June 16, 2023 

Locked on Women’s Basketball: I’ve got a Fever and the only prescription is more Boston

Boston helps Indiana surge back into WNBA playoff contention

In the latest episode of Locked on Women’s Basketball, Natalie Heavren and our Indiana beat reporter Tony East talk about the surging Fever and the superstar who was promised, Aliyah Boston.

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Indiana opened the season with two blowout losses to Connecticut and New York, leaving many to wonder if this year would be a slog like it’s been for several years in a row now. But since that opening weekend, the Fever are 4-4, with all four losses by five points or less. And the playoffs look like a real possibility for this team.

Perhaps no week has the young Indiana squad looking better than this one, when the Fever blasted the Washington Mystics 88-67 on Tuesday, then went to local rival Chicago and beat the Sky 92-90 on a last-second shot from Kelsey Mitchell.

Mitchell is currently the team’s leading scorer at 16.8 points per game. But right behind her in scoring — and arguably are Indiana’s young frontcourt duo of 2022 No. 2 overall pick NaLyssa Smith and 2023 No. 1 pick Aliyah Boston.

Boston has more than lived up to the hype. She’s averaging 15.1 points (on 66.3% shooting from the field), 7.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. She’s only 10 games into her WNBA career, but her impact is already evident.

“It took eight games for opponents to go, ‘Yeah, we should double team or like they did in college,’” East said. “So that fun little experience where she got to explore the bigger paint and not get double-teamed lasted eight games of her pro career. And now all of a sudden, she’s right back to that because that’s the best way to stop the Fever — is to let someone else do really well to try to let someone else score.”

With the double-teams now coming at Boston, Smith is playing off of her fellow frontcourt mate perfectly, averaging 14.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per game as Boston blocks out the opponent’s best offensive rebounders.

Boston, to her credit, picked up five assists against Phoenix last Sunday and six against Washington on Tuesday.

“She’s so good already … they already have to double teamer because she’s so frickin’ good,” East said. “It’s everything a young Fever team needed … It has been wonderful to see how dominant she is and see that everybody who told me how good she is was exactly right. She is an amazing player.”

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