Mercury Meter: All-Star wins and regular season losses

The Phoenix Mercury are set to begin the second half of their season here this week looking to get the momentum rolling into the playoffs...

Record: 9-9

Place In Standings: Third

Points Per Game: 83.0

Points Against: 85.2

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The Phoenix Mercury did not have a lions share of games this past week with the All-Star Break taking up the weekend, but they did play one game against their elemental basketball Kryptonite... the Minnesota Lynx. This season the Lynx have taken apart the Mercury in impressive fashion.

On the season they have out scored the Mercury by 80 points and out-rebounded them by 30 in five games.

Injuries have played a major role in the last 24 months for the Mercury and they are not going away. Penny Taylor underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on her right knee. This is not the same knee that sidelined her all of last season, but will be the knee that sidelines her for the next 6-8 weeks. The season ends on September 15th giving Taylor an outside shot to return during the regular season and the playoffs. She has played 90 total minutes scoring 58 points so far. Not a loss in terms of how the season has gone so far, but more more of a loss for the long-term and playoff potential for the team.

The team also resigned Jasmine James to a new 7-day contract on July 28th keeping her on the roster through this Sunday (August 3rd). James was signed after former first round pick Samantha Prahalis was waived a little over a week ago.

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All-Star Game Recap

With two All-Stars on the Mercury roster only one saw 18 minutes of action, Diana Taurasi, while the Western Conference cruised to a victory. She scored her only points on a three-point shot in the first quarter and then after that the collective talent took over the game. Brittney Griner saw no action due to injury, but was out there soaking in the experience with her peers.

The West continued their dominance winning their eighth All-Star Game in the eleven year history of the event.

This was a good opportunity for the team to get healthy, rest, and get used to each other even more heading into the final stretch of the season. New faces like Jasmine James and frequently injured Taurasi, Brittney Griner, Penny Taylor, and Candice Dupree will have had eight days off between games before taking the floor next.

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Second Half Season Preview

This has been mentioned a few times here in the Mercury Meter, but the season as a whole is going to be defined by how the Mercury fair against teams above .500 in the standings. In the "first half" the team was 3-7 against teams above .500 including 0-5 versus the Minnesota Lynx and 2-1 against the Los Angeles Sparks. That translates more to the playoffs than it does the regular season because to get back to the WNBA Championship the Mercury will have to beat one or both of those teams in September.

Looking forward to the final 14 games the Mercury's schedule lightens up.

Only three games in the second half are against teams currently with a .500 or better record. They have a great opportunity to collect wins against the lower level teams that they were a combined 6-2 against in the first half of the season. While they have 11 games to pad their lead in the standings against lower level teams, in the end, it will be their performance in the three games against playoff teams that will define the team this season.

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Upcoming Schedule:

Thursday @ Seattle Storm at 7pm AZ Time

Saturday vs. Atlanta Dream at 7pm AZ Time

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