Mystics (0-1) at Fever (1-0) Preview
Game Info: 8:00 pm EDT, Sunday, May 23, 2004
Opposing teams know to look out for Indiana forward Tamika Catchings. But that might not be enough anymore.
The Fever will look to ride a balanced attack to another win when they host the Washington Mystics.
Catchings was held to just 14 points -- five below her career average -- on 4-for-12 shooting in the Fever's 69-67 win over the New York Liberty on Friday in the season opener.
However, guard Kelly Miller, acquired in an offseason trade with Charlotte, picked up the slack by scoring 18 points. Miller barely averaged four points per game over her first three WNBA seasons.
``When someone is out or struggling, someone else has got to pick it up. We had to do that tonight,'' Miller said. ``We have a lot of scoring threats. That's what's going to make us dangerous.''
Catchings, who has been an All-Star in both her professional seasons, averaged 19.7 points per game last year, and led the Fever in points (671), rebounds (272), assists (114), steals (72) and blocks (35).
``Having Kelly out on the court makes it much easier for me,'' Catchings said. ``People have to respect her. If you drive, and she's open, and you kick it to her, you know the ball's going in.''
Natalie Williams added 11 points and 12 rebounds Friday for the Fever.
``I looked at the stat sheet at the half, and Tamika was 1-for-7. But hey, we were tied,'' first-year coach Brian Winters said. ``It's nice when you can get some points from other places. Kelly Miller played a nice game.''
The Mystics are coming off Saturday's 71-68 loss to the Charlotte Sting in their opening game. Chamique Holdsclaw had 25 points, and Tamicha Jackson added 17 for Washington.
Rookie Alana Beard made her debut for Washington, scoring just 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting with two steals and four blocked shots. She missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
``She's a great defensive player let's not forget that, but I think she struggled a little bit offensively,'' said coach Michael Adams, who was also making his WNBA debut. ``I don't think we had too many players making too many shots in the first half anyways."