Records: Indian Fever (15-9) at Seattle Storm (7-19)
Location: KeyArena, Seattle, WA
Game Time: 08/21/15 at 7:00pm PST
Broadcast: No TV, Live Access Streaming
Season Series: Indiana leads 1-0; last victory - July 8th 88-65.
All-Time Record: 14-15 - Fever
The Indiana Fever come to Seattle as the hottest team in the league; winning four games in a row and 7-1 their last eight games since the All-Star Break. This hot streak they've been on has pushed them into 2nd place in the Eastern Conference (tied with the Washington Mystics) and trailing the New York Liberty by two games for the number one seed. Meanwhile, the Storm are coming off their victory over the San Antonio Stars this past Sunday, 72-63. The Storm have gone 2-2 in their last four games as they continue to compete for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Storm are currently in last place, but trail the Los Angeles Sparks by one and a half games. The Storm also hold the regular season tie-breaker against Los Angeles, should those teams end in a tie.
The Fever are led by All-Star forward Tamika Catchings, who holds the honor of being selected to the most WNBA All-Star selections with ten. She's also arguably the greatest defensive player in WNBA history; winning Defensive Player of the Year on five separate occasions. Catchings leads Indiana in scoring and rebounding at 12.9 PPG and 7.0 RPG; she is also second on the team in assists with 2.2 APG. The Fever have two other players that average in double-figures, Marissa Coleman (12.0 PPG) and Shenise Johnson (11.1 PPG). Indiana is a well-balanced team with six players averaging 8.2 PPG or more. Indiana's last six victories have all been by double-digits.
The Storm will need to play them tough and not fall behind early to keep up with red-hot Indiana. Jewell Loyd continues to impress as she led the team in scoring with 18 points against San Antonio this past Sunday. Crystal Langhorne, similar to Tamika Catchings, leads the team in scoring and rebounding with 11.0 PPG and 5.9 RPG. Veteran All-Star guard Sue Bird is 2nd in scoring at 10.4 ppg and leads the team in assists with 5.6 APG.
As the season has gone on, Seattle has relied more on their youthful core of Jewell Loyd, Ramu Tokashiki, forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Center Markeisha Gatling. The latter two have really started to improve over the past five games; each getting much more playing time than they saw at the beginning of the season.
WHAT TO WATCH:
Markeisha Gatling has continued to get more comfortable in the Storm's offensive system as the season has gone on. She has a lot of talent to potentially become a dominant low-post scorer in the future, but she's still a work in progress. She had a career high 16 points against Chicago last week and backed that up with 9 points against the Stars on Sunday. Will she continue to improve her game and become a more consistent scorer for the team that desperately needs it?
Can Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis have another breakout performance, this time at home? In the last two games of the Storm's recent six game road trip, KML finally broke out with back-to-back performances of 15 and 14 points. Since returning back to Seattle, she's played well but hasn't had a real impressive game quite like those. Can she get her big breakout game at home tonight?
With the news that Japanese Rookie Star Ramu Tokashiki will be headed back to Japan after this game, to participate in the Japanese FIBA games; how will that affect her on the court tonight?