The Atlanta Dream has accomplished much during their time in the WNBA.
Through hard work, tenacity, and natural skill the Dream have continued to impress and improve fans and critics alike. Their achievements are nothing short of earned and well deserved. Some of the achievements include continually improved seasons, making it to the playoffs, and individual achievements.
The Atlanta Dream have improved tremendously since the opening season in 2008. The Dream finished their first season with an overall record of 4-30. Atlanta finished the conference in 7th place overall.
It was expected that the Dream would need time to build from a new team to a top competitor, but this season was unexpected. After finishing 7th, the Dream was determined to improve. In the 2009 season, they finished 18-16 with a playoff berth. This improvement no doubt was in direct correlation with the rookie draft picks of 2009
Angel McCoughtry and Shalee Lehning were part of the 2009 draft picks and their performances bonded the team and allowed them to start playing up to their potential. 2010 once again showed improvement as the Dream finished 19-15, which was good enough for 4th place in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta made it all the way to the WNBA Finals and lost. With all of the improvements and talent on the Dream, 2011 is very promising for a WNBA Championship.
The Dream have made the playoffs for the past two seasons in a row, and are a hopeful for the WNBA championships. 2010 saw the Dream knock off No. 1 seeded Washington in the semi-finals with wins in both matches against them. Atlanta won 95-90 and 101-77. They followed this up with wins against the New York Liberty 81-75 and 105-93.
The Dream went 4-0 in postseason play until they met the Seattle Storm. The Storm defeated Atlanta in all three games and took the WNBA Championship. 2009 saw drastic improvements from the 2008 season opener and it was as if this team had magically changed overnight. They made it to the first round and were defeated by the Detroit Shock. This defeat will not hinder them as they prepare for the 2011 season.
Atlanta has many talented players, of which some have been recognized. Angel McCoughtry was the No. 1 draft pick in 2009 and was recognized for the difference she made on the team. She was named Rookie of the Year, All-Rookie Team, and All-Defensive Team. Along with McCoughtry, Sancho Lyttle was also named to the All-Defensice Team.
Coach Marynell Meadors was named the 2009 Coach of the Year. Meador was the first coach to win the award within the franchise’s first two years.
She led the team to a 14-win improvement from the 2008 season to the 2009 season. In this same season, she led the Dream to be ranked second in the league for scoring with 84.1 points per game, field goal percentage with 44.9%, 9.7 steals per game, and turnovers forced that resulted in 17.7 points per game.