The Atlanta Dream don't force more turnovers than anyone else the Seattle Storm have faced this season, but they like to get out and run, which is part of what makes them both an exciting team to watch and a threat in the Eastern Conference.
The Dream's 14.21 fastbreak points per game are third in the WNBA and tops in the Eastern Conference. And although they don't thrive on scoring those points off turnovers, turning the ball over won't necessarily help the Storm today either.
So once again, turnovers are the big key for the Storm today.
Three keys for the Seattle Storm:
Handling perimeter pressure: Kevin Pelton of StormBasketball.com described the difficulty of defending All-Star Dream forward Angel McCoughtry, but she's also a stalwart defender herself. McCoughtry is among the elites in getting steals with nearly three a game and is particularly adept at jumping passing lanes. With her, Sancho Lyttle, and Armintie Price on the court, the Dream are as capable of forcing turnovers by steals or simply taking teams out of what they want to do as anyone. Point guard Lindsey Harding is no slouch herself defensively either. Multiple teams - from the best defensive teams to the worst - have had success against the Storm by trapping ball handlers and forcing someone other than Sue Bird to beat them. The Dream are certainly a team capable of executing that type of game plan.
- Limiting turnovers: It's getting old to note this every game, but with the Storm's scoring efficiency steadily rising this season the turnovers stand out as their biggest problem, independent of what defenses do. A number of their turnovers are a result of simply being out of sync or forcing plays that aren't necessarily there. Most teams are going to commit turnovers against the Dream's defense. The Storm need to find a way to limit the types of lapses that helped the Connecticut Sun climb back into the game from 18 points down on Friday night.
- Defending the perimeter: Although Dream point guard Lindsey Harding has a 57 percent 3-point percentage in wins this season, the Dream are not a particularly good at shooting from beyond the arc. So perimeter players like Harding and Armintie Price are going to look to drive. But the key might be pressuring Harding and the Dream's perimeter players into turnovers - Harding is not a particularly efficient distributor and the Dream have allowed 16.95 points per games off turnovers, which is slightly above league average. With the Storm constantly saying they thrive on their defense, the turnover battle more than anything might be the key to victory.