Friday, July 24, 2009
She's standing up, and it's time to recognize her.
Ah, if there's a chasm in which a WNBA follower can easily fall, it's letting his or her picks for yearly awards face the scrutiny of others. (Good thing I have blog space to fill!)
If I were handing out awards, here's who I'd give them to, based on the halfway point of the season.
Most Valuable Player: Nicky Anosike - C - Minnesota Lynx
I would put Nicky above just about anyone - even above the major names like Jackson and Taurasi. She's tough and fearless and one of the reasons why the Lynx have suddenly become a team to be feared. She's just in her second year in the league and I think she's going to be one of those players that can just do it all. She's averaging 14.4 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game for the Lynx, as well as 3.1 steals per game.
All WNBA Teams: I had to bang on some position designations for this one.
C - Nicky Anosike, Lynx
PF - Lauren Jackson, Storm
SF - Tamika Catchings, Fever
SG - Diana Taurasi, Mercury
PG - Cappie Pondexter, Mercury
C - Erika de Souza, Dream
PF - Shameka Christon, Liberty
SF - Sancho Lyttle, Dream
SG - Tanisha Wright, Storm
PG - Jia Perkins, Sky
Rookie of the Year: DeWanna Bonner - G - Mercury
Angel McCoughtry is really good, but I would have to give the nod to Bonner just from the minutes played.
C - Courtney Paris, Monarchs
PF - Megan Frazee, Silver Stars
SF - Angel McCoughtry, Dream
SG - DeWanna Bonner, Mercury
PG - Renee Montgomery, Lynx
Sixth Woman of the Year: Crystal Langhorne - F/C - Mystics
Having 11.6 ppg/7.6 rpg out of only 3 starts in 15 games? She makes a pretty strong argument for the honor.
Coach of the Year
This is a tough one. How do you quantify the difference between the coach and the players? If a coach is also a GM, does player acquisition figure in the ratings?
My rule: best record unless there are other considerations. That makes Lin Dunn of the Fever my nominee.
Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award: Shannon Johnson - G - Storm
This is usually given to one of the oldest players in the league as an honorarium. Some charity work and general good behavior is required. Lisa Leslie is retiring, but she's a bit too whiny to get the award. Tina Thompson is too much of an intimidator. Since Shannon Johnson has put in her time, and since she hasn't won the award yet, I'll nominate her for the award.
Most Improved Player: Kara Braxton - C - Detroit Shock
Braxton is scoring 11.8 points for game and sh'es been on fire, hitting 64 percent of her field goals. She's getting 7.3 rpg, almost two more than last year. The Shock are banged up, but this has left opportunity for Braxton to show what she can do.
Defensive Player of the Year: Nicky Anosike - C - Minnesota Lynx
Yes, she throws her elbows but with 53 steals and 16 blocks on the year, Anosike is a force to be reckoned with. There aren't too many centers leading the league in steals.
C: Nicky Anosike, Lynx
PF: Lauren Jackson, Storm
SF: Tamika Catchings, Fever
SG: Tanisha Wright, Storm
PG: Alexis Hornbuckle, Shock