After spending the last four games resting their own starters, the Seattle Storm will face a Phoenix Mercury team also looking to rest their starters in Phoenix.
Mercury Come Home To Take On The Storm, Will Try To Avoid Injuries - SB Nation Arizona
Now, with Bonner's main issue just having to get back up to game speed after missing a few games, the team is going into protection mode. The team locked up the second seed in the Western Conference with its win over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday. With home court advantage locked up through the Conference Semifinals, all the Mercury want to do now is stay healthy.
Head Coach Corey Gaines confirmed the notion that everyone would get rest. "Average is probably around 30 minutes per game for most of the players. We'll probably cut down to like 25 or 20," he said after yesterday's practice.
With nothing left to play for tonight -- aside from a 28 win season -- the Storm could certainly play at full strength in an effort to continue their effort to get sharper for the playoffs or continue to rest their starters for the playoffs.
STORM: Insider Preview - Storm at Phoenix
On the other side, Storm Head Coach Brian Agler is also uncertain how much he'll play his best players. While the Storm's focus has changed from resting players to preparing for the postseason, the fact that this game starts off a back-to-back set that concludes tomorrow night at KeyArena - where the Storm wants to play well in front of home fans and has a chance to finish the season 17-0 at home - changes the calculus slightly.
"I don't know," Agler said after Tuesday's win over Minnesota about how much starters would play. "We'll see how it plays out. They'll start, they'll play. The will get solid minutes. I don't know if they will get up in the 30s."
Of course, the best of both worlds would be to mount a big lead quickly against the resting Mercury and then rest the starters, but this is professional basketball -- it's not quite that easy.
To follow along for updates on the game, check the game thread at SBN's Swish Appeal.