Conference leaders face off Friday night at Philips Arena as the Atlanta Dream face the Minnesota Lynx in a rematch of last seasons Finals. After an up and down start, the Dream seem to be putting things together and have one two straight and climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 5-3 record. Minnesota has picked right back up where they left off last season winning eight of their first nine games.
The Dream haven't played since last Saturday when they dismantled the Chicago Sky 97-59. Atlanta moved to 4-1 on the season at Philips Arena but they have had very little success recently against the Lynx. Including the playoffs, Minnesota has taken 12 of 13 from Atlanta.
The game will feature a match up of one of the league's best offense against one of the best defenses. Minnesota leads the WNBA in offensive rating at 109.1. Atlanta is second in defensive rating at 96.9. The Dream's perimeter defense will get a stiff test as they try and deal with the Lynx's high scoring combo of Maya Moore and Seimone Augustus.
Moore is off to a great start and is leading the WNBA in scoring at 24.1 points per game. Augustus is averaging 19.7 points while shooting 54 percent from the field.
For the Dream, Erika de Souza is off to the best start of her career averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. She was just rewarded with her first Player of the Week award. Sancho Lyttle is also averaging close to a double-double and along with Angel McCoughtry need to attack the paint against the Lynx.
For the Lynx, Friday's game will probably be viewed as just another regular season game. For the Dream however, it is a chance to show that they aren't the same team that has been swept in all three of their appearances in the Finals. Michael Cooper was brought on board to help get them over the hump. Its still early but this is their first chance at seeing where they measure up.
Game Date/Time: Friday June 13, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Philips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Live Streaming: WNBA Live Access