Rest of the Season Forecast

By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com
Posted: August 26, 2013

It’s hard to believe, but there are only seven games left in the Phoenix Mercury’s 2013 regular season.

Indeed, the year has been up and down thus far. Still plagued by injuries, we’ve seen the Mercury win five games in a row from June 21 – July 2, but also lose six of seven games from July 7 to August 1.

Here’s a look at everything you need to know as the team prepares itself for a playoff push. Be sure to bookmark this page – we’ll update it as needed with scores, results and new playoff scenarios.

Schedule

As mentioned above, the Mercury has just seven games left in the regular season.

Three of those games are at home, four are on the road.

The Mercury begins their playoff push by hosting the Connecticut Sun and San Antonio Silver Stars at home on August 31 and September 6 respectively. They’ll then depart on an incredibly tough three-game road trip to Atlanta (Sep. 8), New York (Sep. 10) and Chicago (Sep. 11) where they’ll play three games in four days.

Phoenix returns home to play the Silver Stars again on September 13 before closing out the regular season on the road in Los Angeles on September 15.

Digging deeper, the Mercury plays two games in a span of seven days before playing their final five games in a span of eight days.

August 31 – vs. Connecticut Sun – Result: WIN, 76-68

September 6 – vs. San Antonio – Result: TBD

September 8 – at Atlanta – Result: TBD

September 10 – at New York – Result: TBD

September 11 – at Chicago – Result: TBD

September 13 – vs. San Antonio – Result: TBD

September 15 – at Los Angeles – Result: TBD

Tracking the Playoffs

UPDATED Aug. 31: San Antonio lost to the Sparks on August 31. Thus, the Mercury’s “magic number” to clinch the eighth playoff berth in franchise history, fourth in the last five seasons, and fifth in the last seven overall, is now ONE – any combination of Mercury victories and San Antonio Silver Stars losses.

San Antonio now has five games left in their regular season. Four of those five games come against a Western Conference opponent (Los Angeles, Tulsa, Phoenix twice) followed by the Atlanta Dream to close out the season.

Silver Stars Schedule: Away at Phoenix (Sep. 6), home vs. Tulsa (Sep. 8), away at Phoenix (Sep. 13), home vs. Atlanta (Sep. 15).

Health

Phoenix Mercury forward Penny Taylor underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on her right knee on July 25. Again, this is not the knee that sidelined Taylor for the 2012 season.

As a reminder, Taylor was expected to miss approximately 6-8 weeks. It has already been over four weeks since the procedure. The last day of the 2013 WNBA regular season is September 15.

Training Camp, Part 4?

After the Mercury’s loss to the Seattle Storm on August 23, Phoenix won’t play again for eight days.

Thus, it will give interim head coach Russ Pennell more than two practices in a row (including shoot-arounds) before a game.

Certainly, this added time on the court should be invaluable for both Pennell and the players as they continue to work on integrating Pennell’s enhanced defensive philosophies with his offensive system.