Keys to the Game: Silver Stars, Sep. 6

By Ben York,
Posted: September 5, 2013

It's pretty simple: if the Mercury win, they're in the playoffs.

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Phoenix and San Antonio meet for the fourth of five matchups in 2013.

The Mercury won the first meeting on June 25, 2013 as well as the final game of the 2012 series on Sept. 1, recording consecutive series wins for the first time since Aug. 3-6, 2010.

San Antonio currently leads the series 2-1 and a Silver Stars win would allow them to win the season series in consecutive seasons for the first time since the franchise relocated to San Antonio.

Prior to the injury-depleted 2012 season, the Mercury had split the previous eight head-to-head matchups.

Here are the keys to a Mercury win:

Taking Care of the Ball

The Mercury is second-worst in the league with a +3.03 turnover ratio.

Without a doubt, it's been difficult for the Mercury to find continuity on offense while averaging over 16 turnovers the past four games.

Phoenix certainly doesn't push the tempo as much as they used to, so with fewer possessions on the offensive end of the floor, taking much better care of the ball will continue to be a huge factor throughout the rest of the year.

DeWanna Bonner

In addition to Candice Dupree, DeWanna Bonner has been on a tear of late.

Amazingly, Bonner has shot at least 50 percent from the floor over each of the last six games. Under Russ Pennell, she's also shooting a blistering 43 percent from beyond the arc.

If the Mercury can get another solid outing from Bonner, it should open up other options for the Mercury's offense.

Just Win

I know that saying "just win" isn't really a key to the game.

But in this case, it's exactly what the Mercury needs to do. A win means a playoff berth.

Phoenix is 4-1 (.800) in home games under Pennell, tied for the best five-game home start to a new head coaching tenure in franchise history (Cheryl Miller, 1997). However they do it, Phoenix just has to find a way to win. Simple as that.