It goes without saying, but former Phoenix Mercury head coach/general manager Cheryl Miller is a legend of women's hoops. A member of the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, FIBA Hall of Fame, and Basketball Hall of Fame, Miller's reputation rests without equal in the sport. So when she expects something, you'd better deliver.
Someone better tell the Phoenix Mercury.
"I think they've been brilliant," Miller said before Friday's game against the Washington Mystics. "I don't see why they won't win the championship. Its not a matter of ‘if'."
Miller certainly has a point. After starting the season 0-3, the Mercury have run roughshod over the rest of the league, ripping off a blistering streak of nine wins in their last ten games, including a perfect 5-0 July.
"They've got everything, they're healthy, they're deep, they're talented," Miller said matter-of-factly. "Plus, the factor that they have over the entire league: D.T. [Diana] Taurasi."
Without question, Taurasi has lived up to Miller's proclamation of late. The Phoenix superstar has performed at a scorching level, averaging 20 points per game and six assists per game, while leading the team to their current five game win streak.
Though, while the Mercury continue to run rampant through the WNBA, Miller's day job reporting for the "NBA on TNT" remains mired in uncertainty. When asked how long she feels the lockout will last, the 47-year old appears pessimistic.
"I'm hoping that the Player's Association and the NBA can come to terms," Miller says, doubt adorning her face. "I'm expecting the lockout [to last], from what I've been hearing, and I'm hoping its not true, we're looking at February. No All-Star [Game]."
The words seem to disappoint her for a moment, before she quickly turns around, "but I think that David Stern is going to do the best he can to make sure we have a full season."