Three Reasons Why the Indiana Fever Will Win the WNBA Title
Brian KotloffSeptember 15, 2015
Heading into the 2015 WNBA Playoffs presented by Boost Mobile, the title is as up for grabs as ever. Each of the eight contenders can state their case for why they will take home the trophy come October. With that in mind, WNBA.com is profiling all eight one-by-one as the Sept. 17 tip-off approaches.
It should come as no surprise that the Indiana Fever are back in the WNBA playoffs: They’ve reached the postseason a league-record 11 consecutive times.
What did come as a surprise was their mid-season surge. After consecutive 16-18 seasons, Indiana appeared headed for another middling record until they won nine of 10 coming out of the All-Star break.
They showcased championship potential during that stretch and will look to get back into that groove this fall.
Here are three reasons why the Fever will win the 2015 WNBA title:
They’re one of the league’s most balanced teams.
Perhaps more so than any other team this season, Indiana received contributions from players up and down its roster. Leading scorer Tamika Catchings averaged 13.1 points per game, the lowest mark for a leading scorer on a 2015 playoff team. Eleven other players averaged at least 10 minutes played per game, six of whom averaged at least eight points.
The Fever’s brand of team ball can trump the star power of their competition if they’re running on all cylinders.
They execute on both ends of the floor.
Indiana is loaded with two-way players who make that team-oriented style possible. Catchings sets the tone, while Shenise Johnson enjoyed a career year, Marissa Coleman broke out in her seventh season, and Briann January and Shevonte Zellous remain from the 2012 title team.
It’s all added up to the best-shooting team in the league from three-point range (36%). Indiana also owned the third-best offensive rating (102.4 points per 100 possessions) and forced the most turnovers per game (16.2) during the regular season.
In Catchings, the Fever have a wily veteran leader that no other playoff team can truly match.
It’s one thing for her to set the example for the rest of the roster on and off the floor, put together another solid all-around season at 36 years old, and boast one of women’s basketball’s most extensive resumes. But what also gives the Fever a shot is that this has simply felt like their year — Catchings has reached milestone after milestone and enjoyed an All-Star sendoff, while Stephanie White has made a seamless transition to head coach after Lin Dunn’s retirement.