The Atlanta Dream are slowly finding their identity

July 20, 2011 1:45pm
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They were the consensus preseason favorite to win the Eastern conference. They added all-star PG Lindsey Harding, the supposed missing piece. They were coming off their 2010 WNBA Finals run. This was supposed to be the year it would finally come together for coach Meadors and the Atlanta Dream. On paper they had it all.

In reality, the Dream came into the season banged up and lacking a true team element. They have arguably one of the most talented rosters in the league, but are now only finding their identity.

Today Atlanta defeated the Mystics 86-79, lead by Angel McCoughtry’s season-high 33 points. One of the biggest reasons for the Dream’s slow start has been Angel’s injured knee which has kept her from playing at a 100%. After some time off with their recent schedule, it appears Angel and Atlanta have started to turn the corner. After the win against Indiana, McCoughtry said, “The team did great.  We have really come into our own.  We’re playing with great chemistry.  We’re moving the ball well and sharing it.  Everyone is out there playing well together.  It’s good to see our growth and we want to continue to grow and get better as a team.”

The player with possibly the most pressure has been Harding, whose offseason move to Atlanta was among the most talked about. After struggling to find her role as the point guard of a new team, Harding has been one of the reasons for Atlanta’s current 3-game win streak.  After the win over the Fever, coach Meadors said, “Lindsey played really awesome.  She controlled the game, the pace of the game. Even though we had a lot of fast breaks, she was leading in a lot of those situations.  And she distributed the ball really well to her teammates.”

Atlanta has been improving their play on the defensive end which has turned into more fast-break opportunities for a Dream team that likes getting out on the break. “We’re able to score off our defense and get layups.  I think if we can continue to play that aggressive defensively, than we can run and score off our defense. That’s the difference,” said coach Meadors.

With Atlanta still waiting on Sancho Lyttle to make a return, the Dream still have an entire 2nd-half of the season to live up to their preseason hype. I think this team still has time to be the darling of the Eastern conference that so many people made them out to be before this season started.

 

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