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Resigning of Coco Miller/Courtney Paris Adds Further Support for Starting Five: Fan’s Perspective
The Atlanta Dream are clearly satisfied with their starting five (and should be). As a result, this has been a relatively quiet off-season, yet a productive one. The focus has been on providing quality support for the starting five. Last season, early injuries and midseason absences showed a lack of depth beyond the starting five as they got off to a horrendous 3-9 start unable to find viable substitutions.
This quietly productive off-season for the Dream has seen the addition of Catherine Kraayeveld, the return of Yelena Leuchanka and the resigning of Coco Miller and Courtney Paris.The latter 2012 additions were announced February 15, 2012.
In 2011, Miller was a shadow of her guard contemporaries Lindsey Harding and Armintie Price. Miller has blazing speed along with a tenacious willingness to penetrate the paint. Her likeness to Harding and Price makes her an easy fill-in. As the first guard off the bench, Miller averaged 7.3 ppg in 2011.
Furthermore, the retirement of Shalee Lehning put pressure on the Dream to sign the veteran, unrestricted free agent. Without Miller, the Dream would lack a qualified point-guard to replace Harding in the event of an injury. Miller's experience would give her the know-how to control the pace of the game if Harding went down.
The Dream are also excited for the potential of Courtney Paris. In a season where they'll need to stock up on centers and power-forwards due to the expected midseason absences of Erika de Souza and Sancho Lyttle (both likely to participate in the summer Olympics), Paris will finally be given the chance to develop.
In contrast to her auspicious start to her WNBA career, Paris was a collegiate star for Oklahoma University. While at Oklahoma, Paris had 112 games of double-doubles in a row, and was the first NCAA player to notch more than 2,500 points and 2,000 rebounds.
The Dream signed Paris in the middle of last season after Sancho Lyttle departed for a tournament in Europe. While used sparingly, coach Marynell Meadors anticipates an important role for Paris, saying, "As she adjusts to our style, her rebounding and her ability to get offensive rebounds and second chance points will be vital to our success."
While this off-season's transactions haven't broached any headlines, the signings have shown a real poignancy in addressing last season's concerns.
As a member of the southeast, Charles McGregor has been a fan of the Atlanta Dream since their inception into the WNBA.
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