Fever: Mentality Stays The Same For Game 2

MINNEAPOLIS  – The calendar year may be different, but the scenario is largely the same. The Indiana Fever find themselves with an opportunity to take a 2-0 series lead against the Minnesota Lynx in Game 2, as was the case in the 2012 WNBA Finals.

Although the makeup of both rosters draw striking similarities to the squads that faced off in 2012, these two teams are vastly different in 2015. Both Indiana and Minnesota feature new faces, and Indiana has even implemented a new offensive system under first-year head coach Stephanie White.

Still, with the situation as it stands, both teams can draw from what they went through in 2012, right? Not so fast.

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“I’ll be honest, I haven’t really thought about 2012,” Fever forward Tamika Catchings said. “We have the same core group, but we have so many new players, and we have a different system, a different coach, a lot of different things.”

The Fever locker room had the same tone regarding Game 2 Sunday afternoon. Simply put, their approach to Tuesday’s game (8 PM ET, ESPN 2) doesn’t change.

“Mentality is the same,” Fever guard Briann January said. “We need to lock down even more. We know they’re going to come out swinging even harder this time, so we need to just enjoy this win and come back focused tomorrow, because we know it’s going to be tougher the next time. They’re not going to let us come out there and take a game from them. They’re going to come out there and fight for it, so we have to be ready to take care of the small things and be prepared for another 40-minute battle.”

Despite the win, Indiana was far from perfect in Game 1. The Fever shot 36 percent from the floor but managed to take advantage from the free-throw line, which proved to be the difference. It’s unlikely that another poor shooting performance will turn into a win in Game 2, especially given the sense of urgency facing the Lynx.

“I think the coaches will watch film,” Fever forward Marissa Coleman said, “and I’m very confident that tomorrow we’ll come into practice and they’ll have a gameplan for us. They’ll tell us what we need to clean up and well get focused and ready for Tuesday.”