The Atlanta Dream will complete their season series with the San Antonio Silver Stars this afternoon when the two teams meet at Philips Arena. Atlanta lost the first meeting 86-74. Silver Stars rookie Danielle Adams scored 32 points in the first meeting and currently leads all WNBA rookies with a 15.3 points per game average.
The Dream fell to 2-6 on the season after a 92-83 loss to the Phoenix Mercury on Friday. Angel McCoughtry led Atlanta with 24 points but shot just 7-21 from the field. The Dream did a much better job limiting their turnovers in that game but their defense continued to struggle as Phoenix shot over 52 percent from the floor.
So many of Atlanta's problems can be traced back to the defensive end of the floor. Players like McCoughtry and Iziane Castro Marques are at their best when they are in transition and Atlanta's defense hasn't been producing a lot of opportunities. When forced to play in the half court set, the Dream's offense has repeatedly broken down into too many isolation situations. After averaging just 10.6 points this season after averaging a career high 16.9 per game last season.
Atlanta is still without the services of All-Star forward Sancho Lyttle who is playing with the Spanish National Team in the 2011 Eurobasket Women tournament. Her replacement on the Dream roster, Courtney Paris has been a bright spot. Paris played just under 20 minutes against the Mercury scoring 13 points and eight rebounds. In three games with the club, Paris is averaging 9.7 points and 6.7 rebounds a game.
The Silver Stars come into today's game with a 5-1 mark good enough for first place in the Western Conference. San Antonio is led by point guard Becky Hammon who is averaging 18.3 points and 7.3 assists this season. The Silver Stars have four different players averaging at least 15 points per game and will be a tall test for Atlanta's defense.