Race to the MVP: Week 3
Race to the MVP is WNBA.com’s weekly feature where we evaluate who’s getting closer to that coveted crown.
This past week shuffled the deck a little bit with the addition of Atlanta's Erika de Souza and a leap from Lindsay Whalen (who was also named Western Conference Player of the Week). Plus, there are some newcomers "knocking on the door" looking to break into the top 10.
Maya Moore is still dominating in almost every stats category while the Lynx have skyrocketed to 7-0 on the season. She is the WNBA scoring leader right now with 27.6 points per game. Interestingly, she's also first in 3-pointers made and second overall in steals (17 total) all of which give her the best Player Efficiency Rating in the league (29.4).
LAST WEEK: #3
Candace Parker and EDD are dancing back and forth for the No. 2 spot these past two weeks, but this week it all came down to rebounds. Delle Donne and Parker have both had stellar scoring performances, both with consistent scoring outputs (including Parker's 32 point game in triple over time against the Mystics) but Parker is bringing down an average of 9.0 rebounds per game (compared to EDD's 3.8). Looks like you can't keep the queen away from her crown for too long.
LAST WEEK: #2
Elena Delle Donne and the Sky are back on the winning track now after suffering their first and only loss of the 2014 season. Delle Donne has remained the most consistent of the contenders keeping her scoring mostly in the 20s. In her last game, however, versus the Connecticut Sun, EDD put up a season high 28 points to lock in a 101-82 victory for the Sky.
LAST WEEK: #7
Lindsay Whalen is shining this week. She was named Player of the Week along with Briann January for her 22-point game against Chicago. While Whalen has had several high scoring games now in a row, she has also kept up remarkable assist numbers, including Sunday's game where she had 10.
LAST WEEK: #4
Diana Taurasi continues to be her usual self and propel her Phoenix team toward the top. (Phoenix is now 3-1.) Taurasi is averaging 17.3 points per game, leading Phoenix in both scoring and assists -- which is exactly what is expected of a championship caliber guard. However, in order to improve her MVP chances, she will have to challenge Maya on the scoring front.
Tina Charles has done nothing but improve since she started with New York. Unfortunately for the Liberty, they've only been able to come up with two wins so far over the course of the season, but there's still no doubt that Tina Charles is trying to push them over that edge. Charles is (unsurprisingly) still first in the WNBA in double-doubles and is second in total rebounds for the season.
LAST WEEK: #5
Angel McCoughtry unfortunately fell a little this week after Sunday's uncharacteristic performance of only seven points and two assists. The Dream ended up losing to the Sun, 76-65, which was their largest margin of defeat yet. It seems that this was just not Angel's week this week. It's likely she'll be on her way back to the top soon.
LAST WEEK: Not Included
Erika de Souza broke onto the ladder thanks to her consistently solid performances for the Dream. She is ranked number two in field goal percentage and number three overall in efficiency, behind Maya and Candace. She is averaging 16.8 points per game and 9.5 rebounds -- very close to a double-double.
LAST WEEK: #8
Brittney Griner continues to be a consistent presence for Phoenix. On top of that, she has improved in every statistical category from her rookie averages (even though it's still early to judge). She is averaging 14.5 points per game and 7.0 rebounds. She is exactly what Phoenix needs to see in a center, but in order to seriously compete for the MVP category, she'll have to make her presence felt even more -- especially on the rebounding end.
LAST WEEK: #9
Skylar Diggins's Shock has fallen on a bit of bad luck at the beginning of the season as they've started 0-5. Their record, however, is almost an inaccurate measure of their performance. (Though they lost to Phoenix by 22, they've lost every other game by a margin of four or less.) Tulsa's record is also not an indicator of Skylar's performance as she has been averaging 16.8 points per game and 5.8 assists. In order to stay in the running, she and Tulsa will have to start winning some games.