What: The fourth of five regular season games against the Fever. The season record for the Dream so far is 1-2, with the only Dream win coming at home on May 16th. The last time the two teams met on July 16th the Fever won 89-70 in Indianapolis.
Who: The Atlanta Dream (17-9) take on the Indiana Fever (16-8) in a battle for first place in the Eastern Conference.
The Dream are led by Angel McCoughtry, who is scoring 21.1 points per game. Sancho Lyttle (13.6 ppg/10.2 rpg) is an All-Star caliber post, and Iziane Castro Marques (17.0 ppg) will be playing on the Brazilian national team at the end of the season with Erika de Souza (12.4 ppg/8.9 rpg). The Fever are led by Tamika Catchings (16.6 ppg/6.7 rpg/4.1 apg) and Katie Douglas (14.4 ppg).
Where: Philips Arena in Atlanta, GA.
When: Tip-off is at 3 pm Eastern time, Sunday, August 1st in Atlanta. Atlanta viewers have a wide choice of ways to see this game.
a) In person, which is the very best way.
b) On NBA TV, if you have it and it isn't blacked out.
c) From Fox Sports South, which might or might not black it out, and
d) From WNBA Live Access, my least preferred way.
Why: Lots of stake at this game. The winner becomes the leader of the Eastern Conference, and both teams will have less than 10 games to go when its all over. More important are the long-term stakes of this game. It's not known how teams are going to finish at the end. The Dream need to win this game at home, and then win the final game of the season against the Fever on Friday at Indianapolis to win the season-tiebreaker. If they lose today or on Friday, the Fever control the tiebreaker.
Somehow, the Dream have righted their ship. After losing four straight on a nightmarish road trip, the Dream beat New York at home, then beat Tulsa on the road and whalloped Connecticut with an amazing 25-0 run. Out of the remaining eight games of the season, six of those games are at home. It puts the Dream in great position to make a surprising sweep of the table. (Well, maybe not against Seattle on August 10th.)
As for the Indiana Fever, it looked sheer force of will was going to given them a conference repeat. They had won seven of thier last eight games going into Washington on Friday - four by seven points or less - until a 77-73 loss against the Mystics surprised them. Briann January had a 1-for-9 shooting game and the Fever only shot 37.7 percent against the Mystics. Don't expect that to happen again today.
It might be close: covers.com has the Dream by two points. Masseyratings.com is behind with their database - games only until Thursday are included - but predicts this game as a virtual tie. (Fever +0.3.) Atlanta Dream fans, hold your breath.