Sunday, September 08, 2013

Indiana Fever Make Playoffs For 9th Consecutive Year

Banker's Life Fieldhouse went more than a little crazy on Saturday night when they defeated the Connecticut Sun, 69 – 60, and made the playoffs for the 9th consecutive year. Tamika Catchings had her usual all-star night, with 15 points, six rebounds, and four steals to help the Fever clinch a guaranteed fourth-place in the Eastern conference. If they stay in fourth, they will most likely face the Chicago Sun (assuming the Atlanta Dream doesn't surprise everyone in the last week of the season).

Erlana Larkins nipped at Catchings' heels with 12 points and six rebounds, and Jessica Breland had her own 12 points and nine rebounds. In fact, Breland's nine rebounds were the team high last night. Only Sun forward Mistie Bass did better in the whole game, with 11.

(Update: Jessica Breland was released on Thursday this week, after Katie Douglas was cleared to play. She will return to Friday's game against the New York Liberty. While everyone has missed Douglas, I wish there had been a better way to keep Breland around. She's been outstanding for the team this year. Hopefully she'll be back.)

Other notable performances of the night, Briann January netted 10 points and Karima Christmas scored 9. Shavonte Zellous was notably quiet with 7 points and 3 rebounds.

All in all, it was a low-scoring game, but enough of the Fever players were sharing the load that they were able to hold on for the win. Compare that to the Sun, who had three players in double digits (Kelsey Griffin, Tan White, and Renee Montgomery), while everyone else scored 8 or less.

My hope for the playoffs? The Fever stay in fourth place, and Chicago holds on to first place. My daughter tells me the Fever have beaten Chicago 3 out of the 4 times they've played this year, which gives me hope that the Fever will advance to the second round of the playoffs. The Dream have given the Fever some problems, and Indiana is 1 – 3 against the Dream, which could spell an early exit from the playoffs this year.

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