Caitlin Clark was viewed as a basketball messiah for the Indiana Fever when the franchise selected her first overall in the 2024 WNBA Draft. A team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016, the Fever had their fans dreaming of a big turnaround when they got the former Iowa Hawkeyes sharpshooter. 

But that is not what’s happening to the Fever’s season. They are still on pace to miss the playoffs. After their brutal 89-72 road loss at the hands of DiJonai Carrington and the league-leading Connecticut Sun on Tuesday, the Fever saw their record worsen to 3-10. In other words, the Fever had more wins after 13 games in 2023 than they have at this point of the 2024 campaign.

Granted that the Sun have been the best team this season thus far and that Connecticut has already defeated the Fever three times already, Indiana head coach Christie Sides still expected more from her team on Tuesday. Instead, she was left massively disappointed, especially by her team’s defense.

“I’m gonna start with—you can’t at this level coach effort. I felt like we were just asking them to keep playing hard… you can’t play in this league if you have to coach effort,” Sides told reporters following the game.

The Sun shot 46.2 percent from the field in that game and hit 8/17 (47.1 percent) of their threes. On top of that, Connecticut had a field day in the paint, scoring 36 points in the shaded area. The Fever just looked outmatched – on both ends of the floor. No wonder they’re third-worst in the league in offensive rating and worst in defensive rating. Their -15.8 net rating is also last in the league.

Christie Sides gets wild backlash after postgame rant

Sides didn’t seem to win lots of fans with her criticism of the team, though.

“Isn’t it a coaches job to motivate the team. What a big difference between the mystics effort and attitude and this team IMO. Curious how this plays out,” said X user 


Here’s @democracy_13 exposing Sides: “Sides was hired as a defensive specialist. Let that sink in.But hey, she can squat and clap with the best of them. A young team needs an experienced coach and not one doing on the job training. The longer Boston has been away from Staley the more she’s regressed.”

“How is she not fired yet,” wondered @Dangerbug.

“😂 you can’t coach! All you do is coach effort, it’s literally your calling cars. You clap and scream, god forbid you draw up a play for CC or revolve the entire offense around her,” chimed in @CallSaul505575.

The monster did not wake up for Caitlin Clark

If you’re wondering how Clark did, she didn’t fare well versus the Sun. She scored 10 points and it took her eight shots to get there. She was a liability for the Fever based on the fact that she finished the game with a minus-30 – the worst from anyone on either side. She also committed three turnovers to increase her season total to 70; no other player this season has more than 47.

Just a brutal night overall for Clark.

Clark and the Fever will look to get it together on Friday when they return to action to face the Atlanta Dream for the first time this season.