INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Fever are poised and ready to repeat as WNBA champions this season as they try to become the first team in five years to do so. With the core group of starters and most of their roster returning from last season, Fever coach Lin Dunn has every reason to believe that this group can hang another banner as long as they use last season’s success as a motivator and not a distraction.
“It can be good and bad. Using last year as a motivator can be positive by using it to remind you that you’re everybody’s best game,” Dunn said. “Nobody’s going to overlook us or look past us. It’s a constant reminder that you have to be ready, not just for every game, but for every possession.”
The Fever’s defense of their championship started Saturday night with an 80-75 preseason comeback win over the San Antonio Silver Stars. Already, the Fever can feel the heat as the bullseye on their back continues to grow. The hunters have now become the hunted after their championship win .
But there may not be a better suited squad to go for a repeat than this basketball team. While the Fever understand what it feels like to win a WNBA championship, they also know what it feels like to lose one just as well.
“Let’s not underestimate the value that we got from 2009 in those five games in the finals. We look back and we all learned a lesson about how to win a championship,” Dunn said. “We should have won that championship in ’09 when we had them here and so we learned a lot from that.”
For 12th-year guard Katie Douglas, the feeling of losing that finals appearance was one she prefers not to remember but the motivation from falling short amplifies the desire to succeed even more.