August 9, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Aug. 9, 2022: How to write a press release, by the Phoenix Mercury

Wings clinch playoff berth, no Mabrey about it

It’s Tuesday. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 81 of the WNBA season is here, featuring a nightmare of a schedule for anyone east of the West Coast, thanks to a three-game set, two of which start after 10 p.m. Eastern time. Today also features a Wings team that has clinched a playoff spot, and a Liberty squad that might have to win out to make the playoffs. But first we once again have to talk about the Phoenix Mercury.

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At some point in your life, you have presumably been entrusted to deliver a message to someone. Perhaps you’ve written technical memos, or you needed to tell your friends where to attend your party at a time before we all had cell phones, or you needed to be the middleman to your parents attempting in vain to yell across the house at each other. You probably learned pretty quickly that the action items should be relayed first — the purpose of the memo and its conclusions, the where and when of the party, the fact that your mom would be going grocery shopping and did your dad need anything while she was out — and secondary details should come later — the methodologies, what your friends should bring, which grocery store your mom was going to. Someone within the Mercury organization, however, has never had this experience.

Yesterday, the Mercury sent out a press release stating in big, bold, beautiful letters that it had signed Yvonne Turner. You may remember the combo guard from her time on the Lynx earlier in the season, during that period of time when Cheryl Reeve kept cutting half the team and signing players off the street; it wasn’t cuts in reactionary rage so much as throwing every free agent guard at the wall and seeing who stuck. Turner did not stick.

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But, the Mercury need a competent combo guard, and Turner’s certainly available. Phoenix has a full roster, though — in fact, they’ve been needing a carve-out from the league just to field a full roster with Brittney Griner wrongfully detained in Russia. They should be at a full roster and full cap already and oh I see here in little print that Diana Taurasi’s injury is the impetus here. The body of this memo further illuminated on such important matters as — in order of their appearance here, which I can only assume corresponds to order of importance — the Mercury having won three titles, Turner’s nickname being “Vonnie,” Taurasi playing every game this year until missing the past couple with this injury, and Taurasi being set to miss the rest of the season.

Personally, I’m all for this approach; why dwell on things in the past, like your franchise superstar suffering an injury that may cost her the final games of what could be her final season, when you could focus on the present, like your new player having a nice little nickname. If you later have to clarify that said superstar is actually not out for the season, but only for the next three games? Even better.

But first, read:

W Roundup

Atlanta: Off-ball guard Maya Caldwell was signed to a rest-of-season contract, per Brandon Sudge of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which is almost certainly a standard hardship that won’t be expiring before Sunday

Phoenix: Signed combo guard Yvonne Turner to a hardship contract

Watch List, Tuesday, Aug. 9

(All times in Eastern, Game Of The Day in bold)

Seattle @ Chicago, 8 p.m., NBA TV (Local: FOX13/Amazon Prime video, CW26 The U)

Atlanta @ Las Vegas, 10 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Local: Bally Sports Southeast, My LV TV)

Connecticut @ Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m., NBA TV (Local: NESN+, Spectrum SportsNet)

Monday, Aug. 8 recap

Dallas (17-16) beat New York (13-20), 86-77. The Wings jumped out to a 20-8 lead, but the Liberty went ahead by the mid-second quarter; the game was basically within one possession from the mid-third through the mid-fourth, before Dallas reeled off 14-straight points.

Wing Marina Mabrey led the Wings with a career-high 31 points on 11-for-18 from the field, 3-for-6 from three, and 6-for-7 from the line, four rebounds, and four assists against four turnovers; wing Allisha Gray had 18 points on 7-for-14 shooting (3-6 3pt.), four rebounds, and four assists without a turnover; center Teaira McCowan notched 16 points on 7-for-9 FG and nine rebounds (three offensive) against three turnovers and four fouls in 28 minutes.

New York was led by combo guard Sabrina Ionescu’s season-high 32 points on 8-for-21 from the field, 4-for-11 from three, and 12-for-12 from the line, seven rebounds, and four assists against three turnovers; backup wing Marine Johannès had 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting (career-high-tying 5-8 3pt.) and three rebounds against three turnovers.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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