The ironic thing about this WNBA Finals series is that for all the talk - including mine - about how we shouldn't underestimate the Atlanta Dream and Seattle Storm coaches and players constantly reminding us how good they are, most people have kept their brooms safely tucked away in their closets.
Even after going up 2-0 with their win on Tuesday, many people are assuming that the Storm will win a title on the road but that the Dream just have too much heart to go down in three, as Bronn Tallant of SBN Atlanta described after Game Two.
Dream Drop Back And Forth Contest, 87-84 - SB Nation Atlanta
One thing you have to love about these girls is that when things get down, they don’t hang their heads and mope; they’ve battled back every time they’d encountered a tough stretch (something I can really appreciate after watching the Hawks getting trounced by the Magic back in April).
After two games, it's difficult to know what to expect.
The Dream's strategy in Game 2 was probably more immediately evident than in Game 1: shoot quickly and crash hard. You have to love the fictional call from Kobe Bryant that Todd Dybas of the Seattle PI conjures up in response to that.
WNBA Finals: Will the Storm be celebrating in Atlanta?
It wants to shoot early and it doesn't care who does it. McCoughtry and former Storm guard Iziane Castro Marques will shoot from anywhere. A lot. The two have taken 81 shots in two games. Kobe Bryant called and told them to pass the ball.
And that is exactly what makes them so dangerous: the game is so back and forth because at some point multiple shots in a row will go in and then they're able to impose their defensive pressure much more effectively.
"We don't run plays for Angel; we don't run plays for Izzy; we don't run plays for any players," said Meadors after Game 1.
That's tough to defend when a team has a player like McCoughtry who can fill it up, a player like Castro Marques who has never seen a shot she doesn't like, and strong rebounders under the basket. As they continue to race up and down the court and pull the trigger quickly the Storm occasionally take quick shots themselves, trying to end the momentum all at once rather than remaining patient.
Let's not sound the alarms: the Storm have been the best team in the league on the road this season although that's easy to forget with all six of their losses coming on the road. We don't even have to throw out their end of season losses when they were resting starters to determine that.
But with the Dream's style of play in front of a home crowd in a series that has had two close games thus far, it's not impossible to imagine the Dream winning this one and preventing the sweep.
For more pre-game preview: Around the Web: Sept. 16 " StormTracker - The Official Blog of the Seattle Storm.