Mercury star Skylar Diggins-Smith to miss final 2 games of regular seasons amid playoff push

·Writer
·2 min read

After playing a full season without one perennial All-Star and losing another, the Phoenix Mercury will have to close it out without one more as they try to sneak into the playoffs.

The Mercury announced Thursday that Skylar Diggins-Smith will miss the team's final two regular season games due to personal reasons. The team said it intends to sign a replacement player in time for them to be available to play on Friday.

Diggins-Smith is currently averaging 19.7 points, 5.5 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game in her third season in Phoenix.

That's obviously a massive loss for the team that has been trying to keep things together without Brittney Griner and after buying out Tina Charles earlier in the season. The Mercury were already going to be without Diana Taurasi after ruling out the former MVP for the rest of the season with a quad injury.

Mercury's WNBA playoff hopes grow even more dire

The Mercury currently sit in a four-way tie for seventh place in the WNBA at 14-20, with two playoff spots available for them, the Minnesota Lynx, Atlanta Dream and New York Liberty. The Los Angeles Sparks also loom at 13-21.

To reach the playoffs for a 10th consecutive season, the Mercury will likely have to beat two playoff teams to finish the season: the Dallas Wings and Chicago Sky. The team also only holds a winning tiebreaker against the Liberty, having gone 1-2 against the Dream, 0-4 against the Lynx and 2-2 against the Sparks with a worse record against teams above .500.

FiveThirtyEight currently gives the team a 38 percent chance to make the cut.

Phoenix Mercury guard Skylar Diggins-Smith controls the ball during a WNBA basketball game against the Dallas Wings, Saturday, June 18, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
The Mercury's season has been about who isn't playing for them. That now includes Skylar Diggins-Smith (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)