The WNBA Playoffs kicked off yesterday. Now, only time, hard work and effort now stand between the Atlanta Dream and their goal, the WNBA Championship.
For the past two years the Dream have stood at the precipice, looking at what could be theirs but not quite ready to take the leap. Twice, in succession, Angel McCoughtry and the Dream have made it to the Finals only to lose in humiliating fashion—sweeps.
This year's path to glory started similar to the past two seasons.
The Dream again played the role of the underdog this season. In 2010, Atlanta began its march to the Finals as the fourth seed, having ended their season with a 19-15 record. The 2011 season saw the Dream accumulate one more win and finish as the third seed. 2012 has been much of the same, the exception being that the New York Liberty have had a less-than-stellar year, enabling Atlanta to gain the third seed with a 19-15 finish.
This season has not been easy for Atlanta.
The Dream struggled after replacing their inaugural head coach, Marynell Meadors. Perhaps their struggles are the active result of karma working to make life hard for them after choosing to fire Meadors on her birthday. Many, including Michele Voepel, have speculated that Angel McCoughtry was to behind the firing, alluding to her having issues with Meadors.
The Dream promoted Meadors' former assistant, Fred Williams, to head coach and general manager. Williams acted quickly to address any issues in the locker room. His first move as head coach was to suspend the star player and leading scorer.
While McCoughtry sat for two games her teammates managed to split the contests played in her absence, losing to Tulsa by only four and blowing out Washington by 23.
After Angel's return, the Dream pulled together and finished strong, going 6-2 down the stretch.
The Dream open the playoffs playing their conference rivals from Indiana, the Fever. The regular season series went in the Fever's favor, 3-2, which makes picking this round one matchup anyone's guess.
If Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed, has his say, the Dream will finally bring home the championship trophy this October.
Time to sit back, relax and enjoy some playoff basketball.
The Atlanta Dream defeated the Indiana Fever in game one Friday night, 75-66. Lindsey Harding, who led all scorers with 23, finished the game with 7 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Angel McCoughtry, who had 16 points, led the Dream with 9 rebounds while also snatching 2 steals and getting 2 blocks.
Katie Douglas led the Fever with only 13 points. Star player and WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, Tamika Catchings finished the game with 10 points and led all players with 11 rebounds.
Game 2 will be Sunday in Atlanta at 4:00 pm.