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Fever Players, Coaches Backing Pacers

The Indiana Pacers currently own the best record in the Eastern Conference and are hoping to hang a championship banner in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in 2014. The team that shares The Fieldhouse with the Pacers knows exactly what it takes to get that done.

The Indiana Fever won a WNBA Championship in 2012 and have reached the conference finals in four of the past five years.

Though it’s currently the WNBA offseason and the Fever players are spread across the globe playing overseas, rehabbing injuries, and spending quality time with loved ones, they’re still keeping a close eye on the Pacers’ season.

A few players and coaches have spent some time in Indianapolis over the offseason, and they’ve all been sure to stop by The Fieldhouse to take in a Pacers game. Pacers players return the favor in the summer months – Lance Stephenson attended nearly every home game, George Hill made it to his fair share, and a host of Pacers players were there to watch their counterparts hoist the WNBA trophy in 2012.

Indianapolis native Katie Douglas has made it out to several Pacers games and is impressed with their start to the season.

“I’m definitely keeping track and tabs of them,” Douglas said. “They’re having a phenomenal start to the season. I definitely wish them nothing but the best and hope that they can bring a championship in 2014.”

Fever star Tamika Catchings has also attended several games already this year. She took a group of kids from her Catch the Stars Foundation to last Friday’s win over the Bobcats:

Pacers forward Jeanette Pohlen has spent the majority of the offseason at home in California, but has been following the Pacers closely. Last week, she was in town to take part in Shoe Giveaway at a local IPS school, and found time to attend the Pacers-Heat game (where she also got to meet Justin Timberlake). Pohlen, a member of the Fever’s 2012 world champions squad, sees plenty of similarities between that team and this year’s Pacers squad.

“I’ve seen them on TV multiple times, even though I haven’t been here,” Pohlen said. “They just — you can tell that they have that chemistry…they play defense, they play hard, you can tell they get along, and I definitely think it’s a special team this year.”

The Fever players aren’t the only ones tracking the Pacers. Associate head coach Stephanie White has joined FOX Sports Indiana as an analyst on the Pacers Live pregame show.

“I’m really enjoying it,” White said in November about her early experience with her new gig. “Just happy to be a part of such a great team. With the Pacers and Fever organization, everything is such a family atmosphere. I really love that about this organization and it really even extends into the broadcast realm and our broadcast team.”

Fever head coach Lin Dunn, in town last week, said she’s glad to see her colleague Frank Vogel and his staff achieving success. While the nation has taken notice of the rising star of Paul George and the Pacers’ formidable starting five, Dunn thinks the quiet reason for the Pacers’ success has been their improved second unit, anchored by offseason acquisitions Luis Scola and C.J. Watson.

“I’m thrilled that they’re asserting themselves so early,” Dunn said. “They’re playing with a tremendous amount of effort and energy. Blue collar, tough defense, rebounding. I think the thing that sticks in my mind the most is the help they’re getting from the bench. And I can’t even imagine when Danny Granger comes back and he’s healthy too. I think the bench upgrade is going to be a huge plus as they go into the playoffs.

Dunn smiled as she added, “It’s time to win another championship.”

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