The Atlanta Dream were off and running leading to many fast break opportunities. Led by point guard Carla Cortijo the dream looked crisp early in the 1st quarter. Angel McCoughtry and Sancho Lyttle seemed to be off this game stemming from being overseas and returning late. This game went back and forth early and often with these teams being equally matched. Dream guard Layshia Clarendon, who was recently traded for, seemed to disrupt the flow of the game many times when she came in for Carla Cortijo. Clarendon showed early signs of being a ball stopper which is clearly what head coach Michael Cooper doesn't want.
1st round draft pick Bria Holmes finished the game with the second highest +/- for the dream with an +12. She scored 7 points shooting 50% which is very impressive from the rookie out of West Virginia. Other newcomers such as Elizabeth Williams and Meighan Simmons also had solid outings both posting 6 points and positive +/- ratings. Williams also dominated the glass with 10 rebounds total 7 of which coming from the defensive end of the floor.
The Stars were led by Kayla McBride who seemed to hit every shot known to man. Dearica Hamby dominated down low securing 9 defensive rebounds. Jayne Appel-Marinelli also made her presence felt making it hard for the Dream to score in the paint. Appel-Marinelli also made the clutch shot of the night sending the game into overtime tied at 61-61 apiece. From here the Dream went into overdrive going on a 10-2 run to end the game. Angel McCoughtry along with Layshia Clarendon led the charge each making a significant impact for the Atlanta Dream down the stretch.
How can they improve in Game two?
Head coach Michael Cooper doesn't seem to have a set rotation as of yet. As seen in game 1 of this season he used a variety of different players in a variety of roles. Point Guards Layshia Clanrendon, Carla Cortijo, and Matee Ajavon all played significant minutes sometimes on the floor together. Fan favorite Cierra Burdick was also given a DNP-CD. When Michael Cooper finds a rotation that he likes and can win only then can they improve for the future.
Angel McCoughtry needs to establish her presence on the court early and often. Many times she seemed hesitant or just wasn't getting the ball in her spots. Sancho Lyttle started the game missing a bulk load of her bread and better mid ranger shots. Lyttle needs to lean on her post game a little more to be more of a threat for the Atlanta Dream. Overall the Atlanta Dream played a very decent game and can only improve from here on.