WNBA MVP Race, Week 13
With the regular season winding down, these 10 players are making a push for MVP.
by Christian Mordi / @mordi_thecomeup
The end is near. As the regular season comes close to an end, the Playoff and MVP pictures are becoming more clear. The league has been action-packed all year with so many ups and downs.
With less than a month until the Playoffs, look for the elite players to light a fire under their teammates and push them into the postseason.
1. Candace Parker, L.A. Sparks (Last Week, 2)
CP3 may have slowed down some after an out-of-this-world first half of the season, but Candace has found her groove again on the floor. The Illinois native has posted two straight 20 and 10 or better games, with a 26-point, 11-rebound and 7-assist performance against Phoenix as her most recent. Parker is back on top of the rankings due to her dominant performance against fellow MVP candidate Tina Charles, giving Charles 23 points, 10 rebounds 5 assists to think about on the long plane ride back to Connecticut.
2. Tina Charles, Connecticut Sun (Last Week, 1)
Tina Charles, like her team, continues to take steps forward this year on the court. The Sun have locked up the number one seed and home-court advantage throughout the Playoffs, due in large part, to Tina’s steady hand. The former UConn standout is leading the league in rebounding and double-doubles this year, a testament to how dominant she has been this year in the paint. It will be a tough choice for who gets the trophy this year.
3. Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream (Last Week, 3)
AMac has been on a tear all season long, and as the league’s best wing, she sits at third on the list. With all of her talent, there have been some flaws that hold her from the top spot. Angel has missed a substantial amount of games, missing 10 so far this year. Also she turns over the ball at a high rate, at close to 4 per game. Personally, I can deal with the turnovers, as she is trying to create opportunities for teammates, plus we have to consider the pace of the offense as well. In order for McCoughtry to climb to the top of the list, she will have to put some large numbers against some top-tier opponents, to overshadow Charles and Parker.
4. Kristi Tolliver, L.A. Sparks (Last Week, 6)
Kristi Tolliver has been the most pleasant surprise in the WNBA this year. The electric combo guard has truly found her game this year. Whether in transition or in the half court, Tolliver has proven to be one of the toughest covers in the league due to a lethal first step and her ability to finish in different ways. Kristi may not pull down the MVP trophy this year, but making one of the All-WNBA lists is not a stretch.
5. Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever (Last Week, 4)
Despite her ranking at No. 5, as crazy as it may sound, Tamika may be a better player than last year when she won MVP. So why is she so low on the list? Well, it’s due to the fact that the people ahead of her are all putting up huge numbers as well. The Fever would be cured if Catchings was not on deck, as she is super efficient with the ball in her hands. With the Sun locking up the first seed in the East, there is doubt over whether she can repeat this year.
6. Cappie Pondexter, New York Liberty (Last Week, 5)
Pondexter has been the main force behind the Liberty and their success this year. The Chicago native has been a handful for defenders in transition, and with the team running her more at PG, the ball is in her hands now more than ever. With the Liberty in a fierce fight for the last Playoff spot in the East, look for them to rest their hopes in the hands of their star player. Cappie may not be the best player in the league, but without a doubt, one of the most valuable to her team, so I expect Cappie to steal a couple MVP votes this year.
7. Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx (Last Week, NR)
It has been a while since Maya’s graced this list, but her return is well deserved. Moore has been one of the hottest players in the WNBA during the second half of the season, and she has ranked fourth in scoring and fifth in rebounding. Maya, as silly as it may sound, is hurt by being on an elite team, as the presence of a top player (Seimone Augustus) hinders her, at times, from putting up gaudy point totals. Regardless of that fact, Moore has found her game at the right time for the Lynx and will take her sizzling hot hand into the postseason.
8. Epiphanny Prince, Chicago Sky (Last Week, 7)
The Sky have been much-improved since Prince has returned to the lineup. The fierce wing adds a much-needed weapon on the perimeter for the Sky, keeping the floor balanced and allowing Sylvia Fowles to operate. The most overlooked factor in Epiphanny’s game is her relentless defense, as she averages close to 2 thefts per game.
9. Dewanna Bonner, Phoenix Mercury (Last Week, 9)
The former Auburn standout continues to impress this year for the Mercury. Bonner has made the transition into the starting lineup as smooth as she is in transition, posting career highs in scoring and rebounding. Bonner’s biggest problem right now is her low shooting percentage, which may be due in part to defenses locked in so tightly on her with Taurasi out of the lineup. Look for Bonner to continue to improve those marks before the season’s end.
10. Sophia Young, San Antonio Silver Stars (Last Week, 10)
While the Silver Stars have been up and down in the second half, Young has been a steady force all year round. Young is a special wing player, who understands her role on the team. She plays within her range, making her more effective and a hard cover. Sophia lives at the rim, shooting over 50 percent from the field. Another surprising stat is that Young still has not taken one three this year, yet she keeps teams honest with her mid-range game.