2004 Record
17-17, .500
(5th in West)

Points Scored
2300 (7th overall, 4th in West)
Points Allowed
2235 (4th overall, 3rd in West)
Scoring Differential
+1.9 (4th overall, 4th in West)

Award Winners & Honorees
Diana Taurasi
Penny Taylor
Anna DeForge
Diana Taurasi, First Team
Rookie of the Year
Diana Taurasi

2004 Draft Recap
Rd. 1 - 1, Diana Taurasi
Rd. 1 - 8, Chandi Jones
Rd. 2 - 14, Ashley Robinson
Rd. 3 - 27, Maria Villarroel

Playoff History
Three out of eight years
Last Appearance
2000, Lost in First Round

2004 In Review:
What Went Right?

Engineers of last season's biggest turnaround, the Mercury turned eight wins into 17 wins last season, but show no signs of settling for fifth place in the Western Conference again. With the top pick in the 2004 WNBA Draft, the Mercury took Diana Taurasi and both got its franchise player and locked up the point guard position for years to come. Taurasi led the team with 17.0 ppg and 3.9 apg. All in the span of one year, Taurasi won a National Championship, was the top overall pick in the WNBA Draft and won an Olympic gold medal.

The future is also bright for fourth-year guard Anna DeForge, who had the best season of her career, averaging 14.4 ppg and hit more 3-pointers (70) than anyone else in the entire league in 2004. She was named to the WNBA All-Star team that played against the U.S. Olympic Team in The Game at Radio City. In the 2004 Dispersal Draft, the Mercury picked up Penny Taylor, a veteran member of the Australian National Team. 13.2 pg and a blistering 42.7% from beyond the arc.

With Taurasi, DeForge and Taylor able to put up points in Phoenix, perhaps they do not need much more post scoring. The Mercury were also one of the league's better defensive teams and were one of only five teams to have a positive points differential (+1.91ppg).

What Went Wrong?

For all the scoring that the Mercury's backcourt was able to do, they lacked a consistent scoring and rebounding threat in the post. Slobodanka Tuvic started 26 games at center, but averaged only 2.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg. In fact, Taylor was the team's leading rebounder with 4.4 per game. Forward Plenette Pierson had a solid sophomore campaign in Phoenix, but the lack of significant and sizable depth was the Mercury's undoing. In a conference with Lisa Leslie and Lauren Jackson dominating the paint every night, big bodies are a requirement.

After back-to-back home wins against the Seattle Storm and Los Angeles Sparks in early September, the Mercury were three games over .500 for the first time all season and controlled their own playoff destiny, but their season-long road woes reared again and the Mercury dropped the next four games and dropped out of the playoff race down the stretch. As the team matures under second-year coach Carrie Graf, winning away from home will be fundamental to their success.

Head Coach
Carrie Graf
2004 Starting Lineup
G- Diana Taurasi
G- Anna DeForge
F- Penny Taylor
F- Plenette Pierson
C- Slobodanka Tuvic
Key 2004 Reserves
Gwen Jackson
Nikki McCray
Kayte Christensen
Key Additions
Kamila Vodichkova
Key Losses

Looking Ahead To 2005:
Key Questions

Just how good can Taurasi be? She was the unquestioned leader of the team as a rookie, but her potential is limitless. Will her productivity be even greater when the Mercury develop an inside-outside threat?

With the possibility of Russian National Team center Maria Stepanova's return to the team always looming, no team was in greater need of an interior scoring presence before they signed center Kamila Vodichkova away from Seattle in early March. Will Vodichkova be the inside scoring presence that the Mercury so need? Finally, what other moves will Mercury G.M. Seth Sulka make to deepen his bench?