Fever one win away from WNBA Finals

by Scott Agness

Heading into this 2014 WNBA season, the Indiana Fever weren’t expected to rule the Eastern Conference. I thought there was a high probably that they might make some considerable changes. The future appeared to be the vision rather than the present as the team drafted Natalie Achonwa, who would miss the season after tearing her left ACL while at Notre Dame, at No. 9 – their second first-round pick.

Oh, and a few weeks later, sharpshooter Jeanette Pohlen sustained a torn left Achilles. Then, a back injury sidelined leader Tamika Catchings for a substantial part of the shortened season (18 games).

A rebuilding year? Definitely not.

In what Fever head coach Lin Dunn planned to be her last season of coaching after truly a Hall of Fame career, the Indiana Fever are one win away from advancing to its third WNBA Finals. They lead their best-of-three series with Chicago 1-0.

Tamika Catchings blocks out Chicago's Elene Delle Donne.

Tamika Catchings blocks out Chicago’s Elene Delle Donne.

After sweeping Washington, and as Chicago went the distance against Atlanta in the opening round of the 2014 WNBA Playoffs, Indiana sat back and took advantage of some much-needed rest.

“I think everybody needs to understand that this is the most condensed, intense, short WNBA season we’ve ever had,” said Dunn. “I think players are mentally and physically fatigued. I’m surprised that there haven’t been more injuries. It’s really hard on these players. They left Turkey and two days later they are in training camp and they crammed all of this season together because of the World Championships.

“It’s going to be survival of the fittest, survival of the toughest — mentally and physically.”

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