(photo credit: Twitter/PhoenixMercury)
The Mercury have just four games to go before the Olympic break, when five (count them, five) of their players will be participating in the Olympics. The Mercury are currently fifth in the Western Conference, standing at 7-8. They’ve got three tough teams to play, all of whom are ahead of them in the standings. This last stretch of games in the first half may provide extra motivation for them to finish it out with a solid record.
The Minnesota Lynx
After losing to the Lynx the other night, the Mercury are looking to take a game back. They shot 27.3% from beyond the arc, compared to the 46.2% that the Lynx knocked down. Kia Nurse will most likely need to step up, as she couldn’t record any points in the 22 minutes that she played. Brittney Griner continues to be an offensive beast, putting up 28 points and doing what she does on the rebounding side with seven boards. Last game, Kayla McBride was able to take over for the Lynx in the third quarter, which is something that the Mercury should adjust for in this next matchup.
The Las Vegas Aces
The Aces have been one of the toughest teams to beat in the W this season. They’re in second place, but have the same record as the league-leading Storm. They have a stacked team that plays well together, as well as creating tough defensive matchups for opponents. The Cambage-Griner matchup will be good practice for the Olympics, when their respective teams will face off (as if they aren’t already familiar with one another).
The Seattle Storm
As if this schedule isn’t hard enough, the Mercury get their last two games before the Olympics against the defending champions. This will be their first matchup of the season, the only other time being a preseason game (which the Mercury lost). All four of the games left for the Mercury will greatly impact their location in the Western Conference standings, something that they need to be thinking about while finishing off the first half of the season.
Remaining Schedule (All times ET)
Lynx @ Mercury Jul. 3, 10:00 p.m.
Mercury @ Aces Jul. 7, 10:00 p.m.
Storm @ Mercury Jul. 9, 9:00 p.m.
Mercury @ Storm Jul. 11, 6:00 p.m.
Mercury Players (and Coach!) Headed to the Olympics
Diana Taurasi (Team USA
Brittney Griner (Team USA)
Skylar Diggins-Smith (Team USA)
Kia Nurse (Team Canada)
Alanna Smith (Team Australia)
Coach Sandy Brondello (Team Australia)
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