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Storm Begin East Coast Swing In Atlanta: Expect Rest

With nothing much more to play for at 24-4 and only 6 regular season games left, we might see Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler begin resting his starters at some point during this three game Eastern Conference road trip which begins tonight at 4 pm PST against the Atlanta Dream.

"What else can we do?" said Agler after Saturday's rout of the Tulsa Shock. "We can't do anything else. We can win every single game and it won't make a difference. We can lose every single game and it wouldn't make a difference. So the two goals are to stay sharp and to be fresh going into the playoffs."

To be precise, the Storm have not technically wrapped up home court advantage throughout the playoffs -- there's still the matter of a tie breaker with the Indiana Fever.

STORM: Insider Preview - Storm at Atlanta
It's also not clear how Storm Head Coach Brian Agler will approach the game. He has discussed the possibility of sitting his starters during the second half of road games to rest them for the playoffs, but the Storm is still one win (or an Indiana loss) away from securing home-court advantage throughout the playoffs, so Agler may hold off until everything is buttoned up.

However, even that tie breaker doesn't necessarily exclude the possibility of resting players on the road and then taking care of home court advantage when they return home.

In any event, the point is that there's a game to be played tonight against the Atlanta Dream and they do have something to play for. At 18-11 the Dream are still a half game back of the Indiana Fever in the Eastern Conference standings. After losing in Seattle earlier in the season, the Dream see this as one of the bigger games of their season.

Seattle is a model franchise for Dream  | ajc.com
Guess who's coming to dinner? The Dream (18-11), who trail Indiana by a half-game for first place in the Eastern Conference, play host to Seattle Tuesday night at Philips Arena in a game that could well serve as a WNBA finals preview.

But if nothing else, playing Seattle will serve as a measuring device for the Dream, an indicator for far they have come as a team and an organization under first-year owner Kathy Betty.

"This is by far our biggest home game of the season," Betty said.

The star for the Dream is second year small forward Angel McCoughtry, by far one of the most athletic players in the WNBA and an early season candidate for MVP. As the league's second-leading scorer, McCoughtry can score with the best of them, even against the league's best defender in Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings.

Fever take over East lead in dramatic fashion "
Catchings had a team-high 30 points and eight rebounds, including 11 points in the final period. All game Catchings had to keep up with the explosive duo of McCoughtry and Iziane Castro Marques. McCoughtry, the WNBA’s second leading scorer, had a game-high 31 points. Castro Marques, the WNBA’s sixth leading scorer, poured in 28 points on 10-for-18 shooting.

The game will be available online on WNBA LiveAccess.