The Indiana Fever will raise its 2012 WNBA championship banner and present championship rings to its players in a pregame ceremony prior to tipping off its 2013 home schedule on Friday, May 31 (7:00 p.m.) against the Atlanta Dream. The home opening game is a repeat of playoff series the past two years and features the Eastern Conference champs from each of the past four seasons (Indiana in 2009, 2012; Atlanta in 2010, 2011).
The Fever will play 34 regular-season games including a season opener at San Antonio, Friday, May 24. Four games will be televised nationally, including a Saturday afternoon game on June 8 (3:30 p.m.) on ABC-TV when the Fever hosts the Phoenix Mercury and the WNBA’s No. 1 draft pick. Three subsequent ESPN2 dates include home dates on June 12 against Connecticut and July 23 against New York; and an August 24 road matchup with Minnesota.
Returning from an eighth straight playoff appearance in 2012, and nine in 13 seasons, Indiana begins its 14th WNBA season under the direction of sixth-year coach Lin Dunn. Dunn is the winningest coach in Fever history, leading Indiana to five consecutive playoff berths and four straight years with at least 20 wins. Now wearing the “defending champs” target on its back, Indiana has amassed at least 20 wins in seven of the past eight seasons, the only franchise in league history to make that claim.
The Fever’s schedule includes 22 games against the Eastern Conference and 12 against the West. The Fever plays four games apiece against Eastern foes Atlanta, Chicago and Washington; and squares off against Connecticut and New York five times. Home and away games are scheduled against each of six Western Conference opponents.
Indiana closes the regular season at Connecticut on Sunday, Sept. 15. Schedule highlights include:
- Indiana’s home opener is Friday, May 31 (7:00 p.m.) against 2012 WNBA scoring champion Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream, and will feature the raising of the club’s 2012 WNBA championship banner.
- The longest homestand of the season features four games capped by Indiana’s annual Kids Day game on Thursday, July 11 (12:00 p.m.) when the Minnesota Lynx come to town for a WNBA Finals rematch. The afternoon contest has annually drawn one of the Fever’s largest crowds of the season.
- The schedule features three visits by the Connecticut Sun and newly hired coach Anne Donovan, the former U.S. Olympic coach who guided the Fever during its inaugural campaign in 2000. The Sun, which the Fever defeated in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, is led by 2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles. Connecticut’s first appearance in Indianapolis is on Wednesday, June 12 (7:00 p.m.), followed by subsequent trips on Saturday, July 6 (7:00 p.m.) and Saturday, Sept. 7 (7:00 p.m.).
- The Fever welcomes another new, though returning, WNBA head coach when former NBA star Bill Laimbeer leads his New York Liberty into Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Tuesday, July 23 (7:00 p.m.) and Friday, Sept. 13 (7:00 p.m.).
- Indiana battles Western Conference foes in five straight games, and six of seven, in late August. The Fever closes the season with seven consecutive bouts against the East.