Mercury Meter: How are the Phoenix Mercury doing 13 games into the season?

The duo of Diana Taursi and Brittney Griner were shackled with expectations and weighed down with pressure that hurt them out of the gates. Now, they are playing basketball the way most thought only these two transcendent players could...

Record: 8-5

Place In Standings: Third

Points Per Game: 84.8

Points Against: 85.4

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After starting the season 0-3 the Phoenix Mercury have found the right formula for winning over the course of the last 10 games going 8-2 in that stretch. They where never playing bad basketball as a team, but rather had a universally timid approach on the offensive end as a team. The timidness steamed from each individual not wanting to step on the toes of their teammates, but lead to a lack of cohesion.

Since then a pecking order has been established within the team allowing them to take the next step in the natural progression of any great team. Diana Taurasi has taken the reigns of the team and everyone is falling in line.

At this point in the season the team has five losses already and are 1-4 against teams that are above .500 so far on the season. They are doing what they are supposed to against the teams beneath them (7-1) winning games and doing so in convincing fashion at times against teams with lesser records. The problem is against the likes of Minnesota and Chicago.

In order to reach their potential the Mercury are going to have to beat the Lynx (0-3 this season) just to get to the Finals where they might meet the Sky. Those two teams are 4-0 against the Mercury beating them by an average score of 93-71.75 in those four games. Average margin of victory of 22.25 points in those games and the closest the Mercury have come in those games was against the Lynx in the second game between the two where they entered the fourth up 60-56 before a 24-9 quarter crushed them.

Winning games against the best teams in conference and across the league in general is paramount to the team being seen as a legitimate contender.

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Brittney Griner's Injury

Although it has not forced her to miss a lot of games, an early season left knee injury has plagued Griner to the point where she has been on a minutes limit. That has not derailed her from having an impact on the game, but it does prevent chemistry from being formed. She has moved from a reduced three minutes per quarter up to five minutes per quarter and is getting closer to being out there for 30 minutes a night to show her true impact on the game.

This season she has six games of 4+ blocks already and has done a great job intimidating scorers from entering what is rapidly becoming her domain -- the paint.

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Prahalis Struggling

As a rookie Samantha Prahalis started all 28 games she played in proving to be one of the better rookies overall in the 2012 Draft Class. She dazzled as the compliment to DeWanna Bonner scoring 11.6 points and dishing out 4.5 assists per game as a rookie. Was that all out of sheer necessity and opportunity?

This season Prahalis has five DNP Coaches Decisions as she has struggled with her new role relegated to the bench. She has been open about her personal struggles on the court acknowledging that she is not playing as well as she could and learning how to play with Taurasi. After the first two games of the season where she played 51 minutes total (6 PPG 3.5 APG 2 TPG) she has only appeared in six other games (50 minutes collectively) totaling 6 points, 9 assists, and 7 turnovers.

Is Prahalis the odd one out of the rotation? Is this a funk that can be resolved in house? Will she be moved to another team to gain more of an opportunity? All questions that will be addressed over time...

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Upcoming Schedule:

Wednesday vs. San Antonio Silver Stars at 12:30pm AZ Time

Sunday vs. Los Angeles Sparks at 3:00pm AZ Time

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