After injury, Taurasi showing signs of old formSeptember 10, 2012
Diana Taurasi is not used to two things: Sitting on the bench and losing games.
So the summer of 2012 has been trying for the women’s basketball player many consider among the best in the world.
The Phoenix Mercury has one of the worst records in franchise history (7-20 going into Sunday’s contest at Indiana) and Taurasi’s hip flexor injury has limited her to 7 games this season. In previous eight seasons with the team, she has played in at least 31 games, a figure similar to her UConn career in which she was rarely injured.
The bright spot were the 2012 Olympics – where she led the Gold-Medal winning USA teem in scoring (12.4 ppg) and played an average of 24 minutes in each of eight games.
As she does with most things, Taurasi, as she usually does, is motivaed to work harder.
"In a year like this, I had to play really well for myself in the Olympics,” she said earlier this week as the Mercury prepared for a game against the Connecticut Sun. “It was also important for our team to do well.” She is already planning a return to the Olympics in 2016 when the summer games will be in Rio.
“It’s not easy coming into games so overmatched,” she said of the team’s season. “But you take the top three players off of any roster and see how many wins you have.” In addition to Taurasi’s limited play, Australian center Penny Taylor has missed the entire season (and the Olympics) and recently starting point guard Samantha Prahalis suffered a shoulder injury.
She took a few days off after the Olympics to the criticism of some media following the team but in typical Taurasi form, brushed off the attack saying the Olympics was a long three weeks and the rest was needed.”I could care less what people are saying,” she said.
Other players returning from the Olympics also took a few days off.
Lately, Taurasi, who said she is 100 percent, has started to regain her old form. Against the Sun she had 16 points in 17 and a half minutes.
Oct. 15 she will leave for Moscow where she will rejoin the Moscow Spartak, the outstanding Russian team where she plays with former UConn teammate and close friend Sue Bird.
Taurasi played in Turkey for a few years, ran into false accusations about drug use and is ready for a change.
“I enjoyed Turkey but I always played my best basketball in Russia,” she said.
And, more recently, in London
“I wasn’t going to hobble in London on one leg," she said. “I just wasn’t going to do that.”