By Philip Rossman-Reich
Scouting Report - Lynx (9-5) vs. Dream (6-8) 12 PM
WHERE TO WATCH: FSN-North, WNBA LIVE ACCESS
WHERE TO LISTEN: BOB 106 FM
Nearly two weeks ago, Minnesota stormed into Atlanta and held on for a six-point road win. The Lynx got 23 points from Candice Wiggins and hit 13 of 26 3-pointers in winning their third straight game after Seimone Augustus' injury. The team was certainly riding high at that point, sitting atop the Western Conference. Since then, Minnesota has had its fair share of struggles. The Lynx, like the Dream, are 2-2 since their game on June 30. Minnesota has dealt with some uneven play, struggling on both ends of the court in the team's two losses while the usually potent offense has hit a rough patch.
Atlanta is certainly a team that can take advantage of that. The Dream also like to get up and down the court and in their game two weeks ago, caught the Lynx sleeping in transition throughout the first half. Atlanta is averaging 79.0 points per game, good for third in the league. That is behind only Phoenix and Minnesota. Sancho Lyttle has been a big reason why the Dream has already eclipsed their win mark from their expansion season last year. Lyttle is averaging 14.0 points per game and Atlanta has gotten a big boost from veteran Chamique Holdsclaw. She is having a renaissance after missing the last two seasons in the WNBA. Holdsclaw is second on the team with 13.9 points per game and can be every bit the threat she was with Washington in the late 1990s.
But the big wild card for Atlanta is Iziane Castro Marques. Marques is scoring only 10.9 points per game, but scored a career-high 31 points in the game against Minnesota two weeks ago. She hit 13 of 19 shots in that game. Atlanta's balance -- four players in double figures, no one scoring more than 15 per game -- makes it a very dangerous offensive team. Any of the team's top players can have big games, making it a difficult team to defend. The Lynx have struggled defensively the last four games and will be tested during this afternoon matinee.
Despite this, Atlanta still struggles to finish. The Liberty rallied to take a 71-69 victory over the Dream in their last game. Atlanta gave up a 10-4 run in the final 2:12 in the loss. The Dream are certainly a potent offensive team, but far from a finished product.
Keys To A Win For Minnesota:
--Maintain focus on defense
--Get back and prevent fast breaks
--Disrupt the balance
--Find cutters moving without the ball
Matchup To Watch:
Candice Wiggins vs. Iziane Castro Marques
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