The Indiana Fever are in the WNBA Eastern Conference Finals for the fourth consecutive year. Game 1 against the the Chicago Sky is 7:00 pm Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Stephanie White, associate head coach for the Indiana Fever, will take over from head coach Lin Dunn when she retires after this season. The players are keeping the "win for Lin" mentality very much in mind.
"I think everybody wants to win for Lin. She has been just such an amazing inspiration to everybody that has played for her, everyone who has worked for her, and so we certainly want to send her out on top," said White.
Coach Dunn has talked a lot about "attacking the basket." We asked White how that's been successful for the Fever in the playoffs.
"I think anytime you're in attack mode, you're the aggressor. You're the one that forces the defenders to get in rotation; you're the one that forces the officials to make calls and we're just a much better team when we have that mindset, not only offensively but defensively as well," White explained.
Many basketball fans know about Tamika Catchings, but one of the other players making a difference in the playoffs is Briann January.
"Her growth process has been amazing to see. Bri is one of those players because she is so quick with the basketball and she's a very heady player as well offensively, but she can dictate a lot of what happens on the offense into the floor with her ability to play off the dribble and find her open teammates. I think it's been really important, the growth of her game and the evolution of her game, but more importantly, her confidence in herself and being able to instill it that as well in her teammates," said White.
Chicago figures to come into this game with lots of confidence, beating the top-seed in the east Atlanta. White says her team is well aware of who to watch out for.
"I think anybody who watched that game against Atlanta knows you have to be aware of Elena Delle Donne. She's a terrific player in just her second season and she can score it from anywhere. She's a tough match-up just like Tamika Catchings is for us. But at the same time they have very capable players - an All-Star in in Sylvia Fowles; an All-Star in Epiphanny Prince. So I think we have to be focused on the defensive end of the floor. We have to execute our game plan and then offensively we have to stay in that attack mode that you mentioned," she said.
White, who spoke to WTHR on our noon show Tuesday, did a spot-on impression of the head coach, explaining that when Lin Dunn is exasperated, she'll turn to White on the sidelines and say, "'Now why would she do that? Boy, if we had a brain we'd be dangerous!'"