August 06, 2014

After missing the playoffs last year, the Atlanta Dream are posed to return to the postseason.

The Dream hope to continue their playoff push Sunday, when the Seattle Storm visit Philips Arena.

"This is a time to focus back on the team and the WNBA," Atlanta forward Angel McCoughtry told the team's website. "We've definitely have to work on some things to be ready for the playoffs with only seven or so games left."

With seven games remaining in the regular season, Atlanta (14-13) sits in fourth place in the league standings. The top eight teams, regardless of conference, qualify for the postseason.

The Dream returned from the month-long Olympic break with a loss at Chicago, but bounced back with an 87-73 home win over the Connecticut Sun on Aug. 28. They have had a full week off, while the Storm played Friday and are in the middle of a four-game road trip.

Seattle (11-17) is in a tie for the eighth and final spot in the playoffs, but has a daunting finish with five of its last seven games on the road, starting in Atlanta on Sunday. The Storm have alternated wins and losses for their last 11 games, including a 92-88 loss at Chicago on Friday.

Seattle guard Jewell Loyd flirted with a triple-double in the loss, finishing with 23 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Rookie of the Year candidate Breanna Stewart added 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Storm.

It has been an up-and-down season for the Storm, despite the addition and emergence of Stewart, the No. 1 overall pick. Stewart leads the Storm in scoring (18.1 points) and rebounds (9.4). But Seattle just has not been able to establish any consistency. Seattle is last in the league in rebounding and 10th in scoring.

Atlanta is second in the league in rebounding and has won five straight home games. McCoughtry and Layshia Clarendon each scored 19 points to lead the Dream in last week's win over the Connecticut Sun.

"A lot of the things that we did to get ourselves beat in Chicago we didn't do tonight's game," Dream coach Michael Cooper said after the Connecticut win. "I was very and proud and honored that the ladies played this well."

You May Like