Race to the MVP: Week 6
Race to the MVP is WNBA.com’s weekly feature where we evaluate who’s getting closer to that coveted crown.
This week saw some huge shifts as Phoenix moved into the top spot in the league with their ninth win. Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins both had career-high performances and Angel McCoughtry made a drive for the top spot, breaking into the top three for the first time this season.
Maya Moore is here to stay. This week she made WNBA headlines with an astounding 36-point and five-steal performance, which leaves her with 23.5 points per game now. (For reference, the highest PPG average was Taurasi's 25.3 in 2006.) That game was her second 30+-point performance in a row and her sixth of the season. She also led the Lynx to two victories following their loss to Phoenix.
LAST WEEK: #6
Angel McCoughtry has found the proper balance of scoring and slowing it down this season. She is still putting up Angel-like numbers, but has also developed a court sense that makes Atlanta almost unstoppable. McCoughtry and the Dream are now on top of the East and half a game behind Phoenix for control of the league. This week Angel was voted Player of the Week for her 33-point and 10-rebound performance in Atlanta's win over New York.
Candace Parker is still putting up strong performances despite Los Angeles' continued struggles. This week, however, the Sparks did pull off a big win against Tulsa, where Parker put up 24 points and and grabbed seven rebounds. Unfortunately for the Sparks, if they continue to struggle Candace could slip out of the top three.
LAST WEEK: #2
Phoenix had a huge week this week, bumping the Lynx out of the top spot after beating them twice in a row. It almost goes without saying that Taurasi also had a big week with three solid performances in all three of Phoenix's wins. She had a double-double every night with 21 points and 11 assists the first night, 22 points and 10 rebounds the next night, and 14 points and 12 assists the last night.
LAST WEEK: 8
Skylar Diggins is no doubt having a breakout season. She had an impressive career-high 33-point game with six steals in Tulsa's most recent win against Chicago. Plus, her numbers have been solid all season. She is averaging 19.5 points and has really taken over this Tulsa team. If Skylar keeps this pace up, she and Tulsa could keep climbing up the ladder.
LAST WEEK: #5
Unfortunately for Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky, EDD has missed the last five games due to a Lyme Disease flare-up. Her condition is still considered day-to-day, but she is expected to return as soon as she is considered well enough. Her presence is sorely missed by the Sky, as they have suffered four losses in her absence.
LAST WEEK: #9
Brittney Griner is also finding herself in the midst of a breakout year this sophomore season. Her last performance was a career-high 27 points and 18 rebounds to beat the Minnesota Lynx and edge them out of their spot atop the Western Conference. She then beat her own personal scoring record for a new career-high 28 points versus Tulsa the next game. She is averaging 17.5 points on the season now.
LAST WEEK: #4
Erika de Souza fell quite a bit this week with an uncharacteristic scoring performance. This, however, didn't affect the Dream as Angel McCoughtry picked up some of the scoring slack. The Brazilian center, however, still put up a solid defensive performance with 14 rebounds on Sunday. With the Dream doing as well as they're doing, though, De Souza is still in solid contention for the top spots.
LAST WEEK: #7
Lindsay Whalen is not to be discounted. She is still No. 4 in assists per game with 5.4. Plus, her scoring numbers have still been consistent. Whalen, however, still has the potential to move much higher up the ladder if she increases her scoring.
Tina Charles' performance fell a little this week as well as the Liberty continue to struggle for Ws. Though she had a 25-point game against Chicago, she only had six and 12 points the following games and her rebounding numbers fell into single digits, which is uncharacteristic for the double-double champ.