Sky hope to keep Dream grounded with win
Angel McCoughtry, Iziane Castro Marques and the Atlanta Dream may be “dreaming” of last year as they welcome the Sky to Philips Arena on Tuesday limping through the starting gate of the 2011 season.
The Dream coasted into 2011 fresh off a 2010 campaign in which they finished the regular season with a 19-15 record, coasted through the Eastern Conference playoff bracket and fell short to Seattle in the Finals by a total of just eight points in three games.
But heading into Sunday night’s game against the Minnesota Lynx, the Dream sit at 1-4 in 2011, including a three-game losing streak to start the year. Meanwhile, the Sky have jumped out to a strong start in 2011 and head into Sunday night’s game at Connecticut with a 3-1 record.
The Sky and Dream matched up five times last season with Chicago taking three wins, all coming in Atlanta. The Sky won 80-70, 88-82 and 84-79 on the road, and at Allstate Arena, the Dream walked away with a win on June 15, 93-86, and August 14, 98-74.
Despite a tough start, the Dream boast five players averaging double figures in scoring led by McCoughtry, Sancho Lyttle and Marques with 13.0, 12.5 and 12.3 points, respectively. Erika de Souza and Coco Miller are averaging 11.8 and 10.5 points rounding out the group.
It will take a strong all-around defensive effort by the Sky to contain the balanced Dream attack, but that is exactly why Chicago brought in defensive-minded Pokey Chatman to coach. The Sky’s Sylvia Fowles and Michelle Snow will be called upon to handle de Souza and new signing Courtney Paris (who replaces Sancho Lyttle) in the paint, and thus far this season opposing post players have had little luck producing against the Sky insides presence.
The game will be televised on WNBA LiveAccess on Tuesday June 21, with an 11:00 a.m. central tip off. WNBA LiveAccess can be found at www.chicagosky.net.