2009 - The Season According to Dunn (Part I)

November 17, 2009 | Part 2


Fever coach Lin Dunn has had about a month to relax now, since the end of the Fever’s 2009 campaign which ended one game shy of an elusive WNBA championship. The second-year Indiana coach completed her fifth year as a head coach in the WNBA and, for a second time, was the runner up for league coach of the year honors.

Dunn, in her 39th year of college or pro coaching, has firmly established herself as one of the country’s top women’s basketball coaches. The recently completed Fever season, however, was certainly one of her finest seasons.

Recovered from the end-of-season playoff run and back in touch with her offseason home in Dresden, Tenn., she took time to answer questions for a two-part Q&A with FeverBasketball.com. Below is Part I of the series.

 

FeverBasketball.com: After taking a deep breath and having some time off, can you identify a couple of particular moments that were most gratifying to you?

Lin Dunn: “The first key moment in our 2009 season that comes to mind was our home game vs. Seattle (June 9) after we started the season 0-2. We lost Yo Griffith early in the game with a torn Achilles. Then [Katie] Douglas left the game with a busted eye socket – BUT she came back to spark us to a win with a key 3!  Another BIG game was our come-from-behind OT win at New York (trailed by 17 on June 26)! A third would be our regular season win at Phoenix. We shot the ball extremely well and proved we could RUN with anyone!”

FB: From a purely basketball standpoint, what were four key elements that made the 2009 season so successful?

LD: “Talent. Depth. Work ethic. Chemistry.”

 

FB: During the Finals, what can you point to as being the biggest difference between the Mercury and Fever?

LD: “Penny Taylor!!!!”

FB: Certainly winning Game 4 was the Fever’s best opportunity to have won the title. But, of the three games that Phoenix won – Game 1, Game 4 or Game 5 – which do you think Indiana had the best shot to win if just one or two things had happened differently?

LD: “We should have won Game 1!”

 

FB: The scene is Game 4. You’re up 2-1 in the series, you’re in Indy for a second straight game, there is a buzz in the city and there is an arena packed to the rafters anticipating a possible Fever championship. What type of thoughts did you have during the day or prior to stepping onto the court before the game?

LD: “We approach every game the same. It’s important to stay focused on each four-minute segment and NOT look ahead or get caught up in the moment. We were obviously very pleased with the fan support – it was amazing!”

 

FB: How discouraging was it for you that we didn’t close out the title with a win in Game 4?

LD: “Phoenix was very good and not intimidated by pressure or playing on the road. We were disappointed we did not shoot the ball better, but we were not discouraged and were optimistic about Game 5 in Phoenix!”

FB: How did you spend your evening following the loss in Game 5?

LD: “I had dinner at the hotel with Rick [Fuson], Kelly [Krauskopf], a friend and one of our team doctors, and we reminisced about what a great series the Finals had been.”

Part II of Lin Dunn’s postseason Q&A will run on Friday, Nov. 20.