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

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)

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.


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