SEA vs ATL Dream11: I love the WNBA and it is my favorite league. The amount of talent on display is just incredible and there is no doubt that we are in the midst of another captivating season. As the league looks to expand its reach and fight against the grain, one needs to put the biases aside and watch the amazing women at work. And so can you catch the sight of them performing tough maneuvers as the Seattle Storm host the Atlanta Dream.
The Storm has had a start-stop-start season and has five wins and five losses. They lost three out of their first four games, then had a terrific four-game winning streak but lost the last two games. In their last contest, they lost to the Sun 86:93 despite a brilliant 19 points performance by Ezi Magbebor. On the other hand, the Dream has had an inspirational start to the season, clinching seven wins in 11 games as their young players have proven to be effective. They come into this game after eking out a 75:66 win over the Fever as Nia Coffey put on a 16-point performance. Can the Storm deal with the pesky Dream defense?
Host: Seattle Storm
Visitors: Atlanta Dream
Match Timing: 8 June, @ 07:30 AM (+05:30 UTC)
Venue: Climate Pledge Arena
Storm needs more offensive rhythm, Dream is elite defensively
The Storm has lost the last two games and one of the major problems they have had in those contests has been their lack of offensive rhythm. The over-reliance of Breanna Stewart can hurt and despite the Storm doing well in the last game scoring-wise, they have had multiple games where their offense and defense both get ice-cold in second-half. They are ninth in terms of pace as most of their key players are older than the average age of the league, but perhaps this experience with players like Bird, Loyd, Stewart, January, Russell, Talbot, and Prince can help them.
The Dream is one of the best teams if not the best defensive team in the league. They have held opponents to around 73 points a game which makes them the best. However, they have some offensive issues and rank 11th in total points per game(75.7) despite playing with the third-fastest pace(80.7). The inclusion of young players like Rhyne Howard and Kirsty Wallace has helped whereas Erica Wheeler has brought a ton of defensive discipline. Tiffany Hayes has been ruled out indefinitely and there is no doubt that she could have been huge in this fastbreak scheme.
Highest scorer: Breanna Stewart: 26
Highest rebounder: Ezi Magbebor: 10
Top assists maker: Sue Bird: 8
Score Prediction: Storm 86 Dream 77
Seattle Storm News
Storm Expected Starting Five
All-Around Scoring Forward: PF: Breanna Stewart
Defensive Wing: SF: Gabby Williams
Paint Presence: C: Ezi Magbebor
Scoring Guard: SG: Jewell Loyd
Leading Playmaker: PG: Sue Bird
BENCH: Reshanda Gray, Jantel Lavender, Jade Melbourne, Stephenie Talbot, Mercedes Russell, Briann January.
Atlanta Dream Team News:
Dream Expected Starting Five
High-Post Forward: F: Cheyenne Parker
Physical Forward: F: Nia Coffey
Crafty Dribbler: G: Erica Wheeler
Off-the-ball Shooter: SG: Kristy Wallace
Sharpshooting Two-Way Guard: SG: Rhyne Howard
BENCH: Beatrice Mompremier, Megan Walker, Naz Hillmon, Kia Vaughn, Aari McDonald.
Rhyne Howard (ATL)
Guard Howard is an elite two-way player who has been one of the most incredible shooting form but she is much more than just a shooter. I expect her to be in 15-22 points and 4-7 rebounds range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 20-32
Forward Breanna continues to be the staple on the offensive end but shot just 4/12 in the last game. However, I expect her to bounce back and be in 20-25 points, 5-8 rebounds, and 1-3 steals range. She can be selected as a Star/Pro Player in the Dream 11 NBA Fantasy scenario.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 32-44
Forward Parker is an elite defender, who can be a strong scorer and rebounder as well. I believe she will be in 12-17 points, 7-11 rebounds, and 1-2 blocks/steals range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 22-34
Jewell is an elite scorer who can deal damage both from inside and outside, being both a great ball-handler and an off-the-ball player. I believe she will be in 16-22 points and 4-6 assists range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 30-44
Erica is an elite ball-handler but shot just 2/10 in the last game however, she can be an effective playmaker and defender. I believe she will be in 9-15 points, 5-8 assists, and 1-3 steals range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 22-35
Center Ezi is becoming a star-level player and she is now a more willing shot-taker with an improved mid-range game. She is also terrific rebounder and defender, so I see her in 14-19 points, 6-10 rebounds, and 1-3 blocks range.
Expected Fantasy Points Range: 30-42
PG: S Bird, E Wheeler, C Parker
SG: J Loyd(PP), R Howard
SF: S Talbot
PF: B Stewart(SP)
C: J Lavender
PG: E Wheeler, C Parker
SG: R Howard, K-Anne Wallace, A McDonald
SF: S Talbot
PF: B Stewart(SP)
C: E Magbebor(PP)
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Storm will need to bring out their A-game against a Dream Team that can shut the shop on the defensive end, will Breanna heat up? You can catch this brilliant battle on the WNBA League Pass where you have all the live games and their full-game replays if you miss the game. For highlights, go to the official YouTube channel of the WNBA. To know the scores, news, and stats, go to the official website of the WNBA.