The Atlanta Dream got their first win on Friday night with an 83-79 win over the Indiana Fever. Point Guard Chennedy Carter led the Dream in scoring with 23 points on 9 of 17 shooting from the field; she also added four assists. Carter also made the game-clinching free-throw with 4.5 seconds left to give the Dream a four-point lead.
Carter wasn’t the only Atlanta star who came to play. Courtney Williams put up 16 points, and Tiffany Hayes added 14 more, most of which came in the first half. In only five minutes of playing time, Shekinna Stricklen scored nine points on three three-point shots. That’s the kind of shooting from Stricklen that the Dream has been waiting for. If she can keep up that kind of pace, she’ll almost certainly earn more minutes.
The Dream shot the lights out from deep against the Fever; they shot 50% from beyond the arc, making 11 out of 22 attempts. Atlanta was also surehanded with the ball, committing only five turnovers in the game. In contrast, Indiana had 17 total turnovers.
The game was pretty nip and tuck; Atlanta’s most significant lead was eight points, and Indiana’s biggest lead was five points. Kelsy Mitchell led the Fever in scoring with 19 points, Jessica Breland added 15 points and 16 rebounds. The 6’10 Bernadett Hatar scored 12 points off the bench, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with Atlanta.
The Dream has been struggling in the early going this year, but they have looked great defensively in certain areas. Atlanta averages 6.7 blocks and 12.7 steals per game; both of those averages lead the WNBA. That being said, the Dream have struggled mightily on the glass. Atlanta has managed only 29 rebounds per game, while their opponents have brought down 41 per game. It might seem simple, but size is a big issue for the Dream. To improve in that area, they’ll need their guards to jump in and help with rebounding duties. If they can’t get help from some of their smaller players, that deficiency will continue to turn dreams into nightmares.
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