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Mercury Meter: Slow starts and rebounding are building concerns for the Phoenix Mercury

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Even the best team in the league has flaws and things to work on. Great teams identify and adapt...

Christian Petersen

Record: 23-4 (.852)

Place In Standings: First (+1.5 on Minnesota)

Points Per Game: 84.93 (1st)

Points Against: 74.30 (1st)


After losing one game in the past month and a half it is sensational and trendy to say the Phoenix Mercury need to get back in the lab and figure out what they are doing wrong. What they did wrong was run into the second best team in the WNBA, in their home arena, at full strength... The Mercury were not at 100% and they lost the battle with an impending war on the horizon in the Western Conference Finals.

Not much the Mercury could control in that game beyond their effort level.

For the most part the Mercury played with effort. They lost by only eight points, had more steals/blocks, equal free-throw attempts, and equal turnovers for the game overall, but were dominated in the first quarter as well as on the boards. That is the concern for the team right now.

With a lead heading into the final stretch of the season in the standings and guaranteed home court in round one the question of fatigue rears into view. Should the Mercury rest certain players heading into the playoffs? Or, should they trust the bench more and give them more minutes in big games. There are only big games remaining for the Mercury with the season coming to a halt and the playoffs on the horizon...


Starting Slow...

One of the trademarks of the Mercury's winning streak was coming out of the gates strong, pushing their opponents into a hole, and then imposing their will on teams throughout the rest of the game. They did that to perfection in the first 15-games of the winning streak. Then fatigue, confidence, or whatever you want to call it set in for the team as they lost the first quarter of the last win in the streak and the streak ender.

Comparing the first 15-games to the last three overall games for the Mercury:

15 Wins: +87 (+5.8 per quarter) First Quarter Margin & -9 (-0.6 per game) Rebounding Margin

Last 3 Games: -13 (-4.3 per quarter) First Quarter Margin & -19 (-6.3 per game) Rebounding Margin

Quality of opponents has to be mentioned here as the last two games were against the Minnesota Lynx and Indiana Fever who are Top 4 teams in the WNBA looking to win a Championship. The Mercury have to execute against these teams as they become the only teams on the schedule in 17 days.


...and Let's Compare The Mercury/Suns.

Right now the Phoenix Mercury are 79.4% through the season with a nearly spotless record of 24-3 (.852) as they march towards the playoffs. At this point the Phoenix Suns, 37-28 (56.9%), and heading towards the playoffs if all things clicked. In the end they did not click, but the Suns and the Mercury are putting together a year of basketball that the fans of the Valley will look back fondly on for years.


Upcoming Schedule

Tuesday vs. Atlanta Dream at 7:00 p.m. AZ Time

Thursday at San Antonio Silver Stars at 5:00 p.m. AZ Time

Saturday vs. Minnesota Lynx at 7:00 p.m. AZ Time