Sep 15, 2023 - Sports

It's playoff time for the Atlanta Dream for the first time in five years

A woman in a basketball jersey dribbles past a defender in a white uniform

Rhyne Howard of the Atlanta Dream dribbles the ball during the game against the Dallas Wings on Monday at Gateway Center Arena in College Park. Photo: Adam Hagy/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Dream are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2018.

Driving the news: Game 1 in their best-of-three series versus the Dallas Wings tips off Friday at 9:30 on ESPN2.

Catch up quick: Atlanta started and ended its season with losses against Dallas, including a 94-77 drubbing in the finale.

  • The Wings also got the best of Atlanta in a late-June matchup.

Context: After a seven-game winning streak to close out the first half of the season, the Dream have been a sub .500 team going 7-13 to close out the year.

Yes, but: It's the playoffs and time for the stars to shine. Atlanta has a star player in guard Rhyne Howard, the 2022 Rookie of the Year. Howard has made the All-Star team her first two seasons, and this year she led the team in points and assists per game, 17.5 and 3.5 respectively.

Plus: Howard's backcourt running mate, Allisha Gray, has been stellar. In her first year with Atlanta (she spent six seasons in Dallas beforehand), Gray has poured in an average of 17.1 points per game with 3.1 assists.

What to watch: The Dream's hope for success lies with those two. If they get going early, the five-seed Atlanta could pull off the upset in Game 1.

What's next: Game 2 is Sept. 19 at 9pm. Game 3, if necessary, will be on Sept. 22 in Atlanta, time TBD.

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