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Preview: Sky face off against the Lynx, Storm tilt against the Mercury in Saturday night matchups

The Chicago Sky seek first preseason win against the reigning WNBA champions, while the Phoenix Mercury hope to even the preseason series against the Storm.

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San Antonio Stars v Phoenix Mercury
The sky’s the limit for Brittney Griner and the championship-hungry Phoenix Mercury.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Welcome to WNBA Saturday night! The Los Angeles Sparks faced off against Team China and the Washington Mystics met the Indiana Fever in today’s early matchups. The Chicago Sky face the Minnesota Lynx and the Phoenix Mercury square off against the Seattle Storm in primetime.

Chicago Sky vs. Minnesota Lynx

What to watch: If ever there was a must-win situation in preseason play, the Chicago Sky and the Minnesota Lynx would both be cases in point.

Chicago suffered double-digit losses against the Atlanta Dream and Indiana Fever last week. Although the Sky is heavy in the center position with Stefanie Dolson, the new face of the league’s Watch Me Work campaign, rookie forward Gabby Williams needs to show she can contribute to the scoring load behind Dolson, Allie Quigley and Kahleah Cooper — the latter of whom each had a 10-point game this preseason.

For the Lynx, Head Coach Cheryl Reeve wants more from her squad in the way of effort following the team’s preseason loss to the Washington Mystics. “It has nothing to do with any sort of system, and absolutely everything to do with taking the extra second to value the possession,” said Reeve. She called on her players to step up and show what the team has to work with so that she can make decisions on how to improve in the Lynx’s quest for a repeat championship.

When: Saturday May 12 at 7 p.m. EST

Where: Target Center, Minneapolis, MN | TICKETS

Seattle Storm vs. Phoenix Mercury

What to watch: Mercury center Brittney Griner made it clear in a recent interview that the 2018 WNBA season is championship or bust.

She praised the franchise’s offseason roster moves, which she believes will help her team clench another title. “Man, we’re loaded,” Griner said. “[The front office] went down the list and had everything we needed — they just checked off the list and got it.” At just 27, Griner has not yet hit her playing prime and is nowhere near her potential. It is for this reason she is not shy about wanting to add an MVP award to her already-illustrious resume.

Phoenix lost its first preseason game against the Storm on a night when Diana Taurasi did not play and it has not yet been announced whether Taurasi will play tonight. But this is of little consequence for a championship-motivated squad concerned more with building chemistry amongst the new additions to the team than a preseason win.

Seattle’s objectives, meanwhile, is to get Jordin Canada opportunities running the point and to scout Phoenix in light of DeWanna Bonner’s return to the court after sitting out the 2017 season and Brittney Griner’s return to the country following overseas play.

When: Saturday May 12 at 10 p.m. EST

Where: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, AZ | TICKETS