Friday Night Open Thread: Atlanta Dream Vs. Connecticut Sun On NBA TV

Who: Atlanta Dream vs. Connecticut Sun

When: 7:30 p.m. PST on NBA TV/WNBA LiveAccess

Where: Phillips Arena - Atlanta, GA

Preview: preview

Storyline: SBN Atlanta storystream

What: Just the second of four meetings in the regular season series between the two teams, this game could have significant playoff implications as the Dream have surged into fourth in the Eastern Conference standings and are looking for more.

While the Sun are coming off an 84-81 overtime loss to the New York Liberty just last night, the Dream are among the hottest teams in the league right now as winners of two in a row and 9 of their last 12. But moreso than just racking up wins, they're playing well too and that's worthy a brief deeper look.

So why are the Dream so hot lately?

(Hint: It's not because they're fly or that those other 9 teams ain't 'cause they're not or any combination of the two*)

What immediately stands out about the Dream is the rate at which they force turnovers on opponents, but equally interesting since the All-Star break is that their effective field goal percentage has taken the biggest leap in the league since going from around 43% to 49%. And the reason for that isn't that they're a bad three point shooting team shooting better from the three point line as much as that they're simply taking less threes - they shot about 10 per game before the break and that's fallen to about 6 in the 8 games since. 

Last - and I've been looking at this across the league recently, but Atlanta stands out - their assist to turnover ratio has improved from 1.05 to 1.21 since the All-Star break, which turns out to be significant relative to opponents after playing with numbers a bit further.

Those patterns pretty much held for the three games prior to the All-Star game as well.

Anyway, if you're gonna have a one-game night, it might as well be a good one and this one is definitely and interesting matchup.

*These penguins, however, really could sell a mill' while sayin' nothin' on a track...or I'd buy a few at least.