The Phoenix Mercury take on the Seattle Storm on Friday Night. It is the first time the two teams have played since the contract divorce of Tina Charles, who is now with Seattle. Phoenix has been up and down of late, while Seattle has been playing pretty well. If the Mercury wan to win this game, they will have to play excellent basketball.
Phoenix is at the bottom of the WNBA in rebounding, and Seattle has a lot of size and good rebounders on their team. However, the Mercury must do a better job of boxing out and having their guards crash the paint to help the bigs with rebounding. If Phoenix can not close the gap on the rebounding margin, it will lead to many second-chance points for the Storm.
The Mercury likes to shoot many three-point shots, but it is only good when they go in. Phoenix is last in the WNBA in three-point percentage but second in three-pointers attempted per game. With Phoenix being third in the league in two-point field goal percentage, they should focus on getting the ball in the paint. Skyla Diggins-Smith is good at getting to the basket and in the mid-range. If the Mercury can get to the basket, it could open up more open three-point shots for Diana Taurasi and the team.
Last but not least, the Mercury must play better defense; Seattle has a lot of players that can score on their team. With Breanna Stewart, Jewell Loyd, and Tina Charles off the bench. Phoenix must come out with a defensive mindset to win this game. Phoenix must defend the three=point line; they are last in the WNBA in defending from beyond the arc. Due to lack of size, Phoenix gives extra help in the paint, but they must close out on shooters better. If not, players like Loyd and Sue Bird will kill them from outside.
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