Deanna Nolan and Cappie Pondexter
Named WNBA Players of the Week
Nolan receives the third Player of the Week award of her career, another of which came earlier this season when she was honored for the week ending June 22. In Detroits three games this week, Nolan averaged 20.7 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds on 54.2 percent (26-48) shooting, including 46.7 percent (7-15) from behind the three-point arc. She led the Shock to a 2-1 record for the week with wins over Chicago and Washington. Detroit lengthened its lead on the rest of the Eastern Conference by a game and now sits in first place with a two-game edge over Connecticut.
On the road at Washington, Nolan tallied 26 points and four assists on 11-14 shooting without turning the ball over once in the Shock win. She collected 19 of those points in the first quarter alone. Two days later against Sacramento, Nolan played all 40 minutes in the 88-85 loss to the Monarchs. She went for a game-high 27 points in the affair, marking the fourth time this season and second consecutive game in which she totaled 25 or more points.
To date, Nolan is averaging 14.6 points and 5.3 assists, which ranks fourth in the league. Shes on pace this season to set a career-high in assists as she is averaging over two more assists per game than her career high (3.2). Nolan was a member of both of Detroits WNBA Championship squads (2003 and 2006), was named the Finals MVP in 2006 and is a two-time All-WNBA First Team selection and four-time Eastern Conference All-Star. In June, she scored her 3,000th-career point in the WNBA.
Pondexter earns her second-career Player of the Week award and her first in 2008 after averaging 22.3 points, 5.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds while shooting 38.6 percent (22-57) from the floor, 53.3 percent (8-15) from long-range and 93.8 percent (15-16) from the free-throw line. Her performance steered the Mercury to a 2-1 record on the week, including triumphs over Los Angeles and Atlanta.
While playing host to the Sparks, Pondexter scored a team-high 27 points, including 4-4 from behind the three-point line and 11-11 on free throws. When not shooting, she helped facilitate the Mercury offense with five assists. In her first game of the week, she tied Diana Taurasi for the team-lead in points with 23 while handing out seven assists as the Mercury lost to the Silver Stars, 97-87. In the final game of the week, she scored 17 points in limited minutes as the Mercury totaled the third-most points in franchise history in the 110-84 win over Atlanta.
Pondexter currently ranks second in the WNBA in scoring (23.2 points per game)
behind only teammate Diana Taurasi (23.5 points per game). She also ranks in
the top 10 in assists with 4.6 per game. Both her points and assists average
are on pace for career-highs. Currently in her third year in the league, she
is already a two-time All-Star, a WNBA Finals MVP and a member of the Mercurys
2007 WNBA Championship squad.
Other candidates for WNBA Players of the Week were Connecticuts Asjha Jones, Houstons Tamecka Dixon, Los Angeles DeLisha Milton-Jones, Minnesotas Candice Wiggins, Sacramentos Rebekkah Brunson and Seattles Camille Little.
About the WNBA
Comprised of 14 teams and entering its 12th season, the WNBA is the most successful womens professional team sports league in the world. The 2008 season tipped off May 17 with ESPN2 again providing appointment viewing in the form of its WNBA Tuesdays telecasts. During the 2008 season, combined coverage on ABC and ESPN2 will include 21 national telecasts, while NBA TV, the leagues 24-hour television network, will offer 70 regular-season contests.
Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on programs that promote a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, increase breast and womens health awareness, support youth and family development, and focus on education. For more information on the WNBA, log on to www.wnba.com.