Practice Report: October 19
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INDIANAPOLS, IND. -- With the dust only partially settled from an emotional Game 2, we have, on the morning of Game 3, a bit of a controversy.
Let’s call it Jacketgate. As in Cheryl Reeve’s suit jacket that she flung off after getting a technical in Game 2.
But wait, there's more
In addition to the tumultuous technical, Game 2 was a no doubt a rough-and-tumble game – Dunn called it “probably the most physical game” she’s been apart of in 42 years of coaching – and Dunn was not initially pleased by the aggressive tactics used by the Lynx players.
When asked about Dunn’s comments, Reeve was, as one would expect, very blunt.
“I guess what comes to mind first and foremost is that I don’t give a hoot what Lin Dunn thinks about me or my players. We don’t answer to her,’ Reeve said. “What’s interesting to me it seems like it might be the pot calling the kettle black. That’s what It seems like to me because it’s known throughout the league how Indiana likes to play, and we simply decided after Game 1 that if this series is going to be physical then we gotta join the party and the end result was a Game 2 where we engaged in being more physical.”
Reeve was fined by the league for her attire-tossing tirade, but it also seemed to spark her team late in the third quarter.
“She wanted to light a fire under us,” Minnesota’s Taj McWilliams-Franklin said. “She wanted to light a fire under the refs and everything else and the fans and energize us, which is what she did.”
After the physical nature of Game 2, much attention is also expected to put on the how Game 3 is played – and refereed.
For Taj McWilliams-Franklin, a veteran of 14 WNBA seasons, all this physicality is nothing new.
“I think the WNBA is a tougher league than any other league besides the National Hockey League,” McWilliams-Franklin said. “It's like wrestling. I love WWE, and all of the skills I know from it come in handy.”
If Reeve were a WWE wrestler, her signature outfit would have to be a suit jacket.
“I haven’t decided on the outfit this evening,” Reeve said.
I guess we'll just have to wait until we hear her music.
Fever Will Be Shorthanded
Fever coach Lin Dunn will not have Katie Douglas or Jeannete Pohlen at her disposal tonight as both will sit with injuries.
In reference to Douglas, Dunn said, “there’s a little window of opportunity for Sunday,” but that she would be in street clothes tonight. As for Pohlen, she is also ruled out for tonight, but the full extent and diagnosis of her injury was not yet known. Pohlen was on the floor with the team this morning, but she was not taking part in drills.
“It going to be real tricky,” Dunn said of coming up with a rotation with two guards out. “We’re going to have to do some things that we haven’t done in a while. Just try some different rotations because we know fatigue became a factor in the fourth quarter, there wasn’t any doubt. Of course it was a physical game – we’re physical, they’re physical – but fatigue-wise, I thought we wore down and that affected some of our decision making, some of our turnovers so I’ve got to do a better job managing the minutes with less people.”
Being shorthanded is nothing new for the Fever – they did play the last few games of the regular season without guards Briann January and Shavonte Zellous – but, in a telling scene, they were forced to use a member of their basketball operations staff to play the role of Minnesota's Lindsay Whalen during the team’s walk through this afternoon.
Still, the team is not deterred.
“Two people down. We’re nine deep now,” Zellous said. “But that’s not going to stop us from doing what we have to do tonight.”
Expect A Crazed Atmosphere
Aided by efforts from the Indiana Pacers and Indianapolis Colts, Bankers Life Fieldhouse figures to be a packed house tonight.
“It’s a great feeling to have the (Indianapolis) Colts, especially with their busy schedule and the [Pacers] with the NBA’s season kicking into gear with preseason games,” Zellous said. “Just to have them come support us and purchase tickets to give to people, it’s a good thing for us to know we have the other sports on our side.”
With such a hectic travel schedule this past week, the Fever players are just happy to finally be home and sleeping in their own beds – even if they have some household chores to do.
“After being on the road for so long when I finally got home I had so much stuff I had to do at home,” joked Tamika Catchings about having to do laundry and clean her house. “But it’s good to be back and tonight I’m really excited to have a lot of our fans here. We have a lot of people that pitched in and want to see people in the seat so it’s going be a real fun environment and I’m looking forward to seeing it. “