Chemistry Set

If past performance could be trusted, the Phoenix Mercury would have nothing to worry about this weekend. In the last two seasons, the Tulsa Shock has exactly as many wins against the Mercury as your niece’s youth-league team does. It’s not just that Shock failed to win; they usually struggled to lose by less than 20. However, there is reason to believe that the balance of power between the two teams may be shifting as the Mercury prepare to host the Shock at US Airways Center.

The Shock looks a lot more dangerous, and rookies Glory Johnson and guard Riquina Williams have looked like future stars so far this season. The Mercury, meanwhile, lost star forward Penny Taylor to a season-ending injury. Sans Taylor, the Mercury may have trouble concocting an antidote for strong post players like Johnson.

Sun., June 3, 3 p.m., 2012
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Ed Kummerer