— Indiana Fever Extend WNBA Record by Clinching 12th Consecutive Playoff Berth
WASHINGTON – The Indiana Fever (16-15) have clinched a berth in the 2016 WNBA Playoffs presented by Verizon, by virtue of today’s win at Washington. It is the Fever’s 12th consecutive playoff berth and its 13th in 16 years. The Fever’s 12 straight appearances (2005-16) extend their own WNBA record and represent the third-longest active playoff streak among major American professional sports leagues (Detroit Red Wings, 25; San Antonio Spurs, 19).
The Fever’s 12-year mark is longer than any playoff streak in NFL or MLS history, and longer than only the Atlanta Braves (14) and New York Yankees (13) in MLB history.
Starting today, fans can register at FeverBasketball.com for the Fever Flash newsletter and gain access to special playoff ticket offers. As the Fever advance to the playoffs, fans are invited to #WatchUsNow!
A new WNBA playoff format debuts this season, with the league’s top two overall seeds earning a bye into the best-of-five WNBA Semifinals (Sept. 28-Oct. 6). Teams seeded 5th through 8th participate in first-round elimination games on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Winners battle the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in second-round elimination games on Sunday, Sept. 25. Winners of second-round games reach the WNBA Semifinals (Sept. 28-Oct. 6). Semifinal winners advance to the WNBA Finals (Oct. 9-20).
Indiana, which reached the Eastern Conference Finals in five straight seasons and eight times overall under the previous format, has reached the playoffs in 13 of 15 active seasons played by retiring superstar Tamika Catchings. Catchings, 37 and in the final days of her regular season career, has played in a WNBA-record 67 playoff games, all with Indiana.
Final seeding, pairings, dates and times will not be determined until the conclusion of the regular season, Sept. 18. Below are facts about the Fever’s 11th straight playoff appearance:
• The 2016 playoff spot means 13 postseason appearances in the Indiana’s 17-year history. The Fever reached the Eastern Conference Finals in eight of the past 11 years, with trips to the WNBA Finals in 2009, 2012 and 2015. Indiana won the WNBA title in 2012 with Catchings named the Finals MVP.
• Stephanie White makes her second playoff appearance in as many years as a WNBA head coach. She reached the Eastern Conference Finals as a player with the Charlotte Sting in 1999, and reached the playoffs in each of the past four seasons as an Indiana assistant coach. Last year, she became the first rookie head coach in league history to guide her team to the Finals.
• Indiana’s 35 all-time playoff victories are the most in WNBA history. Catchings has played in every playoff game in franchise history, and is the league’s career leader in postseason points, rebounds, free throws and steals, is fourth all-time in playoff victories.
• Four players remain from the club’s 2012 championship team – Catchings, Briann January, Erlana Larkins, Jeanette Pohlen. Nine remain from last season’s Finals participant.
With the top three playoff seeds already clinched by Minnesota, Los Angeles and New York, Indiana enters the final week of the regular season in a tight race, hoping to secure a first-round bye and home court advantage with a No. 4 seed when playoffs begin.
The Fever are on the road Tuesday at Connecticut before hosting a pair of highly anticipated home games next weekend. Indiana hosts its annual Fan Appreciation Night presented by Sport Graphics on Friday, Sept. 16 against Minnesota (7:00 p.m.). The final regular season game in Catchings’ career is presented by Hoosier Lottery on Sunday, Sept. 18 against Dallas (4:00 p.m.). A special retirement ceremony is planned to honor Catchings immediately following the game.