The Indiana Fever have won their first WNBA championship on Oct. 21 after 12 years of reaching for this goal. Tamika Catchings deserves the praise she has been receiving for the win, but efforts from Erin Phillips and Briann January were also an important part of the final game. It was the Fever's correct approach to Game 4 of the WNBA finals that helped them earn the championship.
The Indiana Fever vs. the Minnesota Lynx
Game 4 ended with a final score of 87-78 and secured the Indiana Fever's first WNBA championship. Tamika Catchings scored 25 points, but it was her tireless efforts throughout the Fever's season that were celebrated by fans. Indiana has been chasing the WNBA title for 12 years, and it was one of the few missing trophies for Catchings.
Tamika Catchings was joined by strong performances from Erin Phillips with 18 points and Briann January with 15 points. Shavonte Zellous added another 15 points in Game 4. Although she missed everything except the final 3 seconds, fans had the chance to see Katie Douglas back on the court. It was a welcome reminder of her presence on the team, and the loss the Fever managed to survive after she hurt her ankle earlier this season.
The Right Approach to Game 4
The Indiana Fever have been in the finals in previous seasons and left empty-handed, so it was refreshing to see the team change its approach this time. Complacency and lackluster performances were not a part of these WNBA finals. Coach Lin Dunn was outspoken about changing the team's approach during 2012 and forcing it to view the games individually. This required the Indiana Fever to play every game as if they were losing despite having an advantage.
After winning Game 1 of the WNBA finals, the Fever lost Game 2 but regained their lead by winning Game 3. The Oct. 21 game was crucial for Indiana, and fans were not disappointed. Lin Dunn's words made an impact on the players because they were able to isolate the game in their minds as something that required a strong effort regardless of their previous wins. This detachment helped the Indiana Fever beat the Minnesota Lynx to earn their first WNBA championship.
More from this contributor:
Lana has been following the Indiana Fever since they were founded in 2000. Follow her @Lana_Bandoim on Twitter.