Indiana Fever Schedule Preview: June 19 - June 24

At long last, Indiana are no longer winless.

It took a while - much longer than everyone had hoped and expected - but the Indiana Fever finally got on the board last Saturday when they defeated the Atlanta Dream, 96-64. The offensive explosion came mostly in the second half when the Fever outscored the Dream by 35 to run away with their first victory.

That's not to say that there isn't still work to be done. The Fever are now 1-10. Obviously, not ideal.

Don't underestimate the psychological significance of that game, though. For a team that fields so many young players, getting such a metaphorical weight off one's shoulders is important; even more so when the Fever had dropped several games in the closing minutes before then. 

Thinking big-picture, this season was never about winning lots of games for Indiana. It's about developing their young talent. And in a game in which Kelsey Mitchell and Victoria Vivians combined to hit eight 3-pointers and score 40 points, a large margin of victory is nice, but not the most important thing long-term.

Tuesday, June 19: at Los Angeles Sparks (10:30 pm ET)

The Fever will now head West to take on the league-leading Sparks. It's a daunting matchup for Indiana, who neither have the mobility to defend Candace Parker nor the strength to defend Nneka Ogwumike. The Fever's perimeter players must be alert and ready to help, making crisp rotations to limit the effectiveness of the Sparks' high-octane frontcourt.

Of particular note here is the newest member of the Fever, Asia Taylor. She signed with Indiana (who cut guard Jazmon Gwathmey in a corresponding move) on Sunday and figures to be an "enforcer" type of player for Pokey Chatman's squad. While it's unlikely that Taylor sees significant playing time in this game as she gets up to speed, the forward could be thrown into the mix later this week.

Friday, June 22: at Seattle Storm (10 pm ET)

Seattle currently boasts the best offense in the WNBA - they have scored 110.8 points per 100 possessions - and it's going to be a tall order for Indiana to neutralize them. Breanna Stewart has firmly established herself as one of the WNBA's top talents, and like her forward counterparts in Los Angeles, she presents a major matchup problem for the Fever. Beyond Stewart, the Fever will also need to contend with the Storm's outside attack: Seattle currently gets 29% of its offense from the 3-point shot, more than any other team in the WNBA.

Sunday, June 24: vs Connecticut Sun (6 pm ET)

The Sun have regressed somewhat, losing their last 3 games, and this should give the Fever some confidence heading into this matchup. The health of forwards Alyssa Thomas and Chiney Ogwumike is currently in question, which, if this is still a factor on Sunday, could level the playing field for Indiana's smaller frontcourt. Outside threats like Mitchell and Vivians could also have big games here.

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