Phoenix Mercury set to face red-hot Seattle Storm

The Phoenix Mercury will zig-zag in its game schedule this week. Phoenix started at the Seattle Storm (5-3) on Tuesday, host the Minnesota Lynx (6-2) on Friday, then travel to Dallas (3-4) on Sunday. Phoenix (4-5) ended its three-game skid at home on Sunday by routing the Los Angeles Sparks, then face the red-hot Seattle, which is on a four-game win streak.

“It’s gonna be a hard fight, but we’re gonna approach it like every other game and hopefully come out with the win,” Kiki Herbert Harrigan said during Phoenix’s shootaround media availability on Tuesday.

Seattle and Phoenix are in a similar predicament in their team makeup and style of play this season. They had the 11th and worst records in the league last year, respectively. Plus, both teams now have three former All-Stars.

Phoenix traded its No. 3 overall pick from April’s draft for Kahleah Copper to join Diana Taurasi and Brittney Griner, who’s still sidelined from a left foot-toe injury. Nneka Ogwumike left L.A. and Skylar Diggins-Smith departed Phoenix to join Seattle’s top player Jewell Loyd in free agency this off-season. Both are former dynasties — Seattle has won four WNBA titles, and Phoenix has won three.

“There’s definitely some similarities,” Mercury’s backup big Dixon said. “It’s great seeing other great players go play with great players, and it’s great to see franchises as good as Seattle was with Phoenix back in the day and try to rebuild to what it used to be.”

Finally, both Seattle and Phoenix both play up-tempo — ranked second and third in pace, respectively. Phoenix, which won three straight games two weeks ago, looks to build another win streak.

“Just talking on defense, using our length,” Dixon said about how to beat Seattle. “We’re both trying to get up and down the court as fast as possible. But just talking, trusting our gaps, our defense, our principles.”