Gaines and Losses

By most objective measures, the Phoenix Mercury's current season has been a success. The Merc have rebounded from last year’s bottom table finish and looked like a legitimate playoff contender. But the team's top brass clearly isn’t satisfied: they sacked coach and GM Corey Gaines at the start of the month for failing to meet expectations. It was a big risk, as Gaines led the team to a title as recently as 2009, but if interim coach Russ Pennell can bring out the teams’ full potential, the dismissal could pay off down the stretch.

Pennell’s Mercury will host the Connecticut Sun at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 31, at US Airways Center, 201 East Jefferson Street. The Sun are at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but they’ve got a dominant center in Tina Charles, who could easily give the Mercury fits.

Tickets start at $11. Call 602-252-9622 or visit

Sat., Aug. 31, 7 p.m., 2013