They've been here previously: One win away from the WNBA title. Tamika Catchings and Katie Douglas have faced it before, but not quite like this.
Catchings is at the top of her game, averaging 18.3 points and 9.0 rebounds in this postseason for the Indiana Fever. The Fever lead the WNBA Finals 2-1, so Catchings will go into Sunday's Game 4 against Minnesota trying to make it her last contest of this WNBA season.
Douglas, her teammate with the Fever since 2008, will be there to offer all the moral support possible. But it seems unlikely she'll be able to do much more. Douglas severely injured her left ankle early in the clinching game of the Eastern Conference finals on Oct. 11 and hasn't played since.
Indiana coach Lin Dunn has said the window for Douglas to get on court in this series cracks open just a little more each day, but clearly time is running short. Douglas wasn't at the Fever's workout or media availability Saturday.
"I text her every morning, and throughout the day we'll go back and forth," Catchings said. "I know it's a struggle when you're sitting on the sidelines and you want so bad to be out there. But it's life."
Catchings kind of laughed then, and added, "You know, we never do things easy, between her and I. I go out and tear my plantar fascia [last year during the playoffs], and now she's got her ankle that is black, blue, purple, orange, yellow -- a little of every color you can imagine. But I told her, 'You helped us get this far. This right here is a product of what we all started together.' "
Read the rest of the story by Mechelle Voepel.