Sun will try to put the pieces together today at home against Atlanta

Mohegan - It could have been much worse this week when the Connecticut Sun have been left to ponder a 2-5 record and today's visit from first-place Atlanta.

Since Connecticut last clanked its way to a 12-point loss last Sunday, it has gained ground in the standings on Washington (two games) and Chicago (one) and traded for some post help (Kayla Pedersen from Tulsa).

All of which perhaps made the week a duller ache.

Now there's the matter of taking down the Dream, off to a 6-1 start, at Mohegan Sun Arena.

"I can't say any game is more important than the next," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "We're trying to survive and play as well as we can until we can get healthy. We're also trying to develop Izzy (veteran Izzy Castro Marques, a recent signee) to give us productive minutes."

Castro Marques had a week to practice with teammates this week as they prepared to play Castro Marques' old ones. She was on Atlanta's 2011 team that eliminated the Sun from the playoffs.

Castro Marques has the chance to become another consistent scorer for the Sun, who need someone other than Tina Charles, Kara Lawson and Allie Hightower to scare defenses. Example: In Connecticut's two victories, Kalana Greene has averaged a shade under 10 points per game and nearly 10 rebounds. In its losses, she hasn't come close to that.

"We need someone else to give us that eight points, 10 points, after Tina, Kara and Allie," Donovan said. "That was the issue in the Seattle game."

Donovan said Tan White's injured finger would require at least two more weeks of rehabilitation, while Renee Montgomery (ankle) won't likely return until mid July.

Atlanta will play without second-leading scorer Sancho Lyttle (15.4 points per game) today, while she plays for Spain in the European Championships. The Dream still has perennial all-star Angel McCoughtry (19.4), center Erika DeSouza (10 points, 6.1 rebounds) and former UConn guard Tiffany Hayes (10.6 ppg, only 10 turnovers in seven games), who has been playing quite well.

m.dimauro@theday.com

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