Race to the MVP: Week Six

Aman Ali, WNBA.com


Candace Parker returns to the upper echelon of the MVP rankings after bouncing back from a string of lackluster games and subsequenlty reminding people while she's one of the most dominating forces in the game.

Elsewhere in the rankings, Maya Moore's stock continues to slide. With Moore often times disappearing for stretches of games this season, it's too difficult to ignore her fellow superstar teammates outshadowing her.

"What about Lindsay Whalen? The Lynx have arguably been the best team for two years and the early part of this season, and she is the catalyst!"

- Fred from Minnesota

But even though her competition is getting fiercer as the weeks progress, Angel McCoughtry is still an early favorite for MVP. Many of you pointed out not only is she taking over games, but her growth as a player this year compared to seasons past deserves recognition.

"Angel not only posts the stats to be the MVP but, she has shown tremendous growth in her game (ie; sharing the ball) and in her maturity (ie; less flopping and dirty looks). Angel also has that LBJ thing - she knows when the team needs her to take over and, when it does, she meets the challenge. ANGEL FOR MVP!!!"

- Nina from Georgia

Here are this week's rankings.

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  • Last Week's Race to the MVP | Race to the MVP Archive


    #1. ANGEL McCOUGHTRY, ATLANTA DREAM (10-1)

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    Angel McCoughtry continues to be on a tear this week leading the Atlanta Dream to a 10-1 record that includes a 6-game winning streak. Not only is she dominating the stats sheet with tremendous feats of athleticism night after night, her basketball IQ is hard to match as well. McCoughtry knows how to adapt to the flow of a game and impact the matchup in whichever way her team needs her. During the Dream's 93-67 rout against the San Antonio Silver Stars over the weekend, McCoughtry let teammate Tiffany Hayes take on the scoring load and instead finished the game with 15 points and 9 assists. It's her ability to adapt and make her teammates better that makes her and the Atlanta Dream so hard to stop this season.

    Previous Ranking: 1 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 20.2 | Assts: 5.0 | Rbs: 5.7 | Stls: 3.7


    #2. DIANA TAURASI, PHOENIX MERCURY (8-4)
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    It seems like in the blink of an eye the Phoenix Mercury's fading championship fortunes have been restored thanks to Diana Taurasi. After a sluggish start to the season, the league's leading scorer has helped push the Mercury back to first place in the Western Conference and the team is only getting better. With teammate Penny Taylor back in the mix and Candice Dupree helping out with the scoring load, Taurasi is helping the Mercury live up to its championship contender hype.

    Previous Ranking: 2 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 23.0 | Rebs: 4.1 | Asts: 5.6


    #3. CANDACE PARKER, LOS ANGELES SPARKS (6-4)

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    After losing to the Minnesota Lynx on the road by 12 points, Candace Parker came out swinging when the Lynx traveled to Los Angeles a few days later. Parker went into beast mode, which should be called "Candace Parker mode," and scored 27 points in 26 minutes to help the Sparks win by 30 points and remained undefeated at home this season. Watch the highlights to see how dominant Parker was in the game - at one point she blocked a Lindsay Whalen shot so hard that Whalen fell down to the ground. If she can continue to dominate games like this, expect her stock to rise even higher in the weeks to come.

    Previous Ranking: 4 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 17.4 | Rebs: 9.2 | Asts: 3.6


    #4. ELENA DELLE DONNE, CHICAGO SKY (7-4)

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    Elena Delle Donne is becoming one of the league's more intriguing candidates for MVP. As a rookie, she's already the leading vote-getter so far for this month's WNBA All-Star game. And rightfully so, at 18.8 points and 6.0 rebounds per game, she's one of the league's best all around players often making you forget that she's only been a professional athlete for 2-3 months.

    Previous Ranking: 5 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 18.8 | Rebs: 6.0 | Blks 2.0


    #5. CAPPIE PONDEXTER, NEW YORK LIBERTY (5-5)

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    Pondexter deserves to be much higher on this list considering she's one of the league's best players in crunch time and averages 17.6 points and 3.5 assists per game. But its her turnovers that are causing her and the New York Liberty to suffer. The Liberty are the league's worst in turnovers and it could very well be the difference maker in all the nail-biting games they've been losing. Until she helps the team clean up its sloppy handling of the ball, it will be difficult for her MVP chances to go any higher this season.

    Previous Ranking: 7 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 17.6 | Asts: 3.5 | Rebs: 5.4


    #6. TINA CHARLES, CONNECTICUT SUN (3-7)
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    The reigning MVP is playing like one again as she single-handedly manhandled the Tulsa Shock to lead her team to a 88-69 win. Charles made it seem like she was putting on a footwork clinic for the Shock as she drop-stepped and pivoted her way to a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds that game. After helping snap a four-game winning streak, its good to see Charles and the Sun playing back to their original form again. But it's going to take more than one impressive win to formally turn things around for her and the franchise.

    Previous Ranking: 8 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 19.1 | Rebs: 10.8 | Blks: 1.5


    #7. MAYA MOORE, MINNESOTA LYNX (7-3)
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    What's frustrating with Maya Moore this season is how she will dominate some games and disappear in others. Some nights watching her seems like the MVP is hers to lose, and other nights she's not even in the running. During the Lynx's 30-point loss to the Los Angeles Sparks, Moore finished with seven points on 2-for-11 shooting from the field. It's been said repeatedly in these weekly MVP rankings that her biggest challenge is breaking free from her star-studded teammates and games like this simply echo that.

    Previous Ranking:3 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 16.8 | Rebs: 6.6 | Asts: 3.1


    #8. GLORY JOHNSON,TULSA SHOCK (3-11)

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    Glory Johnson is emerging as the Tulsa Shock's most dominant player and it's only a matter of time before the team starts patterning its offense around her more. She's averaging a double-double of 16.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game, including her last outing where she grabbed 15 boards. But her success this season does not reflect the team's 3-11 record. She'd be several spots higher on the list if the team had a few more in the win column.

    Previous Ranking: 10 || 2013 Stats: Pts: 16.5 | Rebs: 10.6 | Asts: 1.1


    #9. LINDSAY WHALEN, MINNESOTA LYNX (5-4)

    She's always been known more for her passing than her scoring, but Whalen lately has been changing that. In the past three games alone she's put up at least 19 points from more than 60 percent on field goal shooting. If she keeps it up, she may very well become the Lynx's top player on their star-studded roster this season.

    Previous Ranking: N/A || 2013 Stats: Pts: 14.0 | Rebs: 4.4 | Assts: 5.2


    #10. DANIELLE ROBINSON, SAN ANTONIO SILVER STARS (3-7)

    Realistically, she is an unlikely choice for MVP this season. But after leading the league in assists this season at 6.8 per game, there's a lot to be said with how well Danielle Robinson has been playing with such an injury-ridden roster. In the team's last game, the Silver Stars only had 8 players on the team that were eligible to play. But considering the team is 3-7, its doubtful Robinson's can move any higher on the list until her playmaking ability catalyzes into the team winning more games this season.

    Previous Ranking: N/A || 2013 Stats: Pts: 12.4 | Rebs: 3.8 | Asts: 6.8


    KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
    11.) Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury
    12.) Sylvia Fowles, Chicago Sky
    13.) Candice Dupree, Phoenix Mercury
    14.) Kristi Toliver, Los Angeles Sparks
    15.) DeWanna Bonner, Phoenix Mercury

    Note: All stats and records are as of games played on or before June 27, 2013.

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