Fever Still Adjusting To Changing Roles

July 2, 2008 | by Ericka Sanders

Frank McGrath / PS&E Photo
It’s been a while since the Indiana Fever was a team hovering around .500 – 2004 actually when they finished the season 15-19.

Heading into the season with a new coach in Lin Dunn, a slew of new players including Katie Douglas and Allison Feaster and an injured Tamika Catchings, it has been an adjustment period through the first half of the season.

At 8-8, Indiana is fourth in the Eastern Conference and is 3-5 since Catchings returned to the lineup. With Connecticut and Detroit atop the standings, an improved New York team and a battling Washington squad, the conference is tougher. Catchings however, isn’t too concerned about the team’s record but pinpoints areas where progress is a must if they want to stay in the hunt.

“I think the biggest reason for our lack of success is defensive rebounding, which I’ve been harping on for the last five games,” she says. “When you don’t play defense and you don’t rebound it doesn’t matter who is in the lineup.”

Dunn adds that the team’s recent road trip traveling to Seattle, Los Angeles, Houston and New York didn’t allow for much practice time.

“When we looked back we hadn’t had a real practice since June 17 because you’re traveling and you have a game the next day,” she said. “I think that really hurt us because we seem to be much better when we have a couple days of practice.”

Dunn adds that the team is transitioning with Catchings back in the lineup.

“We played well early and now we’re going through this transition period where we’re trying to adjust the lineup again and get Catchings blended in,” she said. “We’re adjusting to our roles and changing chemistry. It’s not unexpected that it wouldn’t be easy.”

Although the playoffs are a while off and the Fever has the second half of the season to work on such adjustments, Catchings feels the urgency of winning now.

“We came into the season talking about a championship but now it’s got to the point where we can’t even look down the road because we won’t even have an opportunity to fight for a championship if we don’t start winning games,” she said. “We have to start focusing on right now.”

To start winning games, Douglas says it’s about accountability.

“We have to take responsibility (for struggling) and not have any excuses about traveling, scheduling and playing too many games on the road; we have to find a way to put things together,” she said. “In different games it’s different areas. In one game we can’t make shots, in the next game we can’t stop turning the ball over and the next game we give up offensive rebounds. I think we need to put a full 40 minutes together and do all the little things.”