The Phoenix Mercury got beat bad in Game 3 of the Finals and now face the difficult task of winning Game 4 in Chicago to keep their championship hopes alive.
The Mercury’s fate likely lies in the hands of Diana Taurasi, who could swing momentum back in the team’s favor with a brilliant performance. Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith will be big factors as well. Griner is averaging 21.7 points per game in the Finals.
However, Phoenix is going to need its role players to step up as well. Really nobody had it going in Game 3 and the team only scored 50 points. After Griner’s 16 points, the next-highest point total was held by Diggins-Smith and Alanna Smith with seven. In order to come back from a colossal failure like that it’s going to take an entire team changing its energy.
Can Shey Peddy be a player who helps bring some more energy?
Shey Peddy out here doing Shey Peddy things! pic.twitter.com/CQDiNQIwO1— Phoenix Mercury - X (@PhoenixMercury) October 7, 2021
Peddy is one of the more inspiring stories in these Finals. She didn't get her start in the league until she was 30 in 2019 and didn’t play significant minutes until 2020. As a member of the Mercury in the 2020 playoffs, she hit a buzzer-beater to eliminate her former team, the Washington Mystics, thus proving her value in the WNBA. In 2021, she has been even more valuable and has further demonstrated that she belongs in the league.
Whether or not Peddy is knocking down threes could swing the outcome of Game 4. She shot 33.3 percent from beyond the arc in the regular season and is certainly capable of getting hot, but she has had some cold stretches in these playoffs. With Phoenix having Griner and Taurasi, who both demand double coverage at times, Peddy is going to be left open and the Sky will dare her to beat them. Will Playoff Peddy show up and come up clutch?
Peddy scored nine points in the Mercury’s Game 1 loss and had 10 points to go along with five assists in their Game 2 win. She had three steals and a made 3-pointer in both contests and shot a combined 61.5 percent from the field. Not bad. Peddy’s career high in scoring is 18 points, so she’s capable of making an even bigger impact. But will its season on the line, Phoenix likely doesn’t want Peddy scoring 18, They’d probably rather putting their destiny in the hands of Taurasi, Griner and Diggins-Smith.
Still, Peddy will have to play her role well to help bring about a Finals comeback. She scored just one point on 0-of-4 shooting from the field in Game 3. Can she bounce back?