Race to the MVP: And Our Winner Is...
Race to the MVP is WNBA.com’s weekly feature wherein we evaluate who’s getting closer to that coveted crown. Last week marked the end of the 2014 regular season, which means that the playoffs are upon us and an MVP will be crowned in the near future. Until then, here are WNBA.com's picks.
NOTE: WNBA.com is not involved in selecting the Most Valuable Player award. The MVP is selected by a national media panel of sportswriters and broadcasters. These selections are compiled by the editors of WNBA.com and not the league as whole.
Although it was close to the end, Maya Moore finished where she started -- as WNBA.com's selection for MVP. She's been No. 1 on this countdown 12 of 13 weeks (the other one was Diana Taurasi in week eight) and has dominated the league in scoring while leading Minnesota to a 25-9 record and a No. 2 seed in the West. So, it should come as no surprise at all that she is the frontrunner for the MVP.
Maya's resume is highlighted by her first-ever WNBA scoring championship, as she led the league in scoring at 23.9 PPG (812 total). She also ranked first in the league in total efficiency. Defensively, she was third overall in steals and eighth overall in rebounds.
This season, Moore also broke the record for the most games over 30 points in a single season with a dozen 30+ point games, including a career-high 48 point game.
Diana Taurasi had an incredible season. Taurasi, who has previously led the WNBA in points per game in five seasons, finished the regular season leading the league in assists with 5.6 APG. No WNBA player who has ever led the league in scoring has also – in a separate season or the same season – led the league in assists per game.
A similar feat has only ever been accomplished by three NBA players as well:
Nate Archibald -- scoring leader once and assists leader once (both in 1972-73)
Wilt Chamberlain -- scoring leader seven times (1959-1960 through 1965-1966), assists leader once (1967-1968)
Jerry West -- scoring leader once (1969-1970), assists leader once (1971-1972)
2ND RUNNER UP
Unfortunately for the Dream (and for Angel), Atlanta lost six out of its last eight games. This season, however, we did see a more versatile Angel McCoughtry who not only scored the ball, but put up some impressive defensive numbers (likely due to the guidance of Coach Michael Cooper.) And still, Angel did lead her team to the best record in the East.