Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta Dream Preview
The Atlanta Dream will host the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm for a pair of contests. Both teams are coming off of tough losses, but the champs will be looking to avenge a heartbreaking loss to the Dallas Wings.
HISTORY: The Seattle Storm has won four of the previous five meetings against the Atlanta Dream, including the last three matches.
Atlanta in Upset Spot
Atlanta (4-4) concluded the month of May by ripping off four straight wins before dropping their first two games of June to the Minnesota Lynx. After losing the first game by two points, the Dream would lose the second contest by 20. A tale of two tapes, as Atlanta has been one of the best defensive teams in the WNBA. It won’t get easier with this back-to-back with Seattle looming.
Seventh-year guard Courtney Williams is having the best season of her career, averaging a personal-best 18.1 ppg, and leads the Dream in assists (4.3) and rebounding (7.1). She scored 31 points and grabbed 12 boards in their last win over New York Liberty. Backcourt mate Tiffany Hayes is averaging an identical 18.2 ppg while also posting her best average of her nine-year career.
Those two lead the charge on offense, along with second-year guard Chennedy Carter, who scores 15.7 ppg. Monique Billings and Elizabeth Williams start in the frontcourt, and the former is tied for the team lead in rebounds (7.1).
Storm Looking to Respond
Seattle (7-2) split their back-to-back with the Dallas Wings, and the loss was a stinger. Wings stud Arike Ogunbowale knocked down two heroic three-point shots late to prevent the Storm from winning their sixth straight game. They’ll look to get back on track during their trip to Atlanta.
2x WNBA Finals MVP Breanna Stewart has been stellar so far, averaging a career-high 22.2 points per game, along with a career-best 9.4 rebounds per game.
Sue Bird and Jewell Lloyd make up one of the best backcourts in the league. Bird, one of the most accomplished players in WNBA history, continues to be a key cog for the Storm, and she’s averaging 11.7 ppg and 6.3 apg. Loyd, like Stewart, is averaging career highs across the board with 20.7 ppg, 4.3 rpg, and 4.8 apg. She’s scored 22 or more three times this season and flirted with a pair of triple-doubles. Veteran Candice Dupree joins Jackson upfront and scores 6.9 ppg.
Players to Watch
Jewell Loyd, Seattle Storm
Loyd is having a career season in year seven. Her numbers are up across the board, and she’s fifth in the league in scoring. Even with Breanna Stewart’s dominating presence, Loyd has played at an MVP level so far this season.
Courtney Williams, Atlanta Dream
Like Loyd, Courtney Williams is also having a career year during her seventh season. Williams is leading the Dream in every category from points to three-point percentage. Atlanta is stingy enough to make this interesting, but Williams will have to play huge against the defending champs.
Seattle Storm vs. Atlanta Dream Prediction & Pick
Despite the opening odds, this won’t be a walk in the park for Seattle. Atlanta represents one of the stingiest defenses in the league, and after two shootouts with the Wings, scoring may be a bit tougher during this two-game stretch. It’s unlikely the Storm would lose a second straight game, though, so bet on Seattle to pick up the win tonight and potentially cover the low spread (-7).