The Las Vegas Aces are preparing themselves for a potentially deep run in the WNBA playoffs.
The Atlanta Dream still have work to do to in order to reach the postseason as they visit the second-place Aces on Tuesday night.
Coach Becky Hammon adjusted her starting lineup before the Aces (23-10) finished off an 89-81 victory at Seattle on Sunday. She moved two-time Sixth Woman of the Year Dearica Hamby to the bench for the first time this season and replaced her in the starting lineup with Kiah Stokes.
“That’s going to be our lineup going forward,” Hammon said. “It was just about putting Dearica in some better spots to help. She’s still going to play a lot of minutes because she’s such a great defender, but we just wanted to mix it up a little bit.”
Hamby has scored in double figures once since July 3 and has made one of 24 3-point attempts since the All-Star break. She had six points and five rebounds in 17 minutes against the Storm while Stokes didn’t score but had a team-high nine rebounds in 28 minutes.
The short-handed Dream (14-19) are tied with Phoenix for the last two playoff spots, but three teams are within one game of the duo in the standings.
The Dream used just eight players Sunday at Minnesota and trailed by just three points after three quarters at 60-57 before being outscored 21-14 in the fourth to drop an 81-71 decision.
“This team has competed hard,” Atlanta head coach Tanisha Wright said. “I think tired legs and not executing little things contributed to that fourth quarter being what it was, but I can’t find fault for how hard they fought and the way they continue to just be resilient and not worry about who’s not here and worry about what you can do and what your role is.”
The Dream’s Tiffany Hayes (ankle) is questionable for Tuesday while Kristy Wallace (health and safety protocols) and Monique Billings (ankle) are out indefinitely. Nia Coffey (knee) and Asia Durr (hip) are out for the season.
–Field Level Media