After an unexpected midweek disruption, the New York Liberty will return to the court Friday night when they head south to face the Atlanta Dream in College Park, Ga.
The Liberty (4-2) were scheduled to host the Minnesota Lynx on Wednesday, but the Quebec wildfires caused smoke to reach the New York metropolitan area and cause poor enough air quality that the game was postponed.
As a result, the Liberty have been off since Sunday, when they squandered a 19-point second-half lead at home and lost 86-82 to the Chicago Sky.
"It's disappointing, but hopefully this is a wake-up. Some players need to wake up a little bit more," Liberty coach Sandy Brondello said after that game. "We went away from what worked for us."
Brondello also felt the Liberty didn't get Breanna Stewart enough touches. The star free agent signee still grabbed her fifth double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
The Dream (2-3) have also been off for some time. They last played June 2 when they fell 92-87 at home to the undefeated Las Vegas Aces.
Cheyenne Parker carried Atlanta with 25 points and 11 rebounds, but it wasn't enough to keep the Dream from continuing to alternate losses and wins to begin their season.
"This year my mindset is 'By any means,'" Parker told The Next in an interview. "Last year, I was just getting back from having a baby so it was a little bit more giving myself a little bit more grace because I was obviously recovering still. This year it's no excuses. Just get it done."
Parker leads the Dream with 17.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game and will match up down low against Stewart, who's second in the WNBA with 23.7 points per game and third in rebounding with 10.5 per game.
The Dream won't have guard Aari McDonald for the next three to four weeks after tearing the labrum in her shoulder during the Aces game. The starting guard averaged 6.0 points and a team-high 3.8 assists over the first five games.
New York guard Courtney Vandersloot leads the WNBA with 8.8 assists per game.
These teams will face one another three times in a 15-day span. In New York's case, three of its next five games are against Atlanta, barring the rescheduling of the Minnesota game. The Liberty and Dream will play again Tuesday at New York and June 23 at Atlanta.
--Field Level Media