Ringer names Bria Hartley as Mercury player to watch in WNBA bubble

Aug 22, 2020, 9:46 AM | Updated: 10:05 am
A general view of tipoff between Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm during the first half of a WNBA ...

A general view of tipoff between Phoenix Mercury and Seattle Storm during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020, in Bradenton, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

(AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

With the 22-game WNBA season more than halfway over, the Phoenix Mercury have a tenuous hold on a playoff spot.

Holding a 6-7 record, Phoenix is in sixth place, but just one full game ahead of the ninth-place Dallas Wings.

A recent article in The Ringer listed one player per team to watch over the second half of the season. For the Mercury, writer Jordan Ligons named Bria Hartley.

While WNBA fans will first think of Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner when they hear the Mercury, or maybe offseason acquisition Skylar Diggins-Smith, Hartley has been one of the most impactful Phoenix players this season.

Coming off the bench in 10 of the 11 games she has played, Hartley is averaging 15.8 points per game, less than one point fewer than Taurasi and two fewer than Griner.

Hartley also averages 4.8 assists per game, second on the team, and is shooting 38.7% from deep on 5.6 3-point attempts per game.

Ligons wrote:

“She’s flourishing in her new role. The seven-year vet out of UConn has already earned a career high in points (27) and tied one for 3-pointers made (four) in nine games. At one point, she was the Mercury’s leading scorer—and Phoenix’s roster features Skylar Diggins-Smith, Brittney Griner, and freaking Diana Taurasi. You love to see it.”

Her play will be vital for the Mercury as Phoenix fights to remain as one of the eight teams who can qualify for a playoff spot.

The Mercury have made the playoffs seven years in a row and 11 times in the last 13 years.

Heading into the weekend, the Mercury are on a three-game losing streak. They play the 4-8 Washington Mystics on Sunday at 5 p.m.

Penguin Air

Phoenix Mercury

WNBA star and two-time Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner is escorted from a court room ater a h...
Associated Press

Brittney Griner’s lawyers appeal 9-year prison sentence

Lawyers for American basketball star Brittney Griner have filed an appeal of her nine-year Russian prison sentence for drug possession.
1 day ago
Head coach Vanessa Nygaard of the Phoenix Mercury reacts during the second half of the WNBA game at...
Associated Press

Mercury drop regular-season finale to Sky, fall to No. 8 seed in playoffs

The Mercury lost their regular season finale to the Chicago Sky and will now face top seed Las Vegas to open the playoffs.
2 days ago
Sophie Cunningham #9 of the Phoenix Mercury high fives Reshanda Gray #12 after a three-point shot a...
Alex Weiner

Phoenix Mercury clinch playoff spot, will face Aces in opening round

The Phoenix Mercury are headed to the WNBA playoffs for the 10th straight year and will face the Las Vegas Aces.
2 days ago
Phoenix Mercury's Brianna Turner (21) defends against Dallas Wings guard Marina Mabrey (3) during t...
Tom Kuebel

Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner wins WNBA Cares award

Mercury forward Brianna Turner became the fifth player in franchise history to win the WNBA Cares Community Assist Award.
3 days ago
Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (25) drives to the basket between Phoenix Mercury guard Sophi...
Associated Press

Mercury beat Wings, move into 7th-place tie with New York

Diamond DeShields scored 24 points, Shey Peddy had 18 points and a career-high eight assists, and the Mercury beat the Wings on Friday night.
4 days ago
Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith (4) drives against Connecticut Sun guard Courtney Willia...
Arizona Sports

Skylar Diggins-Smith to miss Phoenix Mercury’s last 2 games

The Phoenix Mercury said they will sign a replacement player Friday before its next game against the Dallas Wings.
5 days ago
Ringer names Bria Hartley as Mercury player to watch in WNBA bubble