Sue Bird’s retirement tour will make a stop in Hotlanta as the Seattle Storm will take on the Atlanta Dream on the Sunday before Independence Day.
The Storm are coming in with a 13-7 record and ranked as a No. 4 seed. Meanwhile, the Dream have been on the downturn these past few weeks, having lost seven out of their last nine games, yet still remain a No. 6 seed.
The Dream got a terrific break on the last night of June as they managed to hold on on the road against the New York Liberty 92-81 after Erica Wheeler tied the game at 79 at the regulation buzzer with a 3-pointer.
Wheeler (9.5 points, 4 assists and 1.2 steals per game) will be joined by Rhyne Howard (15.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game), Aari McDonald (11.2 points, 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game), Cheyenne Parker (11 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks per game) and Kristy Wallace (8.5 points and 2.2 assists). They have been bolstered by the recent addition of Asia (AD) Durr (13.1 points and 2.3 assists) and the return of Tiffany Hayes, who scored 21 points in her first game back with the team.
They will be charged with the challenge of solving Bird (8.9 points, 6.2 assists and 1.3 steals per game), league-leading scorer and stealer Breanna Stewart (21.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.1 blocks per game), Jewell Lloyd (16.4 points, 3.8 assists and 1.2 steals per game), Ezi Magbegor (12 points and 6 rebounds) and Gabby Williams (6.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists). They will be joined by new addition Tina Charles, who was picked up on waivers from the Phoenix Mercury.
Seattle Storm (13-7) vs. Atlanta Dream (9-11)
When: Sunday, July 3 at 3 p.m. ET
Where: The Gateway Center @ College Park in College Park, GA
How to watch: NBA TV or Bally Sports Southeast or Fox 13
Key to the matchup: Kristy Wallace vs. Sue Bird. Wallace is a lot more important to the Dream than many people may think. She provides a lot of defensive energy for the team and is able to score and facilitate in a way that gets the offense going. Her ability to do all of these things will be needed against the 20-year veteran, an all-time great distributor of the basketball and floor general.