Young Indiana Fever focusing on present during 20-game skid and not their losing past
NEW YORK (AP) — The Indiana Fever are just focusing on this season and not dwelling on the past.
Indiana (0-2) lost its 20th consecutive game dating to last year with Sunday’s 90-73 loss to New York. That tied the Tulsa Shock for the longest losing skid in WNBA history. Indiana also owns the third-longest losing streak
“We poured our mess out in our first team meeting,” Indiana first-year head coach Christie Sides said. “We’re not talking about last year. We’ve got to figure out how to find that win.”
Indiana hopes that victory comes next Sunday in its next game when the Fever visit Atlanta.
“(We’re) 0-2. That’s all that matters,” Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell said. “I can’t help what history says. (Stinks) to be a part of it. I feel we are in transition and changing and I do my best to lean on that.”
Mitchell was part of the team last season that lost its final 18 games. She already feels a shift in the organization.
“Culture has been big for our program and organization,” she said. “I think from an internal standpoint, we’ve changed in such a positive way.”
With nine first- and second-year players on the roster, including No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston, the Fever are excited for the future. Boston, who had a tremendous amount of success in college playing for Dawn Staley at South Carolina, had 15 points in Sunday’s loss.
“I’d say there is nothing but positivity around here right now,” said Fever second-year forward NaLyssa Smith, who had 16 points and 12 rebounds Sunday. “Everyone is excited for our future.”
While the team knows the future is bright, Sides wasn’t happy with the present. Indiana got off to another slow start for a third straight game.
The Fever trailed New York by 22 after one quarter. That came after Indiana was down by nine at the end of the first quarter against Connecticut in the opener Friday. Indiana also struggled in a preseason game against Dallas, getting off to a slow start as well.
“This is our third straight start where we got off to a bad start in the first quarter,” Sides said. “We can’t keep digging ourselves a hole in the first quarter.”
Sides also wasn’t happy with the defensive effort of her team.
“If you can’t play defense you can’t play for the Fever,” she said. “At this point, we’ve got to establish our defense at the defensive end of the court. That’s what we’re going to do and there’s going to be five people that are gonna play in the game that can do that.”