INDIANAPOLIS – Marianne Stanley had to make sure that was in fact the final buzzer of the day.
“The practice just went so quickly,” she smiled after wrapping up. “I was like, ‘Wow, okay, that was great!'”
There’s no sense in the Fever taking things slow, as the team is planning to ratchet up the intensity when the season itself tips off.
“We’re gonna get up and guard you and be very aggressive in that,” Stanley explained. “I thought the energy was outstanding today.”
With so many young, fresh legs, the energy had better be outstanding. A new collective of talent, centered around four top 10 picks from last week’s 2022 WNBA Draft, now molds together as a unit.
“It was great,” says NaLyssa Smith, the second overall pick from that draft out of Baylor. “A whole new group of girls. It’s always fun getting to know everybody and gel with everybody.”
Some gelling happens quickly. More of it takes time, but it can’t take too much time.
“You start so soon, some things you throw at them and see how it goes,” explained fifth-year veteran guard Kelsey Mitchell. “Other stuff, you take it day-by-day.”
Veteran leadership and young talent must both find their roles on this new-look roster for the Fever to snap a five-year playoff drought. They’ll open the 2022 season Friday, May 6 visiting the Washington Mystics with the home opener two days later on Sunday, May 8 hosting the Los Angeles Sparks.