WNBA MVP Race, Week 10
A look at the top-10 WNBA players gunning for the MVP trophy.
by Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup
The pressure is at its peak in the WNBA season, as teams have begun to clinch Playoff births. Los Angeles, San Antonio and Minnesota have collected tickets to the postseason early, leaving a lone spot left for the rest of the West to scrap over. Even Minnesota has begun to feel the pressure, as they only hold a one-game lead over L.A. for home field advantage.
There is no clear-cut MVP at this point, and it will be interesting to see which players in the last month take their game to another level. With plenty of key head-to-head matchups this month, we will get a good chance to see who truly is the top player in the WNBA.
1. Candace Parker, L.A. Sparks (Last Week, 1)
The Illinois native has been the centerpiece of the sizzling hot Sparks. Last week they put an end to San Antonio’s 12-game winning streak in style—with a vicious 24-point victory. In the past week her scoring may be down, but that’s only due to blowouts. With 10 rebounds in 18 minutes against San Antonio and 12 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals and 4 blocks in 24 against New York, Parker can fill it up quick.
2. Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream (Last Week, 2)
The Louisville alumnae has been spectacular all season long, and the Olympic break didn’t slow her down any. The Dream have suffered back-to-back losses, but are locked in the Playoffs at the moment with the 3-seed. Heading into the postseason, it will be interesting to see how league’s leading scorer takes her game to another level.
3. Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun (Last Week, 3)
The New York native continues to be a steady force down low for the Sun. As Connecticut looks to lock-up home field advantage and advance out of the first round, their franchise player will have to elevate her game in the coming weeks.
4. Kristi Tolliver, L.A. Sparks (Last Week, 8 )
This is quite the jump in the standings, but it’s well-deserved. Tolliver has been on fire the past 10 games, scoring 19 or more in each contest. Kristi is more than a scorer, as she is top-five in assists as well. Most importantly, her big numbers are translating to team victories. Let’s see if this hot streak continues in the upcoming games.
5. Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever, (Last Week, 5)
The former Lady Vol has been a steady force for the Fever all year. The reigning MVP has been rejuvenated due to her strong Olympic play, with an 18-point, 11-rebound effort in a victory against Seattle. Her shooting percentage is a concern, at around 42 percent on the year. The Fever will need their leader to be a little more efficient going into the postseason.
6. Sue Bird, Seattle Storm (Last Week, 6)
She’s back. Well Sue has always been here for the Storm this season, but Lauren Jackson is on the floor again. Many would think that would mean a slip in the rankings and production for Bird, but that hasn’t been the case. With her pick-and-roll partner in crime back on the floor, expect Sue to see more open space as defenses shuffle off some to keep up with LJ. This happened a lot last game against the Liberty, and Bird gave NY 18 points and still dropped 10 dimes in the contest. Bird is hot right now.
7. Slyvia Fowles, Chicago Sky (Last Week, 7)
Her team may be in a funk, but Fowles isn’t. Syl has not slowed down a bit this year, as she still leads the WNBA in rebounding. The Sky were one of the hottest teams in the early goings on the season before Epiphanny Prince went down—let’s hope the team can find its footing again soon.
8. Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars (Last Week, 4)
The Baylor standout has hit a minor funk since the Olympic break. The Silver Stars had their 12-game winning streak snapped by L.A. early last week, and Young has struggled to find her footing. With the way San Antonio’s offense is built and balanced, 30-point explosions are not something we can expect on a regular from her, but nonetheless, her impact on the game is noticed.
9. Cappie Pondexter, New York Liberty (Last Week, 9)
The Liberty have re-emerged this year and the key to their success is Pondexter. This guard-friendly offense does a great job showcasing Cappie’s incredible skill set. I had the chance last week to catch a Liberty game, and I was in awe how smooth her game is not only in transition but in the half court. The Chicago native has the green light, so expect her to continue to put up gaudy numbers this year.
10. Becky Hammon, San Antonio Silver Stars (Last Week, 10)
Becky, as well as fellow teammate Sophia Young, has hit a minor cold streak offensively the past couple games. She has graced double figures in the past three but has shot a poor percentage in the past couple. Despite her woes scoring the ball, Hammon has continued to be an effective player overall by dishing out assists and not settling for jumpers and getting to the rim for easy ones. Look for Becky to find her groove again for the Silver Stars and carry a hot hand into the postseason.