Of all the costly little mistakes the Mercury have repeatedly made en route to their 0-4 start, there is one that has become a big concern for coach Corey Gaines.
"Turnovers are killing us," Gaines said after Monday's practice.
Phoenix is averaging 16.0 a game, and although that is the fifth-fewest in the league, Gaines said that is way too high. Ideally he would like that number to be around 10.
The Mercury were turnover-prone again in Saturday's loss at Minnesota, committing 18 (nine of which Gaines said came on out-of-bounds plays). Despite 15 through the first three-plus quarters, Phoenix was down only one, 68-67, with just more than seven minutes remaining.
The final three, though, did in the Mercury and helped key the 14-3 run the Lynx used to put the game away.
"Maybe lack of concentration, lack of rhythm right now," guard Diana Taurasi said when asked about the turnovers. "There's probably a lot of reasons for it."
Whatever those reason are, "We've got to get the turnovers down," Gaines said.
Guard Cappie Pondexter (26.8) and Taurasi (21.0) are Nos. 1 and 3 in the league in scoring, respectively, which is an impressive statistic, but it's not one for which the Mercury are striving.
"We need balanced scoring," Taurasi said. "If it just ends up being Cappie and I, it's not going to work."
Center Tangela Smith has been a good third option, averaging 13.0 points, but no other player is averaging more than 8.3 points. Phoenix is also getting very little from its bench (8.5 points per game), which provided just six points the past two games combined.
Backup point guard Yuko Oga will be away from the Mercury for the next two weeks while playing for Japan in the final Olympic qualifying tournament.
Oga left the team after Saturday's loss and will miss the next four games. Japan is one of 12 teams vying for the final five Olympic berths.
In honor of Mercury guard Kelly Miller facing her twin, Coco, tonight, the Mercury are offering buy-one-get-one-free, lower-level tickets to all twins.