It was already known the Phoenix Mercury would be without center Brittney Griner for tonight’s game with the Lynx at Xcel Energy Center. Griner hurt her knee and ankle in the second half of the Mercury’s loss to the Lynx in Phoenix Friday night.
But it turns out the Mercury will be without both Griner and All Star guard Diana Taurasi, who was left back home in Phoenix basically to rest.
“She just needs a bit of a rest,’’ Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. “We’ve played a lot of games lately, so we just made the decision to keep her at home to get some well-deserved rest.”
Friday was the fifth game in 10 days for the Mercury, who had a four-game winning streak snapped by the Lynx.
Brondello said Angel Robinson will start for Griner, Monique Currie for Taurasi.
Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said the changes in the Mercury lineup wouldn’t change the way her team approaches the game, other than realizing that a team can be different – and dangerous – in situations like this. Minnesota’s second loss, in Chicago July 8, came when Chicago veteran Cappie Pondexter was held out to rest.
Reeve was asked how difficult playing five games in 10 nights is. “We all have to do that,’’ Reeve said. “In this league that’s not uncommon.’’
The Lynx had a stretch early in the season when they played five games in 11 nights. In August there will be a stretch when they play six in 12 nights.
“You play your schedule, whatever it is,’’ Reeve said. “People want to use that as an excuse. I mean, we’re not going to. I’m sure we’ll be tired (in August). No doubt about it. But we’ll all be out there.’’
In the meantime, look for Camille Little – who played some physical defense against Lynx center Friday – to draw that assignment again. And look for the Lynx to work harder at getting Fowles the ball, early and often.