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Monday, June 21, 2021

For the Fever, the time is now

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The time is now and I’m worried.

I can’t stress the importance of “now” enough when talking about the Indiana Fever and the playoffs. The urgency of this moment is felt from the front office to the bench to the fans. The need to win can be shown in the age of the roster. The average age of the starting five is 31. Its MVP-candidate, Tamika Catchings has nine WNBA years under her belt. Tammy Sutton-Brown, the starting center, has 11.

I know Indiana wants to win – desperately.

“I’m at the point where I just want that ring,” said Sutton-Brown.

The numbers are what worry me.

Indiana lost its final regular game to the Atlanta Dream 93-88. It’s true that they only dressed eight players, had one point guard and was without Catchings, but in four games this season they hadn’t beat the Dream once.

The loss tied the Fever for first place with Connecticut. Thankfully, they owned the tie-break. The thing is, I don’t want to feel thankful for a first place spot, I want to feel secure – and I don’t.

I also don’t feel confident because Fever coach Lin Dunn and Katie Douglass both told me that you want to end the season playing your best basketball. Indiana lost six of its final nine games.

At Recorder press time, the Fever had yet to face the New York Liberty in the first round. Yes, the same New York Liberty they faced this time last year and who booted them out of the playoffs 2-1.

The time is now and I’m worried.

Douglass, on the other hand is not.

“I think this team has a certain swagger this year,” she said. “I feel very confident in this team and I like where we’re at. I like the position we’re in and I like how everybody is playing.”

I keep telling myself this season is a mirror of 2009. They ended the season 3-7 but finished first in the East and reached the Finals. The season also started in June, which allowed players extra rest coming off of international play and every player started training camp on time.

Indiana has a very good team. They also have – in my opinion – the best player in the league in Catchings, who if she doesn’t win MVP this year should really question the validly of the voters.

The time is now and I may be worried but I know this team has heart. I know this team has the players to win it all, the defense to win it all and the experience to win it all.

All they have to do now, is win it all.

Game two of the WNBA semifinals

Who: Fever at New York

When: Saturday, Sept. 17 at 4 p.m.

TV: NBA TV

 

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