• WNBA stars (from left) Liz Cambage and Brittney Griner (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Phoenix Mercury will be focused on stopping the high-powered Las Vegas Aces offence when the two sides face off in game two of their WNBA semi-final series.
Nick Houghton

30 Sep 2021 - 6:13 PM  UPDATED 30 Sep 2021 - 6:13 PM

The WNBA returns to centre court on Australian screens this season – with a host of games LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand, plus game replays.

WATCH the semi-finals of the WNBA Playoffs LIVE, FREE and in HD on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand with a doubleheader as Connecticut Sun host Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces take on Phoenix Mercury from 10 am (AEST) this Friday, October 1.

The Aces backcourt were in fine form as they claimed a 96-90 win in game one with the Mercury unable to stop Las Vegas’s free-scoring guards.

The Mercury stunned reigning WNBA Champions Seattle Storm to earn their spot in the semi-final round, however, slowing down the Aces shooting could be their biggest challenge of the season so far.

"We didn't quite execute how we wanted to in the first game,” Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said.

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“We need to be a little bit more aggressive, don't give them those open looks, make sure we know their tendencies better than what we did.

“I thought that was a little bit of mental fatigue. We've got some adjustments in place, now it's just going out there and executing them."

Superstar Diana Taurasi is back starting for the Mercury but not fully healthy from a left ankle injury, limiting the 39-year-old defensively.

Skylar Diggins-Smith is a quality defender but can only do so much individually to slow the Aces guards.

Shey Peddy is the Mercury's next best perimeter defender and she played through illness Tuesday but only for nine minutes.

“We need to get more stops that we actually get easier baskets in transition," Brondello said.

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"We don't want to make it slow and just grind it out in the half-court because the way they're playing defence we'd get nobody open. We've got to limit their transition as well and offensive rebounds. We know we can be a little bit better."

Las Vegas Aces coach Bill Laimbeer is not worried about any extra defensive attention in game two and said his side has the players to counter whatever Phoenix throws at them.

"I've said from day one when I was playing a long, long time ago - guards win in playoff games because they can create," Laimbeer said.

"If you take away our guards, we go inside. You take away inside, we go to the guards. At the end of the day, we're hard to guard."

Upcoming 2021 WNBA LIVE on SBS VICELAND and live-streamed via SBS On Demand

Friday, October 1

Semi-Final Game 2 - Chicago Sky v Connecticut Sun
10:00am – 12:30pm (AEST)

Semi-Final Game 2 – Phoenix Mercury v Las Vegas Aces
12:00pm – 2:30pm (AEST)