Road-weary Mercury return for 2-game homestand

There’s No Place Like Home

By Mark Heller,
June 5, 2007

The Mercury got some extended miles and Marriott points last weekend. It started sweet and ended sour, but no one seems bitter.

After a riveting start in San Antonio, the Mercury stumbled a bit in Connecticut and New York, ultimately dropping two of three games on the road trip. But the stumble last weekend has done little to subdue the optimism heading into tonight’s game against Minnesota.

They returned from a cross-country flight Monday and took a much-needed day off.

“We played good basketball (Sunday),” coach Paul Westhead said. “We couldn’t close it out.”

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Both Connecticut — a team which has been in the Eastern Conference finals two of the past three years — and New York (1-12 all-time at Madison Square Garden) have been houses of horrors for the Mercury in their history, but nothing a two-game homestand can’t fix.

After all, the Mercury (4-3) are undefeated at home, and facing the Minnesota Lynx, one of three winless teams in the league.

The Mercury dropped from first place to third in the jumbled Western Division, but after three games in four days and nearly 6,000 miles, a relatively healthy roster is progress enough in early June.

“We’re a team just getting into a playing rhythm and it’s an ongoing process,” Westhead said. “I’m not overly happy or concerned. We’re still playing to create a winning identity and that’s a process.”

COPYRIGHT 2007, EAST VALLEY TRIBUNE. Used with permission.