Seattle Storm vs Atlanta Dream Preview – WNBA Playoffs
The Seattle Storm and Atlanta Dream will play on Wednesday night.
In what looks like a first-round coin toss in the WNBA playoffs, the Seattle Storm will be in Atlanta to face the Dream. At stake is a spot in the second-round and continued hopes of making it to the WNBA Finals. When odds opened on the game the Storm were considered the underdogs (source: bet365), however the game is increasingly looking like one that will go Seattle’s way.
A lot has been made about how well Seattle have played since the Olympic break. The Storm enter the post-season having won seven of their last ten.
Furthermore, the Storm have recent wins over top of teams that are considered to be stronger than Atlanta. For example, Seattle beat Chicago on Sunday, the Storm beat the LA Sparks on September 11th, and the Storm demolished the New York Liberty in the early part of this month. Winning a road game in Atlanta, something Seattle did on September 4th, certainly doesn’t look like a tall order for the Storm as Wednesday looms.
Seattle also received a major break on Tuesday morning. Tiffany Hayes, who turns 27 today, is Atlanta’s second-leading scorer and she averaged 30.8 minutes per game during the regular season. She is not eligible to play on Wednesday according to a Tuesday official release at WNBA.com:
“Tiffany Hayes has been suspended one game without pay for receiving her seventh technical foul of the 2016 season….She will serve the suspension on Sept. 21 when the Dream open the First Round of its playoff series vs. the Seattle Storm.”
When Seattle and Atlanta met on September 4th, Hayes played 34 minutes and scored 20 points to go with 5 rebounds. However, Atlanta will be reliant on back up guards to pick up the minutes that Hayes normally logged. That puts the Dream, who only went 5-5 down the stretch, at a disadvantage against what is already a pretty hot team.
The Storm’s Breanna Stewart promises to have an excellent game. The one-and-done format, which characterizes the first two rounds, is something she will be used to following four national championships at UCONN. Recently Stewart was named the rookie of the month in the WNBA, an award she won every month of the season, and her play has been a big part of Seattle’s recent success.
The Seattle/Atlanta game will be played on Wednesday at 8pm ET. It follows the first game between the Phoenix Mercury and the Indiana Fever.