2005 In Review:
What Went Right?
Few players at any level of basketball can rank in the top 20 in their league in the field goal, three-point and free throw percentage categories but Penny Taylor did just that with efficiencies of .464 FG% (16th), .404 3P% (11th) and .864 FT% (5th). She also ranked 15th in the league in points per game(13.2)
Good centers are just as rare yet the Mercury had a solid one in Kamila Vodichkova During her first season with Phoenix following a championship campaign in Seattle, the native of the Czech Republic ranked eighth in the league in both double-doubles and rebounding (7.0 rpg) and improved her field goal percentage(.494) by .104.
What Went Wrong?
A young Mercury squad fell apart down the stretch last season, and that collapse cost them a spot playoffs. Taurasi -- as good of a job as she did last season -- is better suited for the two guard position. Phoenix lacked a veteran quarterback that could concentrate solely on orchestrating the offense. As a result, too many of their three-point attempts were taken off the dribble rather than assisted, and their three-point percentage (.330) was lower than that of their opponents (.360).
Vodichkova had little help in the paint, and the Mercury played it "power forward by committee" for much of the season.
Phoenix lacked depth, as the team's fifth leading scorer, Shereka Wright, averaged just 3.8 points per game, and the bench struggled to consistently put points on the board.
The team defense struggled, giving up 69.2 points per game, third highest in the league.
Looking Ahead To 2006:
Guard Anna DeForge had a solid year, averaging
13.1 points per game. She'll be replaced by Fever shooting guard Kelly Miller
as a result of an off-season trade. Though talented in her own right, Miller certainly
has some big shoes to fill. Outside of Vodichkova, it's questionable as to where
the scoring will come from in the paint.