Postseason routine no different

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Angel McCoughtry scored 20 of the Dream's 56 points as Atlanta dropped its first-round opening game Thursday against the Washington Mystics. They must win their next game Saturday.

The playoffs mean a start to a new season. It doesn't matter what you did in the regular season, everyone is 0-0 when you start. It's an exciting time. It's going to be very physical, and you have to want it more than your opponent.

I try not to change my routine for the playoffs. You do everything the same as any other game, but you just have to have more focus and really adjust your mindset to increase your will to win.

Even though the routine is the same, you definitely get more amped up for a playoff game, just thinking about trying to win that championship and get that ring.

My personal favorite playoff game was in 2010 when we were at New York in the conference finals. Cappie Pondexter scored 36 points and I scored 42, and we won to go to the Finals. There was a great atmosphere, and Cappie and I were going at it, just two stars scoring at will. It was amazing. Cappie and I weren't teammates in Turkey then like we are now, so we weren't as close of friends yet. But we still both had that competitive fire going in that game.

I've been fortunate to have some success in the postseason. I've been to two WNBA Finals and helped Louisville get to the national championship game. The NCAA tournament was a lot like the WNBA playoffs -- the atmosphere, the competitiveness, the will to win. Whether it was college or the WNBA, I just love playing in that environment.

So it's playoff time again, and this year I'm expecting Atlanta to win a championship. Period.