Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com describes a familiar refrain from both the Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm in her preview of Game Two of the WNBA Finals.
Atlanta Dream not looking to make many changes for WNBA Finals' Game 2 - ESPN
The Storm don't necessarily expect the Dream game plan to change a whole lot, because what Atlanta did Sunday was almost good enough for a victory.
"They may try to get more aggressive on the defensive end and come up with more steals," Cash said. "That fuels their transition game. So I wouldn't be surprised if they tried to trap more on the pick-and-roll or double-team down low. But what we have to do is get better execution and be able to pick them apart. Make them pay for gambling."
However, even if both teams come in focused strictly on themselves rather than deliberately changing the game plan, Seattle Times reporter Jayda Evans alludes to the fact that rather significant changes are almost inevitable.
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The matchup wasn't characteristic of either team. In addition to Cash's foul trouble, Dream All-Star Angel McCoughtry had three fouls in the opening half. And Seattle's defense held Atlanta below its 91.8 playoff scoring average.
While a change in the foul situation could certainly change the face of the game, there are a number of other tactical matters that both teams could be expected to adjust in Game 2, ranging from rotations to who gets touches.
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There were so many unusual variables at play in this game that it's difficult to determine much about the matchup. Yes, McCoughtry was in foul trouble and injured, but Storm forward Swin Cash was also in foul trouble and limited to 19:19. Alison Bales and Yelena Leuchanka who had been significant contributors off the bench during the playoffs only played 4:10 each during the same stretch, which could certainly leveraging the Dream's depth. The Dream put Kelly Miller on the floor for the first time in a while during the fourth quarter, which worked out well overall - it was arguably the team's best quarter - but that might have changed things.
Then back to the Storm, if you truly believe that a team can consistently hold Lauren Jackson to 3-10 shooting over three quarters - even discontinuously - you haven't been paying much attention to the Storm this season. It doesn't happen often.
With rather significant anomalies all over the court in Game One - especially from an Atlanta Dream team that replaced two starters right at the beginning of the playoffs - it's hard to know what to expect from Game Two.
And so the anticipation builds.