Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

So how accurate was Lin Dunn in predicting how the Fever would beat the Sun?

Published on October 10, 2012

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The Fever at the Sun.

It was just last Friday that the Connecticut Sun defeated the Indiana Fever, 76-64 to give the Sun a one game to none advantage in the WNBA Eastern Conference finals.

After the game, Fever coach Lin Dunn issued the following prediction as only she can do:

I’m not asking for miracles, just to go from 38 percent (shooting) to 42, and I think we can do that. But we have got to step up and knock down those open shots. I also think that we have to keep our poise and composure. When the calls don’t go how we like it, you’ve got to keep your poise. You’ve got to slow down, you’ve got to execute a little bit better, you’ve got to find the open person if you’re being double teamed, slow down and execute.

I think it’s obvious we didn’t do a better job getting (Erlana) Larkins touches. She shot 50 percent, she only got eight shots. We need to re-look where we get the ball, and knock down the open shots. Once again, if they win the boards, they’re probably going to win the ball game. We were even at half, and then they come out on top. [The Sun outrebounded Fever 30-25 for the game] And they got fifteen second-chance points. So we’re going to take away five of those second-chance points, we’re going to hit five more of our shots, we’re going to get to the free throw line two or three more times, and we’re going to win the second game. That’s how we’re going to do it.

The Fever did,in fact, win game two, when Shavonte Zellous hit that jumper that will live in Fever lore with half a second to go.

But was coach Dunn correct in her predictions? Let’s check it out.

1. “I’m not asking for miracles, just to go from 38 percent (shooting) to 42, and I think we can do that. But we have got to step up and knock down those open shots.”

The Fever in fact knocked down those open shots more effectively, hitting 44.1 percent after that 38 percent in game one. One point for Dunn!

2. “I think it’s obvious we didn’t do a better job getting (Erlana) Larkins touches. She shot 50 percent, she only got eight shots.”

Larkins is credited with eight shots once again, however, her free throw attempts increased from two to four, and her offensive rebounds from three to six. Therefore, the Fever did indeed get Larkins more touches, none more important than her involvement in the scramble leading to Zellous’ shot at the end. Two for Dunn!

3. “Once again, if they win the boards, they’re probably going to win the ball game. We were even at half, and then they come out on top.”

The Sun did win the rebounding battle once again, this time by a 35 to 30 margin. No point for Dunn here.

4. “They got fifteen second chance points. So we’re going to take away five of those second chance points.”

Game one the Sun had fifteen second-chance points, game two they had fourteen second-chance points, so no point for Dunn here either.

5. “We’re going to hit five more of our shots.”

Game one the Fever made 24 shots, game two the Fever made 30 shots. Winner, point for Dunn!

6. “We’re going to get to the free throw line two or three more times.”

The Fever shot 12 free throws in game one, they shot sixteen free throws in game two. Point Dunn!

So, after game one, Dunn listed six goals that her team would reach, and that was going to lead to victory in game two.

In the final analysis, the Fever achieved four of those goals: they improved their field goal percentage, got Erlana Larkins more touches, hit five more shots, and got to the free throw line a few more times.

Connecticut still outrebounded the Fever, and had virtually the same amount of second chance points.

So if winning four out of the six challenges Dunn lay before her team equaled a one point Indiana victory, we know what each team has to do to win game three, right?

We will find out Thursday night in Connecticut at 8:30 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on ESPN2.


 

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