INDIANAPOLIS—It was a loss to the wrong team, the wrong place, and the wrong time.
"Its even more disappointing to see the lack of energy that we had," said guard Tamika Catchings in explaining why the Fever were outscored 37-19 in the final 20 minutes in a Game One Eastern Conference Finals loss to Detroit.
For the fourth straight season, the Fever now teeter on the brink of elimination thanks to the Shock, needing to win games two and three in order to their first WNBA Finals.
"At this point we're looking at it one game at a time for sure," said Catchings of the team.
Read: Detroit Wins Game 1 Over Fever
Yet a loss to Detroit only brings back more bad memories for fans of the franchise, who for three years before have watched Detroit end their season. In two of the three series, the Fever lost game one and won game two once, which happened last season in the first round. In the 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, the Fever won their first game at home, but dropped two on the road as Catchings struggled with injuries.
Only once in team playoff history have the Fever come back to win a series after dropping the opening game, which happened in the 2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals when they lost on the road to Katie Douglas' Connecticut Sun, but won two games at Conseco Fieldhouse.
"We potentially can win two games in a row, we've done it before," said Catchings. "We've won 11 in a row, so its not like 'Ok we've never won games in a consistent manner."
One of the things for me is just telling everyone 'Hey, we're in a great situation even though we're down 1-0."
See: Hawl In Blog: Fever Need To Be Like Bulls' Dynasty
Thought you can't blame the Fever for having some optimism about Friday's Game Two, or Saturday's Game Three, if necessary. 15-3 is their record overall at home this season, including a playoff win in the first round over Washington.
"It definetely takes away a lot of the sting," said Catchings of being able to come home for potentially two games. "The last couple of years that we've been out at Detroit, our season has ended at Detroit, but to have the opportunity to come out here in front of our own fans, like I've talked about all season, they're our X factor."
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Usually the intangible for the Fever in the playoffs has been their second half play, which twice rallied them to victories against Washington in the first round. Catchings
"Tammy Sutton Brown did great in the beginning, and then we got away from it," said Catchings of the second half. "And I think the turnovers led to a lot of their transition points and also on defense just not helping each other out."