Indiana Fever forward Tamika Catchings has been suspended one game without pay for making contact with a game official in the fourth quarter of the Fever’s 77-74 win over the Phoenix Mercury at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on June 12.
The suspension was announced by Todd DeMoss, Associate Vice President for WNBA Basketball Operations.
During the game, the 2012 WNBA Finals MVP received a personal foul and a technical foul on the play, in which she tried to block a shot by a Mercury player.
Indiana (1-3) ended its winless start with Friday’s 77-74 home win over Phoenix, giving Coach Stephanie White her first victory. Who contributed the most? Well, none other than Catchings herself.
The 35-year-old Catchings had 27 points, including two free throws with 7 seconds left, which helped the Indiana Fever beat the Phoenix Mercury. She also had 13 boards in her second game, converting a layup with 1:23 left that gave the Fever the lead for good.
According to WNBA, Catchings will serve her suspension Sunday as Indiana faces the Chicago Sky at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Once again, it will be a showdown without Catchings on court.
Known to every WNBA fan, the nine-time WNBA All-Star was also unavailable with a knee injury in the Fever’s season opener against Chicago as the Sky defeated Indiana 95-72.
Catchings is really an asset to Fever and her absence in the next game can be a great hindrance to catch their second win. Unfortunately, her suspension won’t slow down WNBA leading scorer Elena Delle Donne and the Sky. For sure, the Sky are already thinking of using the untimely suspension of Fever’s best player to their advantage.
However, Coach White can still make another game strategy to win over Sky on Sunday. If Catchings is not around, then she can use Shavonte Zellous for their team’s advantage. The latter’s toughness and energy will help them upset their opponent. Fever just have to trust Zellous’ skills on the hard court.
Who knows? Maybe they could still triumph over Chicago Sky despite Catchings’ suspension.