Playing in back-to-back games is hard enough all on its own. Adding in playing the games on the road against two tough playoff teams without your best player and it is nearly impossible.
For the first 20 minutes of game action the Mercury played tough against their rival, the San Antonio Silver Stars. Early on the duo of Samantha Prahalis and Candice Dupree shouldered the load offensively keeping the team in the game.
Prahalis assisted on the teams first five field goals while Dupree scored eight straight points early in the first quarter. The duo was en-sync getting easy, fun buckets in transition and it looked like Phoenix Mercury basketball. At the half the Mercury were hanging in there only down six.
In the previous game it was the second quarter, against San Antonio it was the third quarter when the wheels fell off. It wasn't so much defensively as the team was pretty consistent all game in that category, but they could not muster up any offense in the third and therefore trailed 64-50 after the quarter ended.
When it was all said and done the Mercury fell to 1-4 on the season as they lost to San Antonio 85-66. The star for the Silver Stars was Becky Hammond as she netted 30 points on 7-9 shooting from three. "Becky (Hammond) still got it. She may be a little long in the tooth but she can still go," was Coach Gaines take on Hammond's performance.
Outside of Prahalis' career high in assists (9), Dupree's interior scoring (17 points), and DeWanna Bonner's versatile scoring (17 points) the team did not get much out of the rest of the roster. Players like Charde Houston and Alexis Gray-Lawson have to give the team more than a combined nine points on 28.5% shooting.
After a tough lose Dupree was critical of the team's performance and any positives that came from the game, "Right now, no. But we'll go back and watch film. I'm sure there were a lot of positives."
The tired legs and lack of depth for the Mercury did not show up until the third quarter as they came out with energy and toughness early. In the end they did not have the personnel to come back once they fell behind. It has been a rough start to the season for the Mercury and it is only going to get tougher with their schedule going forward.
The team faces Tulsa (twice), Los Angeles, and Minnesota in their next four games. The only win on the season to date came at the Shock, but two of their loses were against the Sparks and Lynx. It is only going to get tougher going forward. Can the Mercury turn their season around?