Originally written on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 8/26/14
Every four years, the WNBA season offers a fun variable that really can affect a team. Well, unless it doesn't. We're referring to the Olympic break, a month-long (give or take) intermission that divides the WNBA summer into two potentially distinct parts. "It's like two seasons," said Phoenix Mercury coach Corey Gaines, whose first campaign as the team's head coach included an Olympic break in 2008. "It may hurt you ... it may help you." Right, depending on how the Mercury perform from Sunday's season opener through the final pre-break game on July 13, Gaines will have to wait and see what impact having 34 days between games might have on his team. Such a lengthy interlude has the potential to wreck momentum. It also could provide a struggling team with a period of renewal. But what eventually occurs in Phoenix should have a lot to do with how Mercury guard -- and Team USA Olympian -- Diana Taurasi performs both before and after. Entering her ninth WNBA season, the five-team ...

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