Not Enough Bullets
The 2013 season has passed and the Minnesota Lynx have re-earned the WNBA title. No longer is Indiana the defending champion.
What the Indiana Fever DID do in 2013, though, was to display once again that it is certainly one of the WNBA’s most talented, versatile, flexible and resilient teams, with as much courage and character as any fan base can ask from a professional sports team.
Despite a line of season-long injuries, the Fever fought through its hardships and ever-changing lineups to fall two wins shy of a third WNBA Finals appearance since 2009. Throughout the year, I heard Lin Dunn say in postgame conferences many times, “they just had more bullets than we did.”
In the end, the Fever had all the intangibles and got another stellar season from Tamika Catchings, but it didn’t have enough bullets.
Minnesota swept its playoffs run with a 7-0 record to mark just the second playoffs sweep in league history. Ironically, the Atlanta Dream was the victim of both those finals sweeps, including a 3-0 elimination by Seattle in 2010.
Since 2005, Indiana has emerged as one of the league’s model franchises – on the court and off. Over the past nine seasons, Indiana boasts nine straight playoff appearances, the 2012 championship, two Finals appearances and six trips to the conference finals.
Besides the Fever’s own appearances in 2009 and 2012, I have worked the WNBA Finals in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2013 and I can share with Fever fans that your franchise is truly one of the best operated organizations in this league. Indiana’s on-court record speaks for itself. Off the court, we have made great strides in the past several years, operationally and business-wise, and we have put ourselves among the WNBA’s elite franchises. Our franchise truly is fortunate to have the great backing of Herb Simon, Jim Morris and Pacers Sports & Entertainment.
A tip of the hat to our fans, too, who contributed to the WNBA’s fourth-best attendance figure in 2013 – an average of 8,164 fans per game despite the 1-7 start to the season.
The future is bright for the Fever. Young talent helped keep the boat afloat during the injury-riddled season we just witnessed. As Fever stars get healthy over the coming months and Kelly Krauskopf and Lin Dunn reload their weaponry for 2014, Fever fans can look forward to a fun-filled 15th anniversary season next summer.
Keep warm, friends. Enjoy the upcoming college and NBA seasons. And check back weekly for the return of the Messenger blog throughout the offseason.