Pondexter Named Player of the Week
Cappie Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury and Deanna Nolan of the Detroit Shock were named the WNBA Western and Eastern Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, July 14, through Sunday, July 20.
Pondexter earns her second-career Player of the Week award and her first in 2008 after averaging 22.3 points, 5.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 38.6 percent (22-57) from the floor, 53.3 percent (8-15) from long-range and 93.8 percent (15-16) from the free-throw line. Her performance steered the Mercury to a 2-1 record on the week, including triumphs over Los Angeles and Atlanta.
While playing host to the Sparks, Pondexter scored a team-high 27 points, including 4-4 from behind the three-point line and 11-11 on free throws. When not shooting, she helped facilitate the Mercury offense with five assists. In her first game of the week, she tied Diana Taurasi for the team-lead in points with 23 while handing out seven assists as the Mercury lost to the Silver Stars, 97-87. In the final game of the week, she scored 17 points in limited minutes as the Mercury totaled the third-most points in franchise history in the 110-84 win over Atlanta.
Pondexter currently ranks second in the WNBA in scoring (23.2 points per game) behind only teammate Diana Taurasi (23.5 points per game). She also ranks in the top 10 in assists with 4.6 per game. Both her points and assists average are on pace for career-highs. Currently in her third year in the league, she is already a two-time All-Star, a WNBA Finals MVP and a member of the Mercury’s 2007 WNBA Championship squad.
Nolan receives the second Player of the Week award of her career, both of which have come this season. She also won the week ending June 22. In Detroit’s three games this week, Nolan averaged 20.7 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds on 54.2 percent (26-48) shooting, including 46.7 percent (7-15) from behind the three-point arc. She led the Shock to a 2-1 record for the week with wins over Chicago and Washington. Detroit lengthened its lead on the rest of the Eastern Conference by a game and now sits in first place with a two-game edge over Connecticut.
On the road at Washington, Nolan tallied 26 points and four assists on 11-14 shooting without turning the ball over once in the Shock win. She collected 19 of those points in the first quarter alone. Two days later against Sacramento, Nolan played all 40 minutes in the 88-85 loss to the Monarchs. She went for a game-high 27 points in the affair, marking the fourth time this season – and second consecutive game – in which she totaled 25 or more points.
To date, Nolan is averaging 14.6 points and 5.3 assists, which ranks fourth in the league. She’s on pace this season to set a career-high in assists as she is averaging over two more assists per game than her career high (3.2). Nolan was a member of both of Detroit’s WNBA Championship squads (2003 and 2006), was named the Finals MVP in 2006 and is a two-time All-WNBA First Team selection and four-time Eastern Conference All-Star. In June, she scored her 3,000th-career point in the WNBA.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Connecticut’s Asjha Jones, Houston’s Tamecka Dixon, Los Angeles’ DeLisha Milton-Jones, Minnesota’s Candice Wiggins, Sacramento’s Rebekkah Brunson and Seattle’s Camille Little.