Sad news: Indiana Fever’s are facing a major setback as the team sidelined two premiere players in an extended period of time whilst..

Before their game against the Seattle Storm on Thursday, the Indiana Fever were informed of some unfortunate news.  The organization stated on Wednesday that forward Temi Fagbenle would be out for a minimum of two to three weeks because of a left foot injury he suffered during Tuesday’s 88-82 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks.

In addition, guard Erica Wheeler has a personal absence from Thursday’s game.Playing in her first WNBA season since 2019, Alexa Philippou of ESPN reports that Fagbenle, who was just added to the starting lineup two games ago, has been averaging 9.1 points and 5.6 rebounds in 23.1 minutes per game.

The squad has greatly benefited from her defensive prowess and growing rapport with rookie Caitlin Clark, particularly in their transition attack.

The story of an All-Time Great: Temi Fagbenle on her rise, resilience and  respect for the All-Star Game – Women's British Basketball League

Wheeler, who initially stepped in as a starter while Kelsey Mitchell recovered from an ankle injury, has been averaging 3.5 points and 2.1 assists in 16.3 minutes per game. The Fever are currently 1-7 and ranked 11th in the standings. The minus-15.6 net rating ranks worst in the league.

In their recent clash with the Sparks May 28, the Fever faced a tough battle. The game, held at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, ended in a 88-82 loss for Indiana despite a career-high performance from Clark, who scored 30 points, had three blocks, three steals and six assists.

In sharp contrast to their 28-point first quarter in their previous game against the Las Vegas Aces, the Fever got off to a poor start in this one, scoring just 15 points in the first quarter. Highlights of the first half were Clark’s defensive play, which included a noteworthy block on Sparks’ 6-foot-7 center Li Yueru. Early in the second quarter, Clark also made a big 28-footer in transition to cut the Fever’s deficit to four points.

In the second half, the Fever were unable to stop the Sparks’ offensive momentum despite their best attempts. Guards Kia Nurse and Aari McDonald of the Sparks settled into a groove, scoring 43 points apiece with eight three-pointers apiece. The Fever enjoyed a brief lead (9-0 run earlier in the quarter), but this scoring burst started halfway through the third quarter.

The Fever’s defensive lapses were evident as they allowed the Sparks to score 29 points in the fourth quarter. Head coach Christie Sides acknowledged the breakdown in defensive schemes, citing poor execution and late reactions as key issues. The Sparks’ efficiency from beyond the arc, shooting 14-for-23 (60.9%), contrasted sharply with the Fever’s 10-for-30 performance.


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