Indiana Fever ties WNBA benchmark with tenth straight playoff berth

One of the signature franchises in the WNBA, the Indiana Fever have made franchise history by earning their tenth consecutive playoff berth. A must-win against the New York Liberty saw Briann January lead the way with 16 points, contributing seven in the first quarter. All-Star Tamika Catchings posted 15 in the Fever’s 76-63 victory. Of note, the Liberty were led by league legend Tina Charles with a 15 point output.

A key factor in the win was attributed to the Fever’s strong defense. Holding the Liberty to a measly 39 percent shooting percentage, the Fever managed a 46-21 advantage at halftime. In addition, New York had committed 13 turnovers in the first half.

Despite finishing the regular season with a losing record, the past few years in sport have proven that upsets are highly possible. While the first round playoff matchup (presented by Boost Mobile) involves a tilt versus the , the Fever cannot be taken lightly.

For the last three years, the Fever qualified for the Eastern Conference Finals, including a Finals victory in 2012 against Minnesota. Catchings, one of five Fever players from the 2012 championship team, has played in every playoff game in Fever history. As the league’s all-time leader in postseason steals and free throws (her postseason rebounds rank second all-time), she will likely emerge as another factor in this year’s postseason, making the Fever a dark horse.

Taking into account that head coach Lin Dunn (a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame) will likely retire at season’s end; there is a strong emotional component to the squad’s playoff run. Her 20 career playoff victories rank first among WNBA female head coaches. On the all-time career playoff wins list, she ranks fourth. Ironically, New York head coach Bill Laimbeer is the all-time leader with 28 wins.

Regardless of the postseason outcome, the Fever’s tenth consecutive playoff berth matches a league record set by the Seattle Storm from 2004-13. In their 15-year history, the club has managed 11 postseason berths and two trips to the WNBA Finals (2009 and 2012).