Give a high five to the Fever

July 2, 2009 | By Ericka Sanders

Frank McGrath / PS&E Photo
June turned out to be a pretty good month for the Indiana Fever.

Sans the 0-2 start, the Girls of Summer reeled off six straight victories including an overtime win at New York and an amazing comeback at Conseco Fieldhouse against bitter rival the Detroit Shock. The end of June saw Indiana with the best record in the WNBA despite injuries, a rough start and adding new players to the roster.

Well, June is over and the season goes on. How can the Fever continue such success? Read on.

Do not give up

In the words of the late, great Jimmy Valvano, “Don’t give up…don’t ever give up.”

The Fever has overcome 17-point second-half deficits in two of its last three games. Surely tiring, but exhilarating at the same time. Such victories not only boost confidence, but they also show the rest of the league that you can never put Indiana on its heels.

Of course, you want to avoid putting yourself in such dire situations, but it’s nice to know that you have the skills and patience to dig yourself out of a hole.

Talk and listen

One thing that I’ve always loved about Fever teams is that they’re always talking to each other on the court and on the bench. On one side of the court you see Tamika Catchings telling rookie Briann January what she did wrong and on the other side Ebony Hoffman and Tammy Sutton-Brown are complimenting each other on great defense.

Such conversation leads to better team chemistry and, oftentimes, a great offensive or defensive play.

Go Katie go

The Indiana native is second in the league in minutes played (35.4) and is averaging a team-high 18.1 points per game.

Speaking of never giving up, Douglas sparked the come from behind win against the Shock by scoring 17 of her game-high 23 points in the final 13 minutes never missing a shot. At New York, the 30-year-old was 0-9 in the first half before catching fire, scoring all 28 of her points in the second half.

Even with a bum wrist, pads on her elbows and a still healing eye, Douglas is playing the best basketball of her professional career – back home in Indiana.

No “I” in TEAM

This isn’t the first year the Fever has had a good team. However, there is something to be said about bringing back a nucleus and having longer than one day to practice before the season begins.

All five starters returned this season, and the clicking cylinders show how key that is to the team's success thus far.

Even though the roster boasts All-Stars, Olympians, future Hall of Famers and Most Improved Players, none of that means anything on the court – everyone is equal.

Game by game

Ask any player about the team’s success, and they will all give you the same answer: “We’re taking it game by game.”

Sure, they have championship dreams, but there are other goals that must get accomplished first. A playoff run would be slightly easier if the Fever won the East and had home court advantage.

With such a competitive league it would be foolish to overlook anyone, and in a 32-game season every victory is critical.