First playoffs for most Dream players, but Wright and Billings provide experience
By Zeke Palermo
COLLEGE PARK – After a four-year playoff drought that involved four head coaches in as many years, the Atlanta Dream are back in the WNBA playoffs.
Atlanta, three-time WNBA finalists, beat the visiting Seattle Storm 79-68 Wednesday night to clinch a berth for the first time since 2018. The Dream could finish as high as the five-seed depending on results over the course of the final two games of the season.
” You know, you don’t take these opportunities for granted to be able to make the playoffs, you know, it’s not an easy thing to do. And so I’m really proud of their effort and I’m really proud of them coming out and getting the job done tonight. You don’t take these opportunities for granted,” the Dream head coach Tanisha Wright said. “To be able to make the playoffs, it’s not an easy thing to do. So I’m really proud of their effort and I’m really proud of them coming out and getting the job done.”
Wright made the playoffs in all, but two of her 14 seasons as a WNBA player and won the WNBA Finals in 2010 while playing for the Storm.
Only five Atlanta Dream players have ever made a playoff appearance, and of those only Monique Billings has done so with the Dream.
“I got a couple of miles on my legs,” Billings said. “And that rookie season we were so close, so I know that it just comes down to details.”
Billings, a rookie in 2018, played in all five of Atlanta’s playoff games in the 2018 playoffs, which began and ended in the semi-finals against the Washington Mystics. She averaged 13 minutes per game and scored a then-personal-best 11 points in Game 4.
Allisha Gray, Cheyenne Parker, Danielle Robinson, and Iliana Rupert have all also made playoff appearances.
Rupert played 10 total minutes in the Finals for 2022 WNBA champions Las Vegas. She is the only player on the roster with a title.
Atlanta will learn its final seeding as it and the rest of the teams in the league play their final two games of the season. The Dream will visit Washington on Friday, September 8, and the finish the regular season at home against the Dallas Wings on Sunday, September 10.