Following an up-and-down rookie campaign where the Shock went 11-23, Skylar Diggins began to face criticism.
Fast forward to the half-way point of her sophomore season and Skylar is responding the way special players do to naysayers silencing them through amazing play.
A candidate for the Most Improved Player award, Skylar has gotten better in every major statistical category and more than doubled her PPG from one season ago. More importantly, Skylar has spearheaded a Shock surge, as the team finds itself just a half-game behind Los Angeles for the fourth seed in the Western Conference.
Check out this deep statistical dive inside Skylars breakout season, and recent stellar play (stats as of July 7):
26.1 | Amount of points Diggins averaged during her last seven games
Skylar has been magnificent over her last seven games with three 30-pont games over that span. The second year guard has averaged 26.1 points (on 86% from the FT-line) and 4.4 assists per contest. The most memorable performances during this span include:
-- A June 22nd OT win vs. the Chicago Sky where Diggins racked up 33 points in a nationally-televised ESPN Pride game
-- A 29-point game in a loss vs. Los Angeles, following back-to-back 30-point outings. This included 22 second-half points after a first half ankle injury
-- Her third 30-point game on July 5 where she also dished out six assists in a two-point loss to Connecticut
12.8 | Diggins PPG increase compared to 2013
At 21.3 PPG this season, Skylar has increased her scoring average by 12.2 points, relative to last season. To put this in perspective, the 2013 WNBA Most Improved Player award-winner Shavonte Zellous improved from 7.5 PPG in 2012 to 14.7 PPG last season (+7.2). Diggins now ranks second in the WNBA in scoring, behind only Minnesota's Maya Moore (22.8).
5.2 | Diggins ranks fifth in the WNBA in assists
In addition to carrying the scoring load, Diggins is also a talented floor general that prides herself on getting her teammates involved. This couldnt be more evident than her 5.2 assists per game average, good for fifth in the league and first among second-year players.