Indiana Fever Schedule Preview: July 10 - 16

Their stunning upset of the defending champs was nice, but can the Fever build on it?

The Cappie Pondexter era is officially underway in Indiana, and it got off to quite a start when the Fever upset the Minnesota Lynx on their own court. For one of the few times this season, the Fever were able to "marry offense and defense" (as put by head coach and GM Pokey Chatman), holding the Lynx to a paltry 78.7 points per 100 possessions while getting just enough scoring out of players like Pondexter and Victoria Vivians to secure the improbable victory.

Indy came crashing back down to earth in their next game, however. They were blown out by Dallas, unable to duplicate their success on either end of the floor.

So continues the Fever's season: every time you think they're putting it together and that they're close to turning a corner, you're reminded that this team is rebuilding and these things take time. 2-17 is certainly not where Chatman would like to be right now, and all those losses don't look good no matter which way you slice it. The best the Fever can hope for is for their young players to develop quickly and properly.

Wednesday, July 11: vs Minnesota Lynx (12:00 pm ET)

Can the Fever do it again? They'll need center Natalie Achonwa to continue her steady play. Achonwa was perhaps the most important part of Indiana's upset victory last week, soundly outplaying all-world center Sylvia Fowles.

Of course, you can't have success against Fowles one-on-one, so the activity level on defense needs to be high for the Fever to neutralize her for a second game in a row. Keep in mind that the Lynx are coming off yet another road loss to a team they were heavily favored against (Chicago) and they'll likely come out with a razor-sharp focus that Indiana will need to match.

Friday, July 13: at Atlanta Dream (7:00 pm ET)

The Dream will look a tad different on Friday. They recently swapped guards with Connecticut, sending Layshia Clarendon to the Sun in exchange for Alex Bentley. It's not yet known how many minutes Bentley (who started her career in Atlanta) will be playing for the Dream right away, but considering Nicki Collen has previous experience coaching her, it wouldn't be surprising if Bentley picked up the playbook fairly quickly and is a factor in this game.

Other than that, it's no secret what you have to do to beat Atlanta: take care of the basketball to limit their transition opportunities. It's as good of a game as any for Kelsey and Tiffany Mitchell to get back on track.

Sunday, July 15: vs Phoenix Mercury (5:00 pm ET)

The Fever were gashed the last time Phoenix came to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, so badly that the Mercury benched their starters for most of the second half. It's just not a good matchup for Indiana; they're not physically able to hang with Phoenix at any one position on the court. Making outside shots here will be crucial in order to reduce Brittney Griner's impact on the defensive end. Forcing a few turnovers would also help give Indiana a fighting chance.

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