The Atlanta Dream look to head into the All-Star Break on a roll as they close out the first part of the season with a day game against the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta has won four straight and remain in a class of their own in the Eastern Conference. The Liberty have lost two straight and are 7-13 on the season but are just one game out of the fourth and final playoff spot.
Atlanta's versatility in many ways has been the reasoning for their hot start. Consider Saturday's 94-73 win in Indiana which could be dubbed an offensive clinic. One night later, the Dream defeated the Chicago Sky 81-79 despite shooting a season-low 35 percent from the field. The one constant for Michael Cooper's club is their defense and they have done a good job of turning that into offense this season.
The Dream have split two matchups with the Liberty so far this season. Atlanta took the first meeting 85-64 at Philips Arena but dropped an 85-78 decision two nights later at Madison Square Garden. Atlanta did a good job holding Cappie Pondexter and Tina Charles in check in the first meeting but weren't as fortunate the second time around. Pondexter is averaging 15.3 points per game this season but was held scoreless in 18 minutes in Friday's loss to Los Angeles. She finished with 23 points in the earlier victory over the Dream and made play after play down the stretch.
Angel McCoughtry did the same for her team in Sunday's win over the Sky as she equaled a season-high 33 points as she carried the team offensively. Atlanta has also gotten a boost from Tiffany Hayes who is averaging 18.3 points per game over the last three. She finished with a season-best 21 points in Saturday's win over the Fever.
This is the final game for the Dream before they break for the weekend for the 2014 WNBA All-Star Game. Atlanta's McCoughtry and rookie Shoni Schimmel were voted as starters by the fans and will be joined in the starting lineup by the Liberty's Pondexter.
Atlanta's Erika de Souza will be going to the All-Star Game as a reserve after she was among six players that were announced on Tuesday. De Souza has had a stellar season for the Dream averaging 15.2 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting 58 percent from the field. New York's Tina Charles was also selected as a reserve.
Game Date/Time: Wednesday, July 16, 11 a.m.
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Streaming: WNBA Live Access