Previewing the season for one of the league’s top title contenders
In the latest episode of the Locked On Women’s Basketball Podcast, host Ben Dull is joined by Jeff Metcalfe of AZCentral Sports to preview the upcoming season for the Phoenix Mercury.
This episode is the first of a team-by-team season preview series leading up to the start of the 2019 WNBA regular season.
Topics covered in this episode include:
- Diana Taurasi’s back surgery, the team’s early reaction to it and how the team can get out to a good start without the All-WNBA guard
- why a healthy Briann January will make a big difference in Taurasi’s absence and down the line in the postseason
- expectations for DeWanna Bonner and Brittney Griner in carrying a bigger scoring load
- Sancho Lyttle’s progress to date in returning from last season’s ACL tear and how her timetable and presence affects the players looking to nab one of the final roster spots
- early impressions in training camp of rookies Arica Carter, Sophie Cunningham, Alanna Smith, Brianna Turner and Emese Hof
- the addition of free agent wing Essence Carson and the ripple effects her presence may have on Yvonne Turner and Steph Talbot in the rotation
- the tough decisions facing general manager Jim Pitman and head coach Sandy Brondello in finalizing the team’s 12-player roster
The Mercury finished with a 20-14 record last regular season, earning the No. 5 seed heading into the postseason. They defeated the Connecticut Sun on the road in the second round to advance to the semifinals, where they came up just short in Game 5 against the Seattle Storm.
Taurasi is expected to miss 10 to 12 weeks. You can read the latest from our own Brendon Kleen, who spoke recently to Taurasi at Mercury training camp.
The Mercury travel to Seattle to begin the 2019 WNBA regular season to take on the Storm on May 25. The game will be televised on ABC.
Love our 24/7 women’s basketball coverage? Join our Patreon now and support this work, while getting extra goodies and subscriber-only content for yourself.