The Undertake has nothing on the Phoenix Mercury with their streak... There, it has been said. Moving on.
Record: 21-3 (.875)
Place In Standings: First (+2.0 on Minnesota)
Points Per Game: 85.71 (1st)
Points Against: 74.71 (1st)
In the world of basketball anything can happen. Look back at the times an 8-seed knocked off the top team in the conference in the NBA, the NCAA Tournament madness, and teams of destiny making it to the top of the mountain through the unlikeliest of odds. So inherently arrogant statements like the one I am about to make are bound to blow-up in my face.
This WNBA season has become a race to the finish line between the Phoenix Mercury, Minnesota Lynx, and the Atlanta Dream.
With that comes a major target on the backs of those teams. The Mercury know this and they are ready for the challenge.
"They’re going to try a lot of things," Brittney Griner on the target. "They’re going to try play us physical, they’re going to get in our head, get us mad. Just keep a cool head and a hot game, and keep playing like we did and get the win."
Diana Taurasi has been through this. Brittney Griner has been through this on an NCAA level. The rest of the roster has to fall in line and take the pressure off of the dynamic duo. With the Penny Taylor back in the fold, DeWanna Bonner becoming the utility player, and Candice Dupree playing at an All-Star Level the supporting cast is about as good as any contender has ever had.
The winning streak is another element in that target being placed firmly on the backs of each Mercury player. Every team is going to want to take a shot collectively and individually, with each player.
Great teams all have to deal with this target.
Every team is going to want to be that team that ends the 15-game winning streak. Every team is going to want to humanize the Mercury on the court. Tough, physical games like the what they have experienced since the All-Star Game are going to become more and more common as the season grows long. Is it realistic for the Mercury to win 25 games in a row leading to the playoffs then another 7 in a row after that? No, but sure. Anything is possible in the world of basketball, right?
Diana Taurasi: 6.46 assists per game to go along with her 17.8 points per game... The most astonishing element of this streak for Taurasi is that she as many 30+ point games (1) as single digit scoring games.
Penny Taylor: 24.4 minutes per game to go along with her 12.9 points per game... The most astonishing element of this streak for Taylor is that she has played all 15-games, taking over a few.
Brittney Griner: 4.6 blocks per game to go along with her 17.0 points per game... The most astonishing element of the streak for Griner is that she has only fouled out of three game total.
The Offense: 86.4 points per game... The most astonishing element of the streak for the offense is that they are not relying on it. Games have been won scoring 72, 78, and 78 along the way.
The Defense: 73.13 points allowed per game... The most astonishing element of the streak for the defense is that they are able to rely on it. Holding opponents under 70 (five times) and under 80 points consistently (12 times) along the way.
Clinching the playoffs 60% of the way through the season is one thing, but holy dominance batman the Mercury clinched HOME COURT ADVANTAGE at this stage of the season. Pretty crazy, awesome, stuff from this team as they are on a mission for greatness. Diana Taurasi is playing out of position, doing things she has shown she can do, but has never done at this level in her career.
This is a team with one unified goal.
For as good as the Suns were 70.5% into their season (34-24) they were busy overachieving while this Mercury team is meeting the expectations laid on them from last year. Overall this seasonal success is doing that and then some, but they will be defined by their win/loss record in the post-season. The only acceptable mark will be 7-???
Tuesday vs. Los Angeles Sparks at 7:00 p.m. AZ Time
Thursday @ Minnesota Lynx at 5:00 p.m. AZ Time
Saturday vs. Indiana Fever at 7:00 p.m. AZ Time
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P.J. Tucker was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona for "Super-Extreme D.U.I." on May 10th.
P.J. Tucker, the Phoenix Suns' forward who recently re-signed with the Phoenix Suns for a three-year, $16.5 million dollar contract, was arrested in Scottsdale, Arizona for "Super-Extreme D.U.I." on May 10th, according to a story by Paul Coro of the AZ Republic.
Evidently, Tucker was pulled over by Scottsdale police after rolling slowly through a stop sign. The officer reported the strong presence of alcohol and asked Tucker to submit to a field sobriety test, which he failed.
When Tucker was given a blood alcohol test at the police station, it reportedly showed his B.A.C. to be .222, more than twice the legal limit and over the threshold of .20 which is then considered to be a "super-extreme DUI", according to Arizona law.
In all, Tucker was charged with running a stop sign, and four counts of driving under the influence, including the most severe count of super-extreme D.U.I.
P.J. has yet to be prosecuted, and is of course innocent until proven guilty. However, if convicted of super-extreme D.U.I., the minimum sentence would involve at least 45 days in jail.
The Suns' organization was apparently aware of Tucker's arrest before P.J. signed his new contract, so this doesn't appear to have any immediate implications regarding his status with the team. However, he could also face additional punishment from the league, such as fines and suspensions, if found guilty.