It was an exciting night for the Indiana Fever on Sunday against the Phoenix Mercury, despite a slow, worrisome start from our team. There's a tradition at every game that you don't sit for the tipoff, and fans won't sit until the Fever scores their first basket. In this game, that first basket came after 2:03, when Tamika Catchings finally hit the first bucket of the night.
It didn't go well after that, because the Fever struggled to keep up with the Mercury for the first few minutes, and I worried that this was going to be a blowout, the likes of which we hadn't seen since the USA-Lichtenstein Olympic game.
(There was no USA-Lichtenstein Olympic game.)
I was also worried, because Becky, the woman who runs up and down the stairs after every 3-pointer, was not there either. She finally showed up during the second quarter, and the Fever seemed to find their groove around the same time.
Even though the Mercury are out of playoff contention — something I'm glad to hear, since I still remember them from the 2009 WNBA playoffs — Diana Taurasi and her teammates did not give up. Hoping to play the spoiler once again, Taurasi announced her presence with enough authority that Nuke Laloosh give a little chill. But the crowd did not like Diana Taurasi, mostly because I think they still remember 2009 with more than a little bitterness.
It was also a special night for the Fever, because Katie Douglas became the 10th player in all WNBA history with 5000 points. She needed 14, and she hit it around the 3rd quarter. In fact, it was an über-productive night for Douglas, because she ended up with 13.
In the second half, the Fever really woke up — Coach Lin Dunn must have really laid into them at halftime — played some hard D, had a few key interceptions, and scored some great baskets. One of the highlights of the 3rd quarter was forward Erlana Larkin's interception and basket.
A couple of other notable players I hope the Fever hang on to for their future are Jeanette Pohlen and Briann January. They only had 6 and 8 points accordingly — mostly because Douglas and Catchings are ball hogs, what with 49 points between them — but they are putting up some solid effort, being in the right place at the right time, and just playing smart. I enjoy watching these two, even if they don't put up the big numbers that Douglas and Catchings are. I think that in a couple of years, we're going to hear a lot more from these two.
The Fever ended up wining the game, despite a last minute surge by the Mercury, 89 – 83. This keeps the Fever in second place, 1.5 games behind the Connecticut Sun. Their next game is at home on Wednesday, September 12 against the Seattle Storm. The Storm are 13 - 14, compared to the Fever's 19 - 9, so look for this to be another win.
In the meantime, Connecticut faces the Mercury on Wednesday night. If Phoenix can play the role of spoiler, and the Fever can pull off a win, that puts Indianapolis ahead in the division going into the last two games of the season, both against Minnesota.
The second edition of Branding Yourself: How to Use Social Media to Invent or Reinvent Yourself (affiliate link), is now available. I wrote it with my good friend, Kyle Lacy.
My other book, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide to Social Media Marketing is also out.
You can get both of them from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million in October, or for the Kindle or Nook.
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