For better or worse from the 2021 season

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Indiana Fever started the 2021 season with buzz around a great promotion campaign for their new jerseys and an exciting mix of veterans and upcoming players on the list.

The pitfalls of the pandemic-shortened 2020 season were apparently behind them. They had their first full training camp under second-year coach Marianne Stanley, which gave them plenty of time to learn Stanley’s system and play with more continuity on the field.

The pieces were in place for the underperforming Fever, but the season resolved quickly.

The fever started 1-5 and then ended in a franchise-worst 12-game losing streak before ending up in last place (6-26), ending with the franchise’s lowest season winning streak (2018, 2020). The fever has not had a winning season since Tamika Catchings retired in 2016, and once in the off-season, the fever is now in the midst of a five-year playoff drought.

Here’s the good and bad of Fever’s 2021 season:

THE GOOD

Teaira McCowan

FILE - Teaira McCowan had a big fight from the bench for Fever against Chicago last Saturday.

The Fever saw center McCowan as a potential franchise pillar after drafting her No. 3 overall in 2019, and the third-year post has only confirmed that belief with her continued star play. McCowan recorded career highs in points (11.3), rebounds (9.6), field goal percentage (53.7), blocks (1.6) and assists (1.1) per game. match.

The former Mississippi State star also broke the franchise rebound record she set as a rookie with 308 rebounds in 2021.

Having a dominant presence inside is a must for success in the WNBA. McCowan has shown the ability to keep up with the best in the league. The next step is to take an All-Star leap. The potential is there, but the question will always be whether the fever can surround her with the talent needed to achieve greatness.

Kelsey Mitchell

Indiana Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell (0) shoots ahead of Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (4) in the second half of a WNBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, September 6, 2021. (AP Photo / Michael Conroy)

Mitchell has always been a talented goal scorer, but in Year 4, the sweet shooting guard has developed the consistency of a top-tier, go-to-scoring guard in the WNBA.

Mitchell matched last season’s breakout performance with an average of 17.8 points per game. The left-hander currently owns a league-best 23-game series of matches in double-digit goals.

More:How Kelsey Mitchell developed into one of the top scorers in the WNBA

Chances in election No. 1

I could go with point guard Danielle Robinson, who kept well down at the start point guard spot in Julie Allemand’s absence, but at the age of 32, a strong season from Robinson does not affect the fever’s long-term prognosis.

Kentucky guard Rhyne Howard (10) drives past Iowa guard Kate Martin (20) during the second half of a college basketball game in the second round of the women's NCAA tournament at Greehey Arena in San Antonio, Texas, Tuesday, March 23, 2021 Iowa defeated Kentucky 86-72.

A golden edge in Fever’s futility is their increased chances of the overall number 1 in the 2022 draft. WNBA draft odds are based on the overall records for a team’s last two seasons. At 12-42, the fever has the best chances (44.20%) of winning the No. 1 pick in the draft lottery.

The Fever have won the lottery seven times and had the best odds once before, but they have never won the lottery. The consequences of winning the lottery are significant because the potential No. 1 overall choice, Rhyne Howard, is the type of talent that Fever desperately needs. 6-2 the guard / attacker had an average of 19.9 points per. fight through three years in Kentucky, where he shot 38% from 3 and snatched 6.8 rebounds per game. match.