While the Washington Mystics have plenty of momentum heading into the playoffs, the Atlanta Dream hope the postseason will provide the spark they need to end a rough stretch and avoid an early exit.
Making their first playoff appearance in three years, the Mystics visit the Dream for Game 1 of this best-of-three Eastern Conference semifinal series Thursday night.
With five wins in its last seven games, including victories in the final three, Washington finished 17-17 to return to the playoffs for the first time since getting swept by Atlanta in the 2010 East semifinals.
"We definitely need that momentum to go into the playoffs,'' veteran guard Ivory Latta said. "At the same time, when you go into the playoffs, it's 0-0.''
Though the Mystics have not won a playoff game since 2004, they have reason to be excited and even optimistic against a Dream squad that's making a fifth consecutive postseason appearance.
Atlanta also went 17-17 this season, but it started 10-1 before losing ...