The Phoenix Mercury start their playoff run 2019

The Phoenix Mercury once again have not made it easy on themselves as they start their playoff run in Chicago tonight against the Chicago Sky. 

Due to injuries, suspensions and a host of other reasons, the Mercury find themselves playing in yet another elimination round of the playoffs. “We’ve been in this situation before, we’ve won on the road,” said Mercury head Coach Sandy Brondello, “ We have to put 40 minutes together if we expect to win this game.”

On beating the Sky and avoiding their fourth loss to this team, she said, “ We see DB (Dewanna Bonner) and BG (Brittney Griener) have been scoring in these series but we need more from others.” 

Veteran Briann January said, “ We know in the playoffs it’s zero – zero.” she added, “It’s (the playoffs) another level of intensity. You’re at max energy and have to stay together.” 

She went on to talk about how important defense will be, “Defense is energy, effort activity and heart. We’ve got to bring it.”

It will be a tall task to figure out how to stop the Sky’s all world players Allie Quigley, Diamond DeShields and Courtney Vandersloot. Coach Brondello said, “They are fast and more athletic, but it’s about execution, we have to limit our breakdowns that lead to open looks. We have to communicate and eliminate the unforced mistakes.”    

In the last three years, the Mercury are 6 – 0 in these elimination games, but this year they will be without the ultimate closer in sure Hall of Fame player Diana Taurasi. She will be listed as doubtful for the game tonight but all fingers point to her not playing. 

That just means “Someone else will have to step up,” says Coach Brondello 

If the Mercury can get past the Sky tonight, then it’s off to Los Angeles to play the Sparks on Sunday. The true key in winning this game is summed up by coach Brondello, “We just need to score one more point than them.”

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