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Friday WNBA Links: How Do You Feel About Diana Taurasi Remaining Out Of The Phoenix Mercury Lineup?

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Over at SB Nation's Golden State of Mind this past NBA season, folks were openly pro-tank - and anti anti-tanking sentiments - as the Warriors desperately tried to save their lottery pick that would be sent to the Utah Jazz if it ended up being lower than 7th.

They tanked hard - starting five rookies at one point for the first time in the NBA since the 1970-71 season and finishing the season with a bizarre lineup of five forwards on the floor when it looked like they were "in danger" of winning - kept the pick and added a player that is expected to contribute right away even if he's not a star.

Some NBA fans despised it because it seemed deliberate; Warriors fans basically did a Kanye shrug.

That situation was different than what some people suspect the Phoenix Mercury are doing this season, at least in process if not intent - Mercury star Diana Taurasi was out prior to the 2012 Olympics, played heavy minutes in London, and then returned from the Olympics only to sit out Mercury games again - but both situations crossed a threshold of absurdity that will always draw the ire fans, regardless of which you find more egregious.

Although I have been relatively indifferent to what seems like an intentional free fall by the Mercury because I was rooting for the Warriors to keep their pick, the Mercury seem to be running out of ways to keep the tank moving...if, of course, that is what they're doing.

  • Sarah Eberspacher of the Arizona Republic reported that Taurasi warmed up with her Mercury teammates last night but was a late scratch from the starting lineup because she was feeling dizzy. Prior to the game, Eberspacher's report seemed uncertain about Taurasi's return despite practicing. Nevertheless, She suggested that Taurasi's very presence had an impact on the team. Read more >>>
  • Kristofer Habbas of SB Nation Arizona reports that Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner and Liberty guard Cappie Pondexter still put on a show in the third quarter that was worth the price of admission before the Mercury lost their ninth straight game last night. Aside from that, the Mercury recently signed USC alum Briana Gilbreath who is trying to get over her nerves of seeing her first WNBA minutes on the fly. Read more >>>
  • Clay Kallam of Full Court Press wrote on Monday that "there is absolutely no reason she shouldn’t play" in last night's game and concluded with this claim: "If she doesn’t play the rest of the way, barring an injury that requires surgery, the WNBA must suck it up and at the least, fine both her and Phoenix." Read more >>>
  • Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times reported on the rocky return of another Olympian: Lauren Jackson's return from the Australia to the Seattle Storm. Jackson finished with just 4 points and 6 rebounds in addition to having two costly turnovers down the stretch as the Storm blew a late lead in their 68-66 loss to the Indiana Fever last night. Read more >>>
  • Carla Peay of the Washington Times reports that McCoughtry is still on a high from her gold medal experience in London this year and believes that she gained discipline from the experience of coming off the bench for Team USA. While the Dream are gunning for yet another late-season run with the return of both McCoughtry and Brazilian center Erika de Souza to the team, Washington Mystics coach Trudi Lacey says that her team is in the midst of a rebuilding process involving the development of young players that might take 2-3 years, which would seem to be a shift from the off-season approach. Read more >>>
  • Mark Giannotto of the Washington Post notes that the Mystics are only 3.5 games out of the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, despite their struggles at the point guard spot (and Lacey's statement about rebuilding). Read more >>>
  • Nate J. Butler of SBN's Peachtree Hoops wrote up yet another detailed summary of the Atlanta Dream's 82-71 win over the struggling Chicago Sky on Wednesday. The Dream won despite being without the services of both post Yelena Leuchanka and star wing Angel McCoughtry. The combination of the Sky losing 12 of their last 13 games and the Liberty's win last night helped the Liberty overtake the Sky for sole possession of fourth place in the Eastern Conference. The Sky play the Tulsa Shock tonight. Read more >>>

There are certainly more links out there about the WNBA today so feel free to drop those in the comments in addition to any thoughts about Taurasi's situation and voting in the poll below.