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The WNBA's 2003 MVP, Lauren Jackson put together the strongest campaign of her WNBA career in a bid to win MVP honors for a second time. Check out a multimedia presentation highlighting Jackson's 4,000th career point and her incredible season and read on for more of the case for LJ.


Why I'm Voting LJ for MVP
Alan Horton, storm.wnba.com

"What's impressed me most about Lauren's play has been her all-around game. Not only is she putting up amazing offensive numbers but she's also doing it at the defensive end."

Experts: LJ Consensus Favorite for MVP Honors
ESPN.com

My All-League Picks
Doris Burke, WNBA.com/WNBA on ESPN

"For me, the MVP race isn't close. Becky Hammon has had a GREAT year, no question… but Lauren is the best player in the world right now and without her, Seattle would be in a world of trouble."

Jackson all grown up and in control
Graham Hays, ESPN.com

"That the otherwise inconsistent Storm are where they are at the moment is perhaps the best indication of exactly how well Jackson has played in her finest individual effort in seven impressive years in the league. But it's not the only indication."

How Lauren got her Groove Back
Kelli Anderson, Sports Illustrated

"Now in her seventh year in the WNBA, the 2003 league MVP is playing the most productive and joyful basketball of her career despite stress fractures in her left shin."

Storm's Jackson is the leading candidate for MVP
Oscar Dixon, USA Today

"The Seattle Storm 6-5 forward, who tied a league record with 47 points this year against the Washington Mystics, came out No. 1 in USA TODAY's MVP index."

Will record year earn Jackson MVP award?
Wendy Carpenter, The News Tribune

"The numbers back up Donovan’s claim for Jackson to win her second MVP award after claiming it in 2003. Though she’s been considered one of the top players in the world since she entered the WNBA in 2001, Jackson is having her best season."

Lauren Jackson turning in season for ages
Darren Fessenden, Seattle P-I

"With Catchings sidelined, Jackson has begun to run away with the MVP race."

Refreshed Jackson sees value of health
Jayda Evans, Seattle Times

"The Aussie doesn't know how her mental and physical health turned around. The rebirth happened in Seoul."


JACKSON HAMMON CATCHINGS TAURASI TAYLOR
PPG 23.8 (1) 18.8 (4) 16.6 (NQ) 19.2 (3) 17.8 (7)
RPG 9.7 (1) 2.8 (NR) 9.0 (NQ) 4.2 (NR) 6.3 (11)
APG 1.3 (NR) 5.0 (1) 4.7 (NQ) 4.3 (8) 2.9 (NR)
SPG 1.0 (NR) 0.8 (NR) 3.1 (1) 1.4 (15) 1.5 (11)
BPG 2.0 (2) 0.2 (NR) 1.0 (NQ) 1.1 (8) 0.6 (NR)
TOPG 1.8 (NR) 4.1 (1) 3.0 (NQ) 2.5 (NR) 2.3 (NR)
FG% .519 (3) .445 (NR) .417 (NR) .440 (NR) .499 (6)
3PT% .402 (13) .404 (12) .311 (NR) .367 (NR) .378 (NR)
FT% .883 (5) .931 (2) .820 (NR) .835 (14) .884 (4)
TS% .633 (1) .590 (6) .548 (NR) .585 (7) .625 (2)
EFF/G 27.6 (1) 15.3 (13) 23.1 (NQ) 18.7 (4) 20.3 (2)
PER 34.5 (1) 21.0 (10) 29.0 (2) 23.3 (5) 26.1 (4)
Net +/- +27.8 (1) +5.8 (NR) +18.2 (2) +2.2 (NR) +14.7 (5)


LJ'S PLUSES FAR OUTWEIGH HER MINUSES
Jackson dominates the rest of the WNBA in terms of net plus-minus rating, as tracked by Paul Swanson of the Minnesota Lynx. With Jackson on the floor, the Storm outscored opponents by 9.5 points per 40 minutes. When Jackson was on the bench, the Storm was outscored by 18.1 points per 40 minutes. The difference - +27.8 points per 40 minutes - far surpasses Tamika Catchings' +18.2 net plus-minus, which ranks second in the WNBA. The Storm lost all three games without Jackson this season, including a pair of 20-point losses.

BEST FROM THE BEST
In a career that has already seen her named the WNBA's 2003 MVP and selected for the All-WNBA First Team four times, Jackson enjoyed her best season, with career highs in scoring and rebounding. She joined Chamique Holdsclaw (2002) as the only players to lead the league in both scoring and rebounding while ranking second in shot-blocking as well. Jackson's four Player of the Week honors tie the single-season record.

DOMINANT SCORING
Jackson led the WNBA with 23.8 points per game, making her just one of two players in the league to average better than 20. The best shooter in terms of field-goal percentage amongst the WNBA's top 30 scorers, Jackson recorded nine 30-point outings this year to set a new WNBA single-season record. Those were capped by her WNBA-record-tying 47 points July 24 at Washington. Only once all year did Jackson fail to reach double-figures, and that came Aug. 3 at Sacramento, when she left after 15 minutes with an injury.

LIGHTS-OUT DEFENSE
A top candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award, Jackson led the WNBA in defensive rebounding (7.1 drpg) and ranked second in blocked shots (2.0 bpg). One of just seven players in the league to average at least a steal and a block per game, Jackson had the league's best net defensive plus-minus. The Storm allowed 12.3 fewer points per 40 minutes with Jackson on the floor.


"She is the MVP of the WNBA this year. I don’t see how the voters could put anyone else down for MVP other than Lauren – it would be ridiculous. It’s a no-brainer for me – there is nothing to debate."
Anne Donovan

"She should be leg weary at this point. But she comes out and almost gives us 50. Wow! That's MVP-type numbers."
- Washington forward DeLisha Milton-Jones to the Seattle Times

"Right now I have to say that Lauren is the best player in the whole world."
- Connecticut Head Coach Mike Thibault