Cancer-stricken Cooper leads Dream into playoffs

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ATLANTA (AP) — After taking time off to fight cancer, Michael Cooper is hoping to inspire his team to a championship in the WNBA playoffs.

The former "Showtime" star is coach of the Atlanta Dream, who finished first in the Eastern Conference. The team struggled late in the season, a slide that began right about the time Cooper was diagnosed with early-stage tongue cancer.

Cooper underwent surgery, which included removing the lymph nodes from the left side of his neck. He still must undergo about six weeks of radiation after the season. But he says the cancer was caught early and the prognosis is good for a full recovery.

The Dream was clearly bothered by Cooper's absence, losing nine of 11 games. They open the playoffs Friday against the Chicago Sky.

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