As espnW.com previews the 2013 WNBA season, Mechelle Voepel takes a look at the Atlanta Dream.
Atlanta and Minnesota made the WNBA Finals last season but face tough Game 3 tests Tuesday just to reach this year's conference finals.
With the league's best record and a pair of MVP candidates, defending champion Minnesota is the favorite when the 2012 WNBA playoffs open Thursday.
The WNBA just had a month-long break, but the playoff push will be intense from the get-go when games resume Thursday.
After years of mediocrity, Minnesota -- a team that once failed to reach the playoffs for six straight seasons -- is the new WNBA champion. And players such as Seimone Augustus, Lindsay Whalen and Candice Wiggins finally have a title.
After a pair of fourth-quarter collapses, what does Atlanta have to do to finish Game 3 stronger -- and to prevent being finished in the WNBA Finals?
Seattle was the clear pick when the playoffs opened in 2010. This summer, while Minnesota might be tagged as the favorite, every team has reason to think it could be crowned the WNBA champion.
Atlanta made it all the way to the WNBA finals last year. But just to reach the playoffs in 2010, the Dream must overcome a rash of injuries and a shortened roster.
After falling just short of a title last season, Atlanta added the one thing missing from last season's WNBA Finals run: a point guard who can push the pace and pour on the points.
Atlanta lost all three games in the WNBA Finals, but only by a combined eight points. The young franchise and its young stars will only build off the experience going forward.
With her energy, defense and -- yes -- 3-pointers, Swin Cash helped Seattle win its second WNBA championship.
If Atlanta can win Game 3 and extend the WNBA Finals, there's a good chance twins Kelly and Coco Miller will have had something to do with it.
Six years after the Storm won it all, they did it again. And the second time around, this WNBA championship was even sweeter.
Seattle is up 2-0 in the WNBA Finals. But with two games decided by a combined five points, one possession might make all the difference in Game 3.
Seattle has played far from perfect so far in the WNBA Finals. But with Lauren Jackson leading the way, the Storm lead 2-0 and are one win away from their second league title.
After nearly winning Game 1, don't expect Atlanta to alter its game plan Tuesday as the WNBA Finals continue.