Indiana Fever 2010 Season Preview
No slow start this season.
We continue previewing the 2010 WNBA Season with the Indiana Fever. You can read past previews here.
by Stephen Litel / @stephenlitel
I live in Minnesota and cover the Lynx. But the easiest of my four previews is that of the Indiana Fever.
This team is the reigning Eastern Conference champions, coming up on the losing end of what was arguably the greatest Finals in the WNBA’s history. As the teams exchanged blows throughout the series, the Fever showed the heart of a champion and their fans should be excited for another long run into the Playoffs in the summer of 2010.
Essentially returning the same team with only a few changes, most notably first round pick Jen’e Morris, the Fever have both the experience and chemistry to achieve their championship goal. Of course, the biggest concern heading into the season is that many of their key players, including four starters, missed training camp as they finished their seasons overseas. But players such as Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas, Tammy Sutton-Brown and Ebony Hoffman are veterans who know each other’s games and are more than capable of picking up where they left off quickly.
Even if things start slowly when everyone is back in the mix, the Fever are more than capable of staying focused and turning things around. In the summer of 2009, the team started the season off with a 3-7 record, eventually turning it around and finishing with a 22-12 record by season’s end. Do not expect another slow start this summer – this team is too focused, too committed and too good to repeat that unfortunate start.
During their season, one of the things to watch closely will be the play of rookie Jen’e Morris, as well as returning players Briann January and Shay Murphy. Although somewhat limited in the pre-season, Morris has shown flashes of what should be a fine WNBA career and has the luxury of learning from a wonderful group of grounded, solid veterans. January (look for her Fan Interview piece soon on SLAMonline) continues her own development and is looking to make the next step, eventually replacing Tully Bevilaqua when she decides it is time to hang up her sneakers. Murphy had a great pre-season and should become a bigger presence for the team off the bench, allowing the veterans more rest and the opportunity to dominate once the Playoffs begin.
In the end, the Fever are ready for another outstanding season this summer and it all begins Saturday against Washington. Prepare yourselves, Fever fans. Barring injury, the Fever should make a return to the WNBA Finals this summer, as they are still the class of the Eastern Conference. Now, the question remains: can they close the deal this time?