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Atlanta Dream poised to win in Michael Cooper's 2nd year

Preview of the Atlanta Dream

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

In 2014, the Atlanta Dream finished the season at the top spot in the East at 19-15. Despite a first place finish, Atlanta lost the conference semifinals to Chicago 2-1 in a three-game series. The Dream who led the league in rebounds per game at 37.7, has some room for growth on the defensive end, after being ranked tenth overall. With scorers like McCoughtry on the team, the Dream finished 4th in the points per game category.

Atlanta have made some minor changes this offseason, but for the most part, have kept all of their key players. The biggest loss for the Dream is starter Jasmine Thomas who averaged 7.0 points and 2.3 assist per game last season.

The Dream return a great core of players with experience in; Matee Ajavon, Erika de Souza, Tiffany Hayes, Aneika Henry, Sancho Lyttle, Angel McCoughtry, DeLisha Milton-Jones, and Shoni Schimmel. With a load of veterans on the team, and Michael Cooper in his second year as the Dream head coach, the Dream have the potential to have a more successful season than in 2014.

Newcomers to the team are Erica Wheeler, Samantha Logic, Nadia Colhado and Roneeka Hodges. Hodges, the 10-year pro adds veteran experience, leadership and depth to the playoff bound Dream.

One of the most important players on the Dream, McCoughtry, averaged 19.4 points per game as well as 4.8 rebounds per game last season. The dream look to McCoughtry to be their emotional leader and offensive leader on the floor. Erika de Souza, who averaged 10.7 points and 7.5 rebounds, is pivotal for the Dream on the inside, and key to their success as well.

After a successful regular season and a disappointing postseason in last years playoffs, the Dream are focused on extending their season even further. The key to the Dream will be to stay healthy and defend.