We're clicking at the right time

AP Photo/Danny Moloshok

Diana Taurasi says the Mercury need to continue to shore up their defense to have a chance against the Lynx.

It definitely has been an up-and-down season for the Mercury, but we're in the Western Conference finals, and right now, that is all that matters.

We got off to a little bit of a rocky start, but we've really started to improve as a team over the past eight weeks. Under [interim head coach] Russ Pennell, there has been more of a focus on the defensive end of the floor and rebounding the ball.

I think we are more disciplined as a team and understand what each other's roles are. That's a really important key to the success of any basketball team. More importantly, I think we are clicking at the right time.

In the playoffs, everyone knows that anything can happen. It comes down to who wants it more. We've really developed a great rivalry with the Minnesota Lynx over the past couple of years, and we are excited to go against them. Right now, though, they're the best team in the league, so we'll need to step up our game.

Maya Moore is one of the best players in the world, but the Lynx also have a really deep team and get out in transition well along with being a great rebounding and defensive team. They're playing great at home, so we have to use our size in the paint to our advantage with Brittney Griner anchoring the middle.

Speaking of Brittney, I couldn't be more proud of her. She's handled everything this season with class and integrity. Plus, she's a heck of a player. What she's doing on and off the court is really important for women's basketball and women's athletics in general. We still give her a hard time -- she's still a rookie, after all -- but she's one of the nicest, hard-working people you'll ever meet. And that shot she hit in Game 3 against the Sparks? Amazing.

What I really love about this Mercury team is how we all get along so well. That's one of our greatest strengths. We hang out as a team all the time off the court and genuinely enjoy each other's company. Camaraderie is never an issue. Having that type of a relationship with teammates can take you anywhere. Plus, we are all committed to working hard and getting better.

If we can shore up our defense and play focused and smart, I like our chances.