Mid Season WNBA Review
Minnesota Lynx forward Maya Moore (23) reacts after missing a 3-point shot during the first half against the Los Angeles Sparks in a WNBA basketball game Friday, June 24, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Aaron Lavinsky/Star Tribune via AP)
This has been one exciting half of the WNBA season. Although the Minnesota Lynx (14-3) are still a dominant force, there’s a team that came out of nowhere with a (15-1) start, the Los Angeles Sparks.
Last season this team was riddled with injuries and barely made the playoffs with a (14-20) record. This proves the effect that Candice Parker has on her team. Hurt the majority of the 2015 season, her team struggled, mightily.
This season they’ve already surpassed their 2015 win total, and their players are healthy.
— Los Angeles Sparks (@LA_Sparks) July 3, 2016
The Minnesota Lynx are second in the Western Conference, right behind the Sparks but shouldn’t panic much.
Maya Moore tends to elevate her already elite game come playoff time, just like she did last season. Thus far, she’s averaging 18.5 points per game, which is sixth in the league.
The Dallas Wings, formerly known as the Tulsa Shock, are doing pretty well as they are trying to rebound from a slow start, due to Skylar Diggins’ knee injury that she suffered last season.
Dallas started the season (3-7) and since then, they are (5-3). Skylar’s return has helped this team so much, averaging 13.3 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game in just nine games.
Karima Christmas is having the best season of her career, averaging a career-high 14.1 points, and 6.4 rebounds per game.
The addition of rookie forward, Aerial Powers has been a blessing for this team as well. The six-foot former Spartan has averaged 10.0 points in 17 minutes per game off the bench.
When she gets in the game there’s instant offense. She never has any problem getting to the basket, and the Wings will need her in order to make a serious run in the playoffs.
The star of this team has undoubtedly been Odyssey Sims, though. She’s averaged 15.1 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.0 rebounds per game in just her second season out of Baylor.
This team could be a sleeper in the Western Conference this year. Although they made the playoffs last season, they were on a downward spiral following Diggins’ knee injury, this year they’ll be approaching the playoffs at their peak.
There isn’t much going on in the Eastern Conference, at all. The only team that really sticks out is the (12-5) New York Liberty. They have the third playoff spot locked down, pretty significantly behind the Sparks and the Lynx, but safely ahead of the (9-9) Washington Mystics, and the (8-8) Atlanta Dream.
The Liberty does have the WNBA’s leading scorer in Tina Charles, who’s averaging 22.8 points per game.
— Bruce Beck (@BruceBeck4NY) June 27, 2016
Coincidentally, the Eastern Conference has the top three scorers in the WNBA. Chicago’s Elena Della Donne is second in scoring, at 20.3 points per game and Atlanta’s Angel McCoughtry averages 19.4.
It seems like the Eastern Conference has more star power with no supporting cast.
The Western Conference has plenty of stars, but the supporting casts are stronger. That’s why it looks like this year’s champion will come out of the Western Conference.