The Atlanta Dream got their Dream deferred as the Indiana Fever gave a total team effort and defended home court. This game had Erlana Larkins wriiten all over. Larkins finished with a double double 16 points and 20 rebounds and single handedly outplayed the front court duo of Sancho Lyttle and Erica Desouza. Angel McCoughtry and Lindsey Harding probably had something to do with that after they combined for 42 shot attempts. It was a two woman show for the Dream while four Fever players scoring in double figures. That proved to be the difference in the game. Erlana Larkins made a name for herself with her franchise record of 20 rebounds. She dominated the boards and was the X Factor that the Fever needed to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Tamika Catchings may have caught the break she needed to get back to the WNBA Finals with Erlana Larkins. Katie Douglas found herself open more than once behind the arc and was able to break out of her shooting slump. That allowed more opportunities for her teammates which had the Dream’s defense in disarray. With Catchings healthy and leading the way the defensive player of the year led her team as they defended home court.
Coach Dunn had an impressive game plan and managed Tamika Catchings minutes very well. She has been able to do damage in the 4th quarter due to the fact that she is able to rest. A player that plays both ends of the floor like Catchings will run out of steam at some point in a game. This year with the help of Briana January, Larkins, and Zellous she can get the rest she needs and finish strong in the fourth.
The Minnesota Lynx have played consistent all season long and they really don’t have any weaknesses. They understand how to win on the road and have proven it as well.
The Storm biggest adjustment is learning how to play together sooner rather than later. The Storm are healthy but the chemistry isn’t there. I don’t see them gaining the cohesiveness that they need to win today.Sue Bird didn’t play like she was 100% Friday night and if she isn’t at full speed the Storm might be over.
The Fever did what you aren’t suppose to do and that’s lose that first game at home. Tamika Catchings is one of the greats in the WNBA but every year it seems something goes wrong. Unless she catches a break today I don’t see them making it a series.
Atlanta and Minnesota should advance to the next round but both games will be a battle.
The Indiana Fever went home sick last night after losing at home to the Atlanta Dream. Lindsey Harding’s 23points and stellar play led the Dream to a 1-0 series lead as well as home court advantage.
In my preview I said Tamika Catchings would lead her team and defend home-court and I was wrong. . Katie Douglas and Catchings couldn’t catch up with the quickness of Atlanta’s backcourt. Armintie Price,Lindsey Harding,and Angel McCoughty were just to explosive, to athletic, and to quick.
Atlanta gained all the hustle points and rebounds which enabled them to get into there transition game. Atlanta was built to rebound and run and not many teams have beat them when they are at their strength.
Catchings will have to catch a break in order to win game two in Atlanta. I spoke of it in my first blog, stating the higher seeds have to win game one and keep home court advantage. In a best of three series there is no room for error. The only positive for the Fever is that this the East and anything can happen. Indiana will be in a do or die situation in game 2 in ATlanta.
One question the Fever should be asking themselves is if not now then when?
The Dream don’t plan on having there Dream deferred or Denied as I expect game 2 to be a battle.