The Atlanta Dream followed up two very disappointing road losses with perhaps their best effort of the season in a 76-68 victory over the Chicago Sky Saturday at Philips Arena. The game was a gritty defensive affair that turned physical in the second half. In other words, the game was everything that the Dream haven't been this season. They needed to win a game like this and it couldn't have come at a better time.
Atlanta is still just 4-9 and a full two games behind the Sky for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With the season heading into the All-Star break this weekend, they can't afford to dig themselves any deeper a hole. That is why the victory over the Sky was so refreshing. It followed probably Atlanta's most disappointing loss to date, a 91-69 beat down by the New York Liberty. I think maybe my colleague James Bowman said it the best, "Sometimes, a team gets tired of losing." Finally, Angel McCoughtry looked like an All-Star and point guard Lindsey Harding had a positive impact. Now it is up to the Dream to build on this success and turn it into momentum heading into the break.
The Dream still aren't healthy, Sancho Lyttle hasn't played since leaving the team to compete with the Spanish National Team missing the last three games with a sore back. Coco Miller sat out the win over the Sky after twisting her ankle in the morning shootaround. Something is clearly ailing Iziane Castro Marques who has lost her spot in the starting lineup and played sparingly in the victory over the Sky.
Atlanta will host the Indiana on Tuesday at Noon and then travel to Washington for another mid-day affair with the Mystics on Wednesday. Indiana currently leads the Eastern Conference with a 10-5 mark. Washington is but 3-10 on the season but already knocked the Dream off at Philips Arena earlier this season and most recently overcame a 24 point deficit to the Los Angeles Sparks to win 89-85 in overtime.
Tuesday, July 19 Vs. Indiana - 12:00 p.m. SportSouth
Wednesday, July 20 @ Washington - 11:30 a.m. NBA Live Access