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WNBA Outlook: LA Sparks vs Phoenix Mercury Preview

Mercury Guard Skylar Diggins-Smith/ Photo Credit Phoenix Mercury

 

Los Angeles Sparks (0-0) vs Phoenix Mercury (0-0)

When: Saturday, July 25th at 3pm. 

Where: IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida  TV: ABC / Radio: N/A

 
 
 

Notes – LA acquired eight time all star Seimone Augustus and double digit scorer Brittney Sykes in the offseason.

Phoenix acquired four time all star Skylar Diggins-Smith, veteran guard Bria Hartley, 6’4 center Kia Vaughn, 6’2 forward Jessica Breland and former Washington reserve Shatori Walker-Kimbrough during the offseason.

Injury/Opt Out:

LA:

Kristi Toliver (Health), Chiney Ogwumike (Health)

Phoenix :

Jessica Breland (Health)

 
 
 

LA  (2019 Stats)- 

80.1 – points per game

77.2- points against

43.2 – Field goal %

Phoenix  (2019 Stats)- 

76.5- points per game

77.6 – points against

42.4 – field goal %

 
 
 

Keep an eye on:

Battle of the Big Three’s: in LA’s Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike, Chelsea Gray and Phoenix Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi, Skylar Diggins-Smith. 

Expect a motivated Sparks team to begin the 2020 season. Future hall of famer Candace Parker never got her rhythm after missing the first month of the season after injuring her hamstring in the first preseason game. The result was arguably the worst season of her career where she saw career lows in six statistical categories. With Parker struggling, opposing teams focused on containing all stars Nneka Ogwumike and Chelsea Gray. The Sparks managed to finish first in the Western Conference and knock off the defending champs in the first round of the playoffs, however, their weaknesses throughout the season were exploited greatly in the semifinals as the Connecticut Sun swept the Sparks convincingly. LA added depth, some much needed experience and scoring punch with former Lynx standout Seimone Augustus and Dream guard Brittney Sykes to help lessen the load for the big three during the season and to keep them fresh for what they hope is a deep postseason run. Phoenix welcomes the return of living legend Diana Taurasi who missed most of the 2019 season after undergoing back surgery and four time all star point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, who sat out the 2019 season due to the birth of her son. It was a struggle for the Mercury last season after they finished with their first losing season (15-19) since 2012. Center Brittney Griner continued her run as the most dominant player in the game, earning her sixth all star game nod in seven season’s, but it wasn’t nearly enough to right the ship without a healthy Taurasi. Now with the playmaking and scoring of Taurasi and Diggins-Smith surrounding Griner, Phoenix has emerged as championship favorite for this upcoming season. 

 
 
 
 
 

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