Dream are led by Angel McCoughtry, who is scoring 20.4 points per game. Sancho Lyttle (14.8 ppg/10.4 rpg) is an All-Star caliber post, and Iziane Castro Marques (16.8 ppg) will be playing on the Brazilian national team at the end of the season with Erika de Souza (12.1 ppg/8.3 rpg). Minnesota has five players who average double figures. Minnesota’s Candice Wiggins (13.8 ppg) is out for the season but the Lynx have Rebekkah Brunson (13.6 ppg/10.8 ppg) and Seimone Augustus (17.7 ppg).
What: The first of two regular season games against the Minnesota Lynx – the two teams will meet again 13 days later in Minneapolis. Last year the teams split the season series, with the Lynx winning in Atlanta 91-85 on June 30, 2009 and Atlanta beating Minnesota 91-77 on the road on July 15th, 2009. Over the lifetime of the Dream, the record against the Lynx is 2-2, with each team always winning at the other’s home court.
Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta.
When: Tip-off is at 7 pm Eastern time, Thursday, July 1st. Atlanta. You should be able to watch the game on Sports South – if not live, then game-delayed – but the game should also be on WNBA Live Access. For you clean living Minnesotans, the game should be broadcast on the BOB, 106.1 FM.
Why: The Dream have won five of thier last six games. The only loss was in Indiana, and the Fever only won by three points, 94-91. The Dream look as strong as ever, at least on paper.
However, the Dream will play four games in a week – Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday – and even with home field advantage it has to take its toll in terms of sheer fatigue. Enter Minnesota, which is 5-10 but three of Minnesota’s five wins come against lowly Tulsa. However, three of Minnesota’s five wins also come on the road and the Lynx have won three of its last four. Unfortunately for the Lynx, they’re the worst shooting team in the WNBA by a good margin, hitting only 39.5 percent of their field goals – hitting buckets at the rate of the 1998 Washington Mystics. Their opponents also hit 45.9 percent of field goals against the Lynx, the best in the WNBA.
(Note: Can you believe that the 2000 Miami Sol only hit 36.5 percent of its field goals? Ugh.)
The Minnesotans will have four days of rest coming in, but rest doesn’t always help a team. The Dream are favored by 8 1/2 by covers.com and by 12 points by MasseyRatings.com. Let’s hope that the Dream win their fourth straight tomorrow night.