(T-5th in East)
2337 (6th overall, 3rd in East)
2321 (8th overall, 4th in East)
+0.5 (8th overall, 3rd in East)
101.8 (1st overall, 1st in East)
100.6 (13th overall, 6th in East)
Possessions per 40 min.
66.8 (13th overall, 6th in East)
What are these stats?
Award Winners & Honorees
All-WNBA, First Team
2003 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 – 6, Gwen Jackson
Rd. 2 – 20, DeTrina White
Rd. 3 – 35, Ashley McElhiney
One out of four years
2002, lost in first round
2003 In Review:
What Went Right?
Natalie Williams showed that she still had some gas left in her tank after a preseason trade sent her from San Antonio to Indiana. She averaged 13.4 points and 7.5 rebounds on the season, and raised her field goal percentage from a career-low 43.5 in 2002 to 48.5 a year ago. Williams’ contributions were especially important given that Olympia Scott-Richardson missed the 2003 season with a knee injury suffered during the offseason.
The Fever boasted the second most efficient offense in the league a year ago, and the biggest reasons for that were the team’s ability to hit the long-ball (35.0 percent from beyond the arc – 4th in the WNBA) its penchant for grabbing offensive rebounds (33.0 percent – 6th) and its consistency from the free throw line (79.8 percent – 1st).
Niele Ivey and Stephanie White enjoyed successful comeback seasons – White missed the 2002 campaign with an assortment of leg ailments, while Ivey was slowed after giving birth during the 2001-02 offseason. White finished the season ranked second in the league in free throw percentage (93.8) while connecting on 34.5 percent of her three-point field goal attempts. Ivey set career highs in scoring (5.0 ppg), assists (2.6), three-point field goal percentage (39.3 – 13th in WNBA), steals (1.07) and minutes played (24.1).
What Went Wrong?
Nikki McCray struggled from the field in 2003, connecting on just 37.7 percent of her field goal attempts and 21.9 percent of her three-point attempts. She started 32 of 34 games for the Fever, but averaged a career-low 21.6 minutes per game.
|2003 Starting Line-up|
|Key 2003 Reserves|
|G||Kelly Miller (trade)|
|F||Deanna Jackson (DD)|
|F||Astou Ndiaye-Diatta (FA)|
, who helped key Indiana’s playoff run in 2002 after a late-season trade, missed 14 games for the Fever after offseason arthroscopic knee surgery. In limited time, she hit just 28.4 percent of her field goal attempts and 29.2 percent of her three-point field goals.
The Fever struggled to stop opposing defenses again in 2003, finishing with the second worst defense in the league after finishing 11th out of 16 teams in 2002. Indiana ranked 11th in the WNBA in opponent field goal percentage (43.9) and 14th in three-point field goal percentage (37.3) a year ago.
Looking Ahead To 2004:
Indiana traded the third and 18th overall picks in the draft to the Charlotte Sting in exchange for Kelly Miller
and the ninth overall pick. It may be some time before we know who “won” the trade, but the Fever obviously believe Miller can become more than a role player off the bench as she was with Charlotte. How well Miller handles the increased minutes and who Indiana plucks from the collegiate ranks with that ninth pick will be on the minds of Fever fans as the season opens.
The Fever grabbed former Cleveland starter Deanna Jackson in the dispersal draft to help improve the team’s overall athleticism and aid its defensive efforts. Miller and Jackson improve Indiana’s quickness, and versatile center Astou Ndiaye-Diatta, added via free agency, helps defend the post.
Head Coach Brian Winters, formerly of the NBA’s Vancouver Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors, assumes the Fever helm. How quickly can he acclimate to the WNBA personnel and the different style of play?