Griner: Olympic break helped ‘rejuvenate’ Mercury ahead of winning streak

Sep 3, 2021, 3:33 PM
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half of the WNBA game at the Footprint ...
Brittney Griner #42 of the Phoenix Mercury during the first half of the WNBA game at the Footprint Center on August 31, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Phoenix Mercury haven’t lost a game since the WNBA returned to action from the Olympic break, and center Brittney Griner believes the current seven-game winning streak has a lot do with that time off.

“Honestly, I don’t know exactly what it was, maybe it was just the break,” Griner told media on Friday about the Mercury’s recent success.

The Mercury have been firing on all cylinders since the return, going 7-0 and scoring an average of 89.4 points per game. Since back from the break, Phoenix has seen a player win Western Conference Player of the Week in consecutive weeks, with Skylar Diggins-Smith earning the honor on Monday and Griner the previous week.

Phoenix even picked up a win without Griner due to an ankle injury, beating the New York Liberty 80-64 on Aug. 27.

“There were so many people that probably counted us out … I was very happy, very proud of my team and my teammates,” Griner said.

When asked about how everything seems to be clicking for the Mercury, the star center circled back to the Olympic break.

“We just needed to forget everything, the pressures, just rest … once we got back, we just merged right to it,” Griner said. “I feel like the break brought our team chemistry together more once we came back. Like you see it on the court, we’re just there.

“On defense, we’re there for each other … all the things that get you hooked in the game, we’re doing all those little things and I think that’s what the difference is. We’re just having a lot of fun and we’re all together having that fun and enjoying it.”

The Mercury play the Indiana Fever on Saturday at 10 a.m. MST.

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