Breaking Down the All-Stars
Many of the league's superstars are playing some of the most explosive basketball of their careers. Mix that in with all the hungry new talent that could very well dethrone the players on top and you have one of the most competitive seasons the WNBA has seen in years.
West All-Star Diana Taurasi is looking to pick up the sixth scoring title of her career this season leading the category with 22.4 points per game. East All-Star Sylvia Fowles on the rebounding side is leading with 11.7 boards per game.
But taking a deeper dive into the numbers brings out some interesting story lines this season.
|Tina Charles||Glory Johnson|
Sophomore Glory Johnson has been having a breakout year earning her a spot as a reserve on the Western Conference All-Star squad. How good is she playing? The numbers she is putting up this season are on par with reigning WNBA MVP Tina
Charles. Both players are leading the league in double-doubles with Charles' 11 and Johnson's 10.
Charles has already established herself as one of the best post-players with some of the best footwork in the league. But Glory Johnson has upside that continues to grow each game. Seeing these two square-off on the court now that they're reserves for opposing All-Star teams should be a sight to watch.
Western Conference All-Stars Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Kristi Toliver of the Los Angeles Sparks are one of the strongest offensive threats to stop this season.
The Sparks are averaging the one of the largest point margins of victory this season - averaging 82.9 points while opponents score 74.3 A lot of that has to deal with not only the dominance of Candace Parker but the gunslinging shooter Kristi Toliver. From three point range, Toliver is shooting just a little under 40 percent this season to the tune of an average 14.8 points per game.
NOT IN MY HOUSE
Their key to winning at home this season has been defense. The Lynx are the league's strongest rebounding team averaging 38.9 rebounds per game while opponents have 33.6. They're also towards the top of the rankings on blocks (3rd, 5.2 blocks per game) and steals (4th, 7.8 steals per game).
Now that the Lynx sport the league's best 14-3 record, the team could very well make their third consecutive WNBA Finals appearance this year if they keep it up.
GIVE ME LIBERTY
At 7-10, the New York Liberty have struggled out of the gate this season to stay competitive in the Eastern Conference. Statistics suggest their Achilles heel may be turnovers. The team leads the league averaging 18.0 turnovers while their opponents are averaging 12.8. One of the league leaders in turnovers is the team's All-Star guard Cappie Pondexter who is averaging a career worst 3.9 turnovers per game. Curbing back on these liabilities could very well be the solution to get the team over the hump in the second half of the season.
FIRST CLASS ROOKIES
Both players couldn't be more deserving. Griner showed her dominance out of the gate this season with two dunks in a single game - doubling the amount of in-game dunks in the history of the league. She's also leading the league in blocks with an average of 2.8 per game and field goal shooting at 60 percent. Injuries have marred her performances so far this season - just imagine how dominant Griner will be at full health.
Delle Donne meanwhile continues to be one of the league's best scorers (4th, 18.2 ppg) and isn't too far behind Griner on the blocks list (1.9 bpg). But one of her statlines that isn't getting noticed is her free throws. Delle Donne is leading the league in free throws making 94 percent of her baskets from the charity stripe. In other words, she's only missed six of her 94 free throw attempts this season (3rd most attempts in the league by the way).
PARKER VS. TAURASI
It depends. Diana Taurasi not only leads the league in scoring with 22.4 points per game, she has the highest points/rebounds/assists ratio with her stats line of 22.4 points/4.3 rebounds/5.6 assists per game.
Candace Parker, on the other hand, has the league's highest efficiency rating of 22.8. In 28.5 minutes per game, she is averaging 17.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.2 blocks and 1 steal. Both players are dominating no matter at what angle making this year's MVP Race an exciting one to watch.Statistics are based on WNBA games on or before July 25, 2013.