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Dream Vs. Liberty: Atlanta In Need Of A Victory Today Against New York

The return of Sancho Lyttle to the Atlanta Dream's lineup won't fix all that is ailing the team. However, the return of the former All-Star forward certainly won't hurt either. Atlanta comes into today's match up with the New York Liberty at 3-8 and a far cry from the team that finished last season with a trip to the WNBA Finals. 

Injuries and player absences have played a part in the Dream's struggles. Leading scorer Angel McCoughtry was sidelined early with a knee injury in training camp and players like Iziane Castro Marques have never fully been 100 percent. Lyttle missed six games while playing with the Spanish National Team and also missed last Saturday's loss to the Chicago Sky with a sore back. 

Lately what has plagued the club the most has been slow starts in the second half of games. Building early leads has not been a problem but Atlanta has lost many a lead this season with sub par third quarters. 

Two of Atlanta's victories this season have come at the hands of the Liberty who have been playing well of late under new coach John Whisenant. The Liberty are 7-5 on the season but have won five of six games. That lone loss was to the Dream back on June 30th. 

For Atlanta it all comes down to this. As a team they are making right around 40 percent of their shots which is next to last in the league. Opponents are shooting 44 percent against Atlanta's defense. The Dream is still scoring a respectable 79 points per game but are allowing their opponents nearly 84 points per outing. If a team has trouble scoring and can't stop the other team, then they are going to have a hard time winning basketball games. 

For more on the Atlanta Dream, the WNBA, and women's basketball be sure and check out Swish Appeal

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.