INDIANAPOLIS - Basketball wise, they are still a young franchise.
A fan base is continuing to build. The team continues to grow on the achievements of those from the past while current players try to cement a standard to which future squads can follow.
There is also the role of rivals and villains to develop, players of teams that bring disdain or simply find a way to give the Fever fits no matter the team they play on.
Consider Cappie Pondexter the latter.
Her play with the Mercury denied the Fever an NBA Championship in 2009. Her play in the New York knocked the Fever out of a playoff series a year later while continuing to cause them problems to this day.
On Tuesday she continued to cement herself as the designated "Fever Killer", hitting an collection of fadeaway jumpers and double-team treys that quieted a kid fueled matinee crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"We held Pondexter to......33," sarcastically mentioned Fever coach Lin Dunn when looking at the guard's points on the stats sheet following the game.
Luckily, the team's resident hero had an answer in the time.
Just a game before departing for her third Olympics, Tamika Catchings erased a late Liberty lead with a pair of three pointer before hitting the game-winning free throws with the Fever with eight seconds left to go.
It was enough to overcome Pondexter and give the Fever an 84-82 victory for the second win in a row in the second-to-last contest before the month-long Olympic break.
Catchings' two-free throws with just under eight seconds to go were the game-winning points in a contest that went back and forth thanks to the two guards.
"Cappie had the game of her life tonight," said Catchings of her opponent. "She's a great player and you know great players are going to come up and step up big."
Pondexter did so in the second half when she had little trouble finding the range from the outside. She hit a collection of jumpers in the fourth quarter to help the Liberty rally from as much as 12-points down. Her three-pointer with 3:32 left gave New York a four-point lead.
"Cappie had one of those nights where she became All-World," said Dunn of Pondexter-who finished 13-of-19 from the field in scoring her 33 points.
It was at that point that the Fever's world-stage bound player found her groove. Held to just one basket in the second half, Catchings found an opening on the wing in back-to-back possessions and hit a pair of threes to push the Fever to the lead by two.
Pondexter tied the game soon after and then matched a three-pointer by Katie Douglas to knot the game up at 82 with under a minute to go. Things then took a turn in the final ten seconds, when Briann January drove the lane and missed a runner as the shot clock expired.
Frozen for a second by the buzzer the Liberty players stopped as Catchings went for the rebound. As Catchings got the ball, she was fouled by Leilani Mitchell and was put the line for a pair of free throws which she knocked down.
"I didn't think she realized what was going on," said Catchings of the play. "It was just kinda like a frustration foul."
Despite the lead and the addition to Catchings' team-high 23 points, another solid defensive stop was needed to preserve the win. Unlike most of the second half, the Fever kept the ball out of Pondexter's hands as a flurry of passes resulted in nothing except an Indiana victory.
"We were out there talking, switching, everyone was playing together," said January of the final defensive sequence. "I think that's what allows us to get stops."Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times