Atlanta, GA -- The Atlanta Dream lost to the Sun 70-75 in their home opener. This is the first time Atlanta has lost at home to Connecticut in 5 games.
The Dream's loyal fans were hyped, and the anticipation loaded with high expectations, permeated through the crowd, as they got ready for their home contest with the Sun.
As Kent Bazemore from the Atlanta Hawks passed the ball to Angel McCoughtry, the 2015 home opener had officially started.
The first quarter was not the prettiest for the Dream. McCoughtry and Erika De Souza got in foul trouble early; and McCoughtry received a technical foul that I'm still trying to figure out what happened exactly. With both teams losing their first game to kick off the WNBA season, they had a sense of urgency, and the back and forth was relentless.
In the second quarter, Atlanta picked up its defense and Shoni Schimmel started to heat up, as she was connecting on those three-point shots early on. The half ended with the Dream up 42-37.
After the half, the Dream came out energized and on fire -- and the home crowd could not get enough. Atlanta played with a lot of hustle and the 8,358 folks in attendance were feeding off their effort, and responded with a lot of energy.
But somewhere towards the end of the third quarter, and the start of the fourth, something was amiss with the Dream. There was a lack of defense in the paint, not to mention the lack of communication between each other. This gave the Sun the opportunity they needed to make a run for it -- and they did.
But Atlanta's superstar would respond. McCoughtry, who played limited minutes in the fourth quarter, played with a tenacity during her time on the floor -- she definitely had the eye of the tiger. But Atlanta would need more than her will and passion.
Interestingly enough, the thorn in the Dream's side was their former teammate Jasmine Thomas, who was traded to the Sun for their second-round pick, Brittany Hrynko. Her productivity throughout the game was palpable, and with 12 seconds left in the game, Thomas hit two critical free throws, which sealed the deal.
After the game Coach Michael Cooper assured the gathering media that this was not the time to panic.
"Overall we're still trying to find ourselves, get some people in rotation. We'll rebound, we have three days to practice and we'll come back from this."
McCoughtry was much more succinct and right to the point.
"We have to get better on turnovers. We turn the ball over too much."
The crowd was crestfallen, but Coach Cooper is right - it is way too early to start panicking now.