August 31, 2023 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: Time to stop sleeping on Indiana Fever’s NaLyssa Smith

Smith discussed the Fever's success and how she has evolved in Year 2

Indiana forward NaLyssa Smith joined Howard Megdal for the latest episode of the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast. The two discussed the Fever’s success which includes three consecutive victories and one of the WNBA’s highest net ratings. They also talked about how her game has evolved in Year Two of her professional career.

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Howard’s first question for NaLyssa was about her bio on X, formerly known as Twitter. It simply reads “#Slept On” and tags the Indiana Fever.

“I feel like you always got to kind of say like you slept on, you know, just always make you play with that chip on your shoulder,” Smith said. “So I feel like every day, you know, I’m gonna say that I’m slept on and counted out. I think it could just turn into a motivational aspect.”

Then, Howard dove into the stats since Smith returned from a recent injury. In that time, the Fever are fourth in the league in net rating and second in offensive rating alone with 108.2 points per 100 possessions.

“When you’ve lost so many times, you kind of get tired of feeling,” Smith said. “So when you get that taste of winning it’s just like you want that feeling all the time. I think we just built on everything you know, when we were winning, we just kept building on and building on and we never got satisfied. I think that’s why we’re getting this result.”

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The two also talked about how Smith’s perspective has changed after watching the team from the bench through her injury.

“I will say when I was injured, it kind of like opened up my perspective on a lot of things,” Smith said. “On the bench, I was keeping track of some of the stats that we were doing and some of the empty possessions and turnovers and stuff like that. And I feel like when you’re playing, it’s just like, all you’re thinking about is I need to score and I need to get his stuff on the other end. But you’re not thinking about like how many empty possessions you have before like the shots you took. And I think that was kind of like my biggest eye opener was just seeing like how many empty possessions we have before. It’s like, alright, we need to go inside or we need a good shot right here.”

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