Dream Hoping Return Home Can Spark Turnaround

Sep 15 2010 3:39AM
Seattle -- The hole is deep but not insurmountable. The Dream is still alive in Atlanta.

Tuesday’s 87-84 loss to the Storm at KeyArena in Seattle makes it a must-win situation for the remainder of the best-of-five series for the Atlanta Dream. After opening up the series on the road in front of the rabid Seattle fans, members of the Dream are looking forward to the opportunity to turn the tides on the Storm back home at Philips Arena in Atlanta.

Before the Finals tipped off, the ideal hypothetical would’ve had Atlanta going home up 2-0 over the Storm. Heck, the Dream would have even settled for tying the series at one apiece if they had to. But now, it’s all about capitalizing on the momentum shift, driven predominantly from the anxiously awaiting sixth man.

“That crowd they had here, we’re going to have at home too because we sell out and our arena is bigger,” Iziane Castro Marques said with a laugh following her 21-point performance in Game Two. “If we have our running game going and that crowd is fired up, nobody is going to stop us.”

The sentiment is shared amongst the sullen faces throughout the Dream locker room. It’s not ideal, but it’s certainly a challenge. And that’s one thing Atlanta will not walk away from.

“Nothing’s stopping us,” said Angel McCoughtry. “We can do it. We still have faith that we can pull out the series.”

In Game One McCoughtry was forced to sit out the entire second quarter after registering three early fouls in the first, but still returned to tally 19 points in just over 20 minutes of play. Throughout the second game of the series, McCoughtry managed her fouls more efficiently, still registering five but doing so over 37 minutes of court time. The difference in Game Two was in shooting the ball.

“I had good looks,” said McCoughtry. “Usually I knock them down. I just didn’t knock them down [Tuesday].”

“Things will help being at home,” McCoughtry added, relishing the positive aspect of returning to home court. “The crowd is going to help us a lot. I think that’ll be key for us.”

Another area that will remain key for the Dream is the team’s ability to keep starters on the court. Aforementioned Game One foul trouble aside, the Dream lost Castro Marques for part of the first quarter in Game Two when she came up from a scrum under the basket holding her face.

“For me it’s still lined up,” she said, touching the bridge of her nose. “The doctor said it’s really stable.”

The few short minutes in which she was receiving treatment on the bench would have been better served on the court, as Castro Marques shot 10-of-20 and tied McCoughtry’s team-high 21 points. Nevertheless, the prognosis was no doubt good news for Castro Marques, who earlier in the season suffered a broken nose after colliding with teammate Brittainey Raven during practice.

Defensive specialist Armintie Price, who added six points in the loss, came up limping after she rolled her ankle in the fourth quarter, but said she’s going to see how it goes between now and Game Three.

In the rebounding department, an area that plagued the Dream in Game One, Atlanta out-did the Storm 33-26, one-third of which came on the offensive end. Unfortunately for Atlanta the ability to clean glass did not directly result in a win, but Sancho Lyttle was quick to state that it’s not always about rebounding. Sometimes it’s much simpler than that.

“Getting the ball in the basket,” Lyttle said, citing the teams focus in Game Three. “It was a close game, and when it’s close it doesn’t matter who rebounds more or who has less.”

In two straight games the Dream has come up on the losing end by just a hair, falling short in Game One by two points and again in Game Two by three. Frustrating as it may be, the team remains focused on battling back and not backing down as they return to their home court.

“The little details,” said Castro Marques. “One more rebound, one more [defensive stop], one more shot. It was a situation where we put ourselves at the end and it could go either way.”

Nothing’s saying it can’t go the other way back in Atlanta.
Series Info
Game 1: SEA 79, ATL 77: Box | Recap | Photos | Video
Game 2: SEA 87, ATL 84: Box | Recap | Photos | Video
Game 3: SEA 87, ATL 84: Box | Recap | Photos | Video


Gm 1: SEA 82, PHX 74
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: SEA 91, PHX 88
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: SEA 79, LAS 66
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: SEA 81, LAS 66
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: PHX 106, SAN 93
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: PHX 92, SAN 73
Box | Recap | Photos


Gm 1: ATL 81, NYL 75
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: ATL 105, NYL 93
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: ATL 95 WAS 90
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: ATL 101 WAS 77
Box | Recap | Photos

Gm 1: NYL 85, IND 73
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 2: IND 75, NYL 67
Box | Recap | Photos
Gm 3: NYL 77, IND 74
Box | Recap | Photos