Race to the MVP: Week 1
Week one of regular season play came and went in a flash. It's still early to tell who might end up on top, but trajectories are starting to emerge. Race to the MVP is WNBA.com’s weekly feature where we evaluate who’s getting closer to that coveted crown.
Maya started off strong this season as expected, but maybe no one quite expected her to come out with 33 and 34 points in the first two games of the season. Maya's efforts propelled the Lynx to a 2-0 start over Connecticut and Washington. The Lynx guard and 2013 Finals MVP also came up with 12 rebound and five steals in a narrow (90-87) win over Connecticut.
LAST WEEK: #3
EDD came out with guns blazing this season as well, carrying the Sky to another 2-0 start. She had 23 points in both games this past weekend, grabbing wins over Indiana and New York. We'll see though if the 2013 Rookie of the Year can hold on to her spot. As a forward, Delle Donne is only averaging five rebounds a game in the first two games, and with both Sylvia Fowels and Epiphanny Prince out indefinitely, it will be a heavy load for her to lift. But if these first two games are any indication, the Sky seem to be getting Delle Donne the ball in perfect position to create.
LAST WEEK: #2
Candace Parker's good start wasn't quite enough to get the Sparks past the Mercury this weekend. Parker scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in their 74-69 loss to Phoenix. Phoenix, however, is one of the toughest teams in the league. There's no questions that Candace is one of the top contenders to hold on to that MVP title, but she will need to keep up her consistency to outshine players like Moore and Delle Donne. The Sparks are 1-1 this season so far.
Angel McCoughtry was surprisingly not the scoring champion of opening weekend, instead she showed a more versatile side of her game and bumped up her other stats while still putting up 21 and 27 points. She also had five assists in each game plus six steals in her 27-point performance against Indiana (which went into two overtimes). Angel's efforts helped Atlanta get off to a 2-0 start. If she keeps up her consistent scoring and assists/steal, she has a real shot at the top this year.
LAST WEEK: #6
Diana Taurasi got off to a statisticaly underwhelming start with only nine points in the first game against Seattle, but Phoenix blew out Seattle, 81-64, and it's no secret that Taurasi's presence on the court is felt in other ways. In the Mercury's second win over Candace Parker's Sparks, she was back to her old tricks, scoring 23 points and adding six assists, six rebounds and three steals. Phoenix will truly be a force to reckon with this season.
LAST WEEK: #5
Tina Charles had a stellar opening weekend considering her move to a new team and the toughness of the teams the Liberty faced. Unfortunately it wasn't enough for the Liberty who fell to 0-2 against Connecticut and Chicago. Though her scoring wasn't quite as high as one might expect from Tina Charles, her presence was felt big time as she brought down nine and 12 rebounds, giving her a double-double versus Chicago. Her 15 points, however, weren't enough to push them past the Sky and EDD's 23 points.
LAST WEEK: #8
Lindsay Whalen sometimes flies under the radar, quietly racking up assists and a healthy scoring contribution. This season, however, her presence is harder than ever to "ignore." The Minnesota point guard walked away from this weekend with 10 and 17 points and a total of 12 assists (with eight in one game). The Lynx are very capable of repeating as champs, especially if Moore and Whalen keep up their stellar performances.
LAST WEEK: #7
Tamika Catchings was unfortunately out for the start of this season nursing a sore back. Her presence on the Fever was missed as they fell to 0-2. Hopefully for the Fever she will be back in the saddle in a week or two (according to Fever coach Linn Dunn) and we'll see what she can do as a 13-year veteran.
LAST WEEK: #10
Brittney Griner had a great start, helping teammate Diana Taurasi and a solid Phoenix team to two victories this weekend. The star center averaged 16 points and had 14 rebounds and nine blocks overall. If Griner can stay healthy, she's likely to keep moving up.
LAST WEEK: #9
Sue Bird's presence was not felt as much as Seattle was looking for in her first WNBA games back from last year's hiatus. She had just seven points in each of the Storm's losses this weekend and only seven total assists for both games, which is uncharacteristic of Bird. With the season so young though, plenty of time for Bird to adjust to being back from injury.