The Atlanta Dream scrapped their way to a win Friday night against the San Antonio Stars, now they hit the road for the first time for an Eastern Conference matchup against the Indiana Fever.
Atlanta came from behind late on Friday to capture a 79-75 win over the Stars at Philips Arena. Erika de Souza logged a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Angel McCoughtry added 21. Rookie Shoni Schimmel drew rave reviews in her WNBA debut as she finished with seven points and a game-high 11 assists.
The Dream will look to shore up their perimeter defense against the Fever. Stars guard Danielle Robinson torched them for 23 points on drives and back cuts when away from the ball. Schimmel, Jasmine Thomas and Matee Ajavon all took turns trying to slow Robinson with little success.
Indiana is a much different team than the one Atlanta faced in the Eastern Conference Finals last season. Gone are Katie Douglas and Erin Phillips but in their place is rookie Natasha Howard. The Fever jumped out to a 30-14 lead against the Chicago Sky on Friday but scored just 41 more points in a 74-71 loss. Howard logged a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds in her debut but was just 6-16 from the field.
For Atlanta, cutting off Indiana's Shavonte Zellous and Briann January trips to the paint could be the difference in a win and a loss. Zellous finished with 14 points on Friday but did most of her damage from the free throw line. If Atlanta can force misses or turnovers then there are few teams that can match them in the open floor. San Antonio was able to effectively slow the pace on Friday and the Dream struggled a bit in the halfcourt during the second half. Indiana under Lin Dunn will be solid defensively so its important that Atlanta push the pace at every opportunity.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, May 17, 7 p.m.
Location: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana
Streaming: WNBA Live Access
Other WNBA Games
Chicago vs New York 8 p.m.
Tulsa vs San Antonio 8 p.m.
Seattle vs Phoenix 10 p.m.