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2021 WNBA Team Preview: Indiana Fever

From one historic season to another, the WNBA’s 25th season is set to tip-off on May 14th. The league will commemorate the 25th season with a campaign, “Count It” and a distinguishing and purposeful 25th season logo. The WNBA will also celebrate the ways its players have shattered expectations and have stood at the forefront of advancement, inclusion, and social change for 25 years.

In the lead up to the season, WNBA.com will break down each team in the league. Next up: the Indiana Fever.

On Saturday, Tamika Catchings will be enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame, in recognition as one of the greatest careers in WNBA history and the best player to ever suit up for the Indiana Fever. In her 15-year career as a player, Catchings led the Fever to the playoffs 13 times and to their only WNBA championship in 2012. Now entering her second year as the team’s General Manager, Catchings is looking to build a squad that can once again be a perennial playoff team and eventually a title contender.

Head coach Marianne Stanley also begins her second season in Indiana as she looks to build a foundation for future success. The Fever have one of the youngest teams in the WNBA, led by Kelsey Mitchell (sixth in the WNBA in scoring last year), Tiffany Mitchell, Teaira McCowan and Lauren Cox  The team also gets back Victoria Vivians, who was limited to just six games in 2020, but has led the team in the preseason (13.5 PPG) and No. 4 pick in the 2021 WNBA Draft Kysre Gondrezick out of West Virginia.

2020 Season Recap

  • 6-16, 11th in league
  • Did not make playoffs

Offseason Moves

The Fever may have surprised a lot of people with their selection of Gondrezick with the fourth overall pick, but lets get into what exactly the 5-9 guard can bring to the court. As a senior, Gondrezick averaged a team-leading 19.5 PPG, including 15 games where she recorded 20 points or more. Dropping dimes was also apart of Gondrezick’s repertoire (4.5 APG) but it all comes down to will her dominant ways from college translate to the pros?

In free agency, Indiana signed Danielle Robinson, Jantel Lavendar, Jessica Breland and Lindsay Allen. All four players provide veteran experience and depth to a roster that needs it. The hope would be that these new additions can help make up for the loss of Candice Dupree (12.5 PPG, 5.7 RPG) who signed with the Seattle Storm during the offseason.

One Big Question Heading Into 2021

Can Indiana surprise some teams and be playoff contenders?

Finishing 11th overall in the league last season, and notching only six wins is not what the Fever hoped to get out of last year’s bubble season, but Stanley and Catchings may have some pieces that could help this team put together more wins in 2021. Rookie Chelsea Perry dropped 16 points in her preseason debut and a healthy Vivians could cause some matchup problems for teams pending she can stay available to the Fever the entire season.

There is no telling how this team can do this early in the season, but don’t sleep on a young squad that is filled with potential.

Draft Rating

Michelle Smith ranked every team’s draft decisions. Indiana was rated 9th out of the 12 WNBA teams’ picks.

Joining Gonderickz and Perry as the rookies on the roster are Aaliyah Wilson and Bernadett Hatar. None of these newcomers were high on any draft boards, so it will be interesting to see how they pane out.

Where to Watch

The Indiana Fever start the season on the road against the New York Liberty on Friday, May 14th at 7pm/ET on NBA TV.