Having gotten the help needed to sew up the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, the Indiana Fever on Monday night will face the Atlanta Dream, who are simply trying to avoid being a dubious footnote while winding down their expansion season.
The Fever were idle on Sunday, but clinched a playoff berth after Chicago lost to New York. The Sky were outscored 25-15 in the final quarter and fell 69-61 to the Liberty.
Indiana (14-16) could've locked down a postseason spot on Friday, but lost 90-68 at Detroit. Tamika Catchings scored 20 points and Ebony Hoffman added 12 for the Fever, who shot only 30.4 percent (21-of-69) while the Shock converted 60.4 percent (32-of-53) of their shots.
"Let's face it, when they shoot 60 percent and we shoot 30 percent, we're probably not going to win the ballgame." Indiana coach Lin Dunn told the Fever's official Web site.
Katie Douglas finished with only eight points on 3-of-8 shooting. She leads Indiana with 16.0 points per game, while Catchings is second with 12.9.
Indiana is not expected to have Tammy Sutton-Brown in the lineup for this game and Tuesday at Minnesota after she suffered a left quadriceps contusion late in the first half on Friday. Sutton-Brown is third on the team with 10.8 points, second in rebounding (6.2) and first in blocks (1.8) and field-goal percentage (47.7).
The Fever are 2-2 since the Olympic break ended, with the losses by an average of 24.0 points. They also probably shouldn't expect much of a challenge in this contest.
As they look to snap a nine-game skid, the Dream also must win their final three games to avoid finishing with the worst record ever by an expansion team in WNBA history. Chicago went 5-29 in 2006.
Atlanta's most recent victory, though, came against Indiana. Iziane Castro Marques scored 24 points and Betty Lennox had 11 of her 16 in the fourth quarter of an 81-77 win on July 16.
Atlanta (3-28) has failed to return to the win column since then, and is coming off an 82-71 loss to playoff-bound New York on Saturday. Lennox, who could easily be considered the Dream's most valuable player, hit six 3-pointers and led all scorers with 28 points.
Lennox, who's wrapping up her ninth season, leads Atlanta with a career-high 17.8 points this year, but is averaging 18.7 in three games versus the Fever. She's also been red-hot after the Olympic break, scoring 99 points in four games.
The Dream - 1-15 at Philips Arena heading into their home finale - will close out their season this week with games at Los Angeles and Seattle.