WNBA

MVP Ladder: Jones’ to Lose at the Break

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Going into the Olympic break, it’s a great time to re-rank the leading WNBA MVP candidates.

1. Jonquel Jones, F, Connecticut Sun

Jones took a break from WNBA action for FIBA Eurobasket, but is still firmly in the lead for MVP this season. She’s averaging 21.0 PPG, 11.1 REB, and 3.1 AST on 57% shooting from the field, plus 44% from three. In the five games that she missed, the Sun have gone 2-3, a noticeable change from their 8-2 start at the beginning of the season. The Sun missed Jonquel’s instant offense along with her defense, still averaging over a block and a steal per game. Between her on-court play and the Sun’s struggles without her, Jones remains number one in the MVP race.

2. Breanna Stewart, F, Seattle Storm

Breanna Stewart is a big part of why the Seattle Storm hold the best record in the WNBA. She’s averaging 20.6 PTS with 9.6 REB, 2.8 AST and 1.7 BLK per game. Stewart has been everything for this Seattle team– she leads the Storm in win shares by a huge margin, also ranking 2nd in the whole WNBA. On top of that, Stewie is playing some of the best defense of her career. Breanna’s MVP case is solidified as the go-to player for Seattle, and almost every time the team needs a bucket she delivers.

3. Tina Charles, C, Washington Mystics

Most people thought Tina’s best days were behind her, but with a change of scenery and a new head coach who truly maximizes their bigs, Tina looks better than ever. She’s averaging 26.3 points with 10.0 rebounds per game as well. With Tina on the floor, the Mystics are scoring 104 points per 100 possessions. As for when she’s off the floor? Washington sits at 71.8 points per 100 possessions. Tina’s importance to the Mystics can’t be understated enough, as she also ranks 6th in win shares. While Washington may not have the best record, Tina’s stats don’t lie.

4. Sylvia Fowles, C, Minnesota Lynx

Most players at the age of 35 aren’t doing what Sylvia Fowles is doing this year. In her 14th season, she’s averaging 15.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. While being an offensive force for the Lynx, she’s also been one defensively, averaging 2.0 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. Even halfway through the season, no one has had an answer for Sylvia down low as she’s shooting 60.8% from the field. All things considered, Sylvia is playing incredible basketball even in the late stages of her career.

5. A’ja Wilson, F, Las Vegas Aces

If anyone had doubts about A’ja’s impact for the Aces, her play this season has put those doubts all to rest. Despite her recent shooting slump over the last few games, A’ja is still the engine that runs this team. Averaging 19.4 PPG and 9.0 REB, she’s putting up a strong campaign. Factor in a new career-high 3.1 AST/game, and Wilson will always be at the center of this Las Vegas squad- and the MVP rankings.

About Akhil Hollingsworth

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