The Phoenix Mercury went the season with the expectation that Diana Taurasi would return to the lineup mid-season and there would be enough time for her to get back to playing at an elite level.
Last season, Taurasi was tied with A’Ja Wilson as the third-leading scorer in the league with an average of 20.7 points. She also dished out 5.3 assists per game and produced an impressive 1.114 points per possession (94th percentile) on scoring possessions. She was the only player who ranked within the top five in both averages for points and assists last season.
Taurasi was provided with a 10-12 week timetable for return following an operation to correct a disc protrusion in her back that she underwent in late April. She reaggravated her back after making her season debut in July against the Connecticut Sun. It wasn’t until late August that she returned to the lineup once again. She then suffered a hamstring injury and missed a matchup with the Minnesota Lynx last week with just one game left before the playoffs.
With the playoffs just around the corner, Taurasi has been unable to build a rhythm due to nagging injuries and she understands that improvement is needed. She has looked like a significant liability instead of one of the greatest players in WNBA history. She has played in just six regular-season games and has averaged 4.3 points (10.3% FG, 4.2% 3P, 94.4% FT), 3.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists. 0.3 steals, 0.1 blocks, and 2.1 turnovers.