Fever players are believers too

By Ericka Sanders | October 5, 2009
Tamika Catchings and Tully Bevilaqua agree that chemistry has helped the Indiana Fever catapult to the top of the WNBA, just one game away from a championship. Ebony Hoffman doesn’t disagree but adds that chemistry is nothing if every player doesn’t believe in the teammate next to them.

“You have to go on the court and believe that Tammy (Sutton-Brown) will hit that layup, that Briann (January) will hit that shot,” she said. “We’ve done what we’ve talked about – believe in each other.”

The WNBA Finals isn’t new territory for everyone on the roster. Bevilaqua and Tamecka Dixon have rings; Katie Douglas has been in two Finals and Sutton-Brown played for a championship her rookie year with Charlotte. However, they will each tell you that it’s hard to get to this point. Yes, chemistry is important, as is focusing on one game at a time, but one without the other will likely not land you in the WNBA Finals. Here is how the Fever reached their first Finals appearance.

Chemistry

“We finally got the pieces of the puzzle right. Team chemistry this year is a lot better than it was last year. You can see that we’re enjoying each other on the court and last year it didn’t look like we were.”

Tully Bevilaqua

“Chemistry has been very, very big for us. We’ve stayed together through the ups and the downs. We’ve been able to win more ball games this year because last year we weren’t all on the same page. I think all of us buying into Coach (Lin) Dunn’s philosophy and game plan on a night-t- night basis has allowed us to be in this position today.”

Katie Douglas

Belief

“The belief that we’ve had in one another and believing in what we’re each capable of doing has been very important. Going into the season we talked a lot about our goals and what we thought we’d really be able to accomplish. Throughout the season we’ve each believed in those goals.”

Tamika Catchings

“I think (Tamika) has really believed in us. It’s just a matter in us believing in each other. If we pass the ball, if we do the schemes that we’re going to do, everybody is going to be in the right spot at that right time. That has been key (for us).”

Ebony Hoffman

No injuries

“Not having to deal with injuries has been very important, especially for me. This has been the first full season I’ve played in three years. Every year we come in and say ‘this is our year’ and then I go down and it’s woulda, coulda, shoulda. Besides Katie going down for a few games we’ve been a really healthy team.”

Tamika Catchings

Defense

“Defense is our focal point and I think we’ve gone away from it at times during the season and I think we’ve got it back to where it should be.”

Tully Bevilaqua

Training Camp

“I think it all starts from day one and having the whole team in training camp has been major. I play overseas and have been my entire career. Other than my rookie season, this has been the first season that I was in training camp at the very beginning. Having everyone here on day one is where the foundation is set, the chemistry is set and that is where the bonding starts. I think that was key for us throughout the season.”

Tammy Sutton-Brown