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WNBA: Winless teams meet as Dream visit Fever

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Two struggling teams will face off Friday night when the Atlanta Dream visit the Indiana Fever in Indianapolis.

The Dream are 0-2 after losing 85-77 at home Wednesday to the Chicago Sky, who were without star Candace Parker because of an ankle injury.

The Fever are 0-3 following an 88-67 loss at the Connecticut Sun on Wednesday in which Indiana’s leading scorer, Danielle Robinson, scored only 12 points.

“I would much rather have three days to look at the film and work on some things,” Indiana coach Marianne Stanley said of the quick turnaround to playing the Dream. “Our challenge right now is every time we get on the basketball floor, whether it’s practice or a game, is to get better.”

Indiana shot 36.4 percent from the field and made just 4 of 15 3-pointers in the loss to Connecticut.

Stanley’s team, much like the Dream, is in transition with new talent.

Candice Dupree, who ranks fifth on the WNBA’s career scoring list, joined the Seattle Storm as a free agent, while veterans Erica Wheeler and Natalie Achonwa moved on to the Los Angeles Sparks and Minnesota Lynx, respectively.

The Fever tried to fill the gaps by signing Robinson, Jantel Lavender and Jessica Breland in free agency.

“We’ve got a roster full of new people, and they’re learning to adjust and play together,” Stanley said. “That takes time — it’s not going to happen overnight — but you know I have full confidence in our team and their ability to win games.”

Atlanta acquired five players through free agency, including veterans Cheyenne Parker and Odyssey Sims, and selected University of Arizona star Aari McDonald as the third overall pick in this year’s WNBA draft. Parker has yet to play because of COVID-19 protocol, and McDonald has not made a shot from the field.

The Dream have struggled with rebounding, ranking second-to-last in the WNBA, averaging 30.5 in their first two games. They also are shooting only 24.2 percent from 3-point range and 37.6 percent overall.

“I like this team, but this is a team that’s gonna be a work in progress,” said Mike Petersen, who became the Dream’s interim head coach recently when Nicki Collen was hired as Baylor’s head coach. “We’re gonna have flashes of being really good. We’re gonna have other times where we struggle.”

–Field Level Media

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