2010 WNBA GM Survey Predicts Phoenix Mercury Will Win Third Title in Four Years

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NEW YORK – May 13, 2010 – The results of the eighth annual WNBA.com GM Survey are in, with team general managers weighing in with their predictions for the 2010 season. The Phoenix Mercury headlined the survey as the team that is the most fun to watch. The GMs also chose the defending champs as the team most likely to win the WNBA Finals, with 36 percent of the voters predicting the Mercury would win their third title in four seasons. The Indiana Fever finished second in that category, receiving 18 percent of the votes.

The complete results of the exclusive survey, in which 11 of 12 GMs participated, are posted on WNBA.com in advance of opening day, Saturday, May 15, when the Mercury host the Los Angeles Sparks on ESPN2 at 2:00 p.m. ET to headline a five-game slate of action around the league.

While the GMs had Mercury guard-forward Diana Taurasi and Los Angles Sparks forward Candace Parker tied atop the list of those most likely to earn the MVP award (each with 27 percent of the vote), the GMs selected Taurasi as the player they would want taking a shot with the game on the line (55 percent), the player they would sign first if starting a franchise today (50 percent), and the player who forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments (36 percent).

Other candidates chosen as likely to compete for the MVP included the New York Liberty’s Cappie Pondexter and the Seattle Storm’s Lauren Jackson, each of whom received 18 percent of the votes.

Connecticut Sun center Tina Charles received a pair of honors. The first overall selection in the 2010 WNBA Draft, the GMs chose Charles as their favorite to earn Rookie of the Year accolades – receiving 82 percent of the votes – and as the rookie who they anticipate will become the best player five years from now, with 64 percent of the votes.

For the third year in a row, Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird earned the highest percentage of votes (82 percent) as the best point guard. That same flair for her role also earned Bird top honors as the player best at making her teammates better (59 percent). At the other guard spot, 55 percent of the GMs believe that Pondexter is the best shooting guard. The voters also selected Seattle’s Jackson (55 percent) the best center, the Indiana Fever’s Tamika Catchings (55 percent) as top small forward, and the Sparks’ Parker (27 percent) as best power forward.

Seattle’s Jackson was the clear favorite in the best international player category for the second straight year, receiving 91 percent of the votes. Additional leaders in the WNBA.com GM survey included:

  • Mike Thibault, Connecticut Sun – best head coach (36 percent)
  • Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever – defensive player of the year (45 percent)
  • Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever – player with the greatest hunger to win a championship (36 percent)
  • Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream – most athletic player (45 percent)
  • Cappie Pondexter, New York Liberty – acquisition who will make biggest impact in 2010 (60 percent)
  • Connecticut Sun – team that made the best offseason player personnel moves (55 percent)
  • Minnesota Lynx – most improved team (45 percent)
  • Seattle Storm – team with the best home court advantage (50 percent)