With only nine players left, the Phoenix Mercury are on the verge of being eliminated, and their season is in jeopardy.
Without superstars Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins-Smith, their playoff job was going to be difficult, but it’s even more difficult now that Shey Peddy has been added to the list of the missing.
The first half of Game 1 of the Mercury’s WNBA playoff series versus Las Vegas saw them maintain a slim lead, but the third quarter handed them a devastating setback. With 2:03 left in the quarter, Peddy sustained a non-contact injury and had to be helped off the field. Due to a ruptured right Achilles tendon, Peddy was forced to withdraw from Game 2 on Friday. Despite this, she has stayed with the squad.
This season, we have lost three point guards. Shey is one of our top defensive players, but we also have a few others with experience that we’ll try to insert. She’s been a genuine lockdown defender for us, guarding many of the most difficult matchups. She also contributes greatly to our offense with her 3-pointers, according to Mercury head coach Vanessa Nygaard.
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When both Taurasi and Diggins-Smith were down late in the regular season, Peddy smoothly filled in and raised his position. Peddy was one of the Mercury’s sparkplugs off the bench and performed admirably in last year’s postseason. She had the chance to direct the offensive in the postseason.
As they have done throughout the year, Nygaard added, “We will ask more of others and ask them to stand up to fill that void.”
Diamond DeShields, Sophie Cunningham, and Brianna Turner are set to compete in the elimination game on Saturday night in Las Vegas, despite the Mercury’s shortage of players.
Turner pulled down a season-high 16 boards, which enabled the Mercury’s surviving starters to keep the game close into the fourth. With 18 points and 8 rebounds, DeShields nearly had a double-double to lead the Mercury.
The Mercury are no strangers to the hardships brought on by catastrophic injuries during the playoffs. In the playoffs of the previous season, the Mercury led the Aces 2-1 but Game 4 starter Kia Nurse tore her anterior cruciate ligament in the opening minute. However, the Mercury at the time possessed a number of important players, including Brittney Griner, Taurasi, and Diggins-Smith. The squad bounced back in the game after the defeat without Nurse to win the series and progress to the championship.
In the event that the Mercury win Game 2, there will be a decisive Game 3 at Footprint Center on Tuesday to decide which team advances.
Throughout the season, the club has been known for their resiliency. With the season on the line, Saturday may be the day when the Mercury is tested the most.
The Arizona Republic is where this article first appeared: Without an injured Shey Peddy in Game 2 against the Las Vegas Aces, the Phoenix Mercury’s season is in jeopardy.
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