Win or go home? How about win ... pack and head to airport

DeWanna Bonner, right, says road trips allow time for team bonding, and the Mercury will have had plenty of time for that en route to Connecticut. Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Mercury didn't have much time to celebrate their first-round playoff win over the Dallas Wings from the comfort of their own beds.

Or their own homes.

Or their own state.

The WNBA's unforgiving playoff schedule called for a short turnaround between Tuesday's game and Phoenix's second-round matchup at the Connecticut Sun on Thursday (ESPN2, 8:30 p.m. ET).

Like the Los Angeles Sparks -- who are headed to play at the Washington Mystics on Thursday (ESPN2, 6:30 p.m. ET) after Tuesday's opening victory over Minnesota -- Phoenix had to fly to Connecticut on Wednesday morning via Boston. But the Mercury's route there is anything but direct.

One group of four employees from the Mercury was expected to board a flight before 7 a.m. that was bound for Washington, D.C., before continuing to Boston. The second group of about 13, including the players, was supposed to board a bus to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at 6 a.m. Both groups were expected to meet in Boston and then take another bus to Uncasville, Connecticut, a trip of about 110 miles.

They're expected to arrive at their hotel by 8 p.m. ET.

"I wish they'd come up with a better solution," Mercury coach Sandy Brondello said. "It's tough.

"It is what it is. There's no use complaining about it. We just have to focus on the job at hand, get our recovery as much as we can on the road, and the travel and the bus and the plane, and make sure we're doing everything [we can, so] come game time, we're ready to go."

Phoenix center Brittney Griner said there's no way to prepare for a grueling trip the morning after a night game. And it's harder for her since she's a "late packer." She still needed to pack after Tuesday's game.

And even packing for this trip isn't easy.

Should the Mercury win Thursday, they'll spend at least the next five days on the road. Depending on how the Sparks-Mystics game pans out, the Mercury on Friday will either fly to Atlanta or cross-country to Seattle, where they'll stay until Wednesday.

Griner was just hoping she would get an exit-row seat.

But there's an upside to a long day of travel and, potentially, an even longer trip: team bonding.

That's what forward DeWanna Bonner was most looking forward to from Wednesday's trip. Diana Taurasi, however, would rather be at home.

"I always say the road, when you like each other, it makes you like each other even more. If you hate each other, something's going to hit the fan," she said. "But we like each other, so it's not that bad."