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Preview: Dream host Fever in brunch-time matchup, today on NBA TV

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Grab your bagels or baguettes, and settle in for the 11:30 a.m. EST showdown on NBA TV.

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2013 WNBA Finals - Game Three
Tiffany Hayes: doing work beneath the basket.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Dream return to Atlanta to host the Fever following a loss to the Sparks in LA on Tuesday. Indiana — now sitting on an 0-9 record following an overtime loss to the Aces this week — are still hunting their first win of the season.

Here’s how to watch and what’s in store:

Dream (5-4) vs. Fever (0-9)

When: Thursday June 14 at 11:30 a.m.

Where: McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, GA | TICKETS

How to watch: NBA TV (nationally) | Fox Sports Southeast (locally)

Injuries and absences: For the Dream, Brittney Sykes (right foot) is out. For the Fever, Shenise Johnson (left ACL rehab) is out.

Storylines to follow

Will Atlanta go back to crushing dreams? After a loss to the Sparks in LA on Tuesday, the Dream — powered by current Player of the Week Tiffany Hayes — will be out to reassert dominance. After crushing the dreams of higher-ranked teams all season, from the Sun to the Lynx, the Dream came up short against the Sparks. But there are always more teams — and, therefore, more dreams — to crush. Currently sixth in the standings with a 5-4 record, Atlanta will do everything to prevent back-to-back losses and a slide back to .500. Bench players Layshia Clarendon and Imani McGee-Stafford had strong showings in LA, so continued production from them — especially with Sykes out due to injury — could be the difference in a win versus a loss today.

Can the Fever keep up these heated efforts in the face of so many losses? Rookie Kelsey Mitchell has been playing her heart out all season and she has had strong contributions from Tiffany Mitchell, Natalie Achonwa, Erica Wheeler and Candice Dupree, which makes the zeroes in the win column deceptive. The Fever had forced the game against the Aces on Tuesday into overtime, before losing in extra minutes. So, at what point does frustration become demoralization for this young team? At what point does playing their hearts out with nothing left to lose become, Why bother?

How the game will be decided: The Fever will win this one if the Dream take the afternoon off mentally or focus on Indiana’s losing record. Considering the professionalism of both teams, this is highly unlikely to happen, especially with the Dream eager to avenge their loss earlier in the week and prevent a slide back to .500. Plus, it’s safe to assume Dream center Imani McGee-Stafford speaks for the team in recognizing the dynamism of Kelsey Mitchell.