The Houston Comets understand the plight of the struggling Atlanta Dream because they were in the same position last season. The Comets, though, have no intention of showing any sympathy for the winless expansion club.
The Comets look to extend the Dream's winless start to 10 games - the same mark Houston reached in 2007 - as the teams square off at Reliant Arena on Monday night.
In its first season, Atlanta (0-9) has put together the third-longest losing streak to open a season in WNBA history. The record belongs to Detroit, which started 0-13 in 2002. The only other club with a season-opening skid longer than the Dream's is Houston, which dropped its first 10 games last year en route to a franchise worst-tying 13-21 finish.
The Comets (2-7) hope to extend Atlanta's misery for at least one more game as they try to notch their first back-to-back wins of the season. Tina Thompson had 21 points and 10 rebounds for her third double-double in four games as Houston beat Seattle 68-60 on Saturday night.
Thompson, who earlier this month became the second player in WNBA history to reach 5,000 career points, ranks in the league's top 10 in scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounding (8.8 rpg) and 3-pointers (21).
The five-time All-Star will try to continue her strong play against an Atlanta club which has struggled defensively. Opponents are averaging 84.6 points and shooting 46.5 percent from the field against the Dream, second-worst and worst in the league, respectively.
However, Dream coach Marynell Meadors is encouraged by her team's play in its last two defeats. Atlanta led by 12 points in the fourth quarter of an 81-77 loss to New York on Wednesday night and made a late rally before falling short in a 76-67 loss to Indiana on Friday night.
"We don't even look at the record," Meadors said. "We look at the next opponent. We're just trying to find the right chemistry, and I think I've found a pretty good lineup the last two games.
"We're (four) and nine points away from a win and somehow we have to figure out a way to do that."
Atlanta's early struggles can't be blamed on veteran guard Betty Lennox, who's averaging 19.0 points and shooting 43.6 percent from 3-point range - both career highs. Lennox, who was held to 13 points Friday, averaged 18.0 points and made nine of her 19 3-point attempts (47.3 percent) in four games against Houston last season while with Seattle.