The Not-So-Mighty Mercury (3-4) roll into the Staples Center looking to once again grab a win to stay at .500. Fresh off a serious beat down at the hands of the Seattle Storm, the Mercury should be plenty motivated.
But the Sparks are only 1 and 6 on the season and have already lost twice to the Mercury by a combined grand total of two points. In two games. They are a team transitioning from the Lisa Leslie-era of slow-down, pound it in the post, defensive Michael Cooper basketball to Jen Gillom's attempts to pick up the tempo.
Changes aside, the Sparks still have the best female basketball player on the planet, and Candace Parker does not take kindly to losing. So expect the Sparks to come out fired up and ready to roll. Besides, they must have boatloads of unused confetti just waiting to be dumped on the LA crowd should they manage a win.
The Mercury are obviously still nowhere close to finding their groove, which newcomer Candice Dupree expressed in this quote via WNBA.com, "I don't think everybody is on the same page. We've got to come out and work a lot harder on defense. In order for us to get out and run, you have to get stops and get the rebounds."
Clearly there is some multiple page reading going on in the champ's locker room because Coach Corey Gaines told me just a few days ago that the Mercury's "offense is the best defense" and their issues are on the scoring end of the floor.
Gaines needs to get all of his players pulling in the same direction, and fast. The short WNBA season is already 20 percent over.
Despite their slow start, the Mercury are tied for second place in the West with Nolan Richardson's wacky Tulsa Shock team, who have changed their roster more frequently than my 10-year-old son changes his socks.
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