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Introducing the 2016 "Dishies" honoring WNBA regular season success

Sep 21, 2016

Since this is the first year Dishin & Swishin has its own home website, we were thinking maybe we should join the crowd of cool kids and give out our own WNBA regular season awards.

Of course, these are in addition to our Disher of the Year and Swisher of the Year awards, given out yesterday to Sue Bird and Nneka Ogwumike, respectively.

So let’s get to it.  It’s time to give out the first annual "Dishies," (hey, we needed a cool name too) to worthy recipients for their success over the course of the 2016 WNBA regular season.

Most Valuable Player – Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks

The season began with conversation about Candace Parker being an MVP candidate to prove people wrong about her Olympic team omission, and it ends with her teammate Ogwumike completing one of the most efficient seasons in history, men’s or women’s basketball. She was third in scoring, third in rebounding, first in field goal percentage, while usually defending the best frontcourt player on their opponent. Finally, her voice and her leadership were keys to this team challenging for the top seed most of the season.  

All-WNBA Teams

First Team

Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks

Tina Charles, New York Liberty

Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx

Angel McCoughtry, Atlanta Dream

Sue Bird, Seattle Storm

 

Second Team

Elena Delle Donne, Chicago Sky

Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks,

Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx

Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury

With Bird on the first team and Taurasi on the second team handling the ball, we don’t need to worry about any other positions.  So these are the ten best players for the season, regardless of position.

Really the only debate was McCoughtry or Delle Donne for first team. Both had similar statistics, both are leaders on their team, both were pretty consistent. In the end, Delle Donne unfortunately suffered the thumb injury, allowing McCoughtry to play five more games. The margin between them is that close.

Regarding Taurasi over some other candidates for the final second team slot, even in an “off year” she still scored 17.8 points and 3.9 assists per game, and it’s hard to imagine Phoenix even making the playoffs without her.

 

Coach of the Year – Cheryl Reeve, Minnesota Lynx

The Olympic break really divided the season, and impacted the recipients of several awards, including this one. Pre-break, Brian Agler had the Sparks on record setting pace, and was a shoo-in for this honor. However, when you factor in the whole season, including the way teams played, the juggling of playing time, teams playing to potential for the entire season, Reeve is the winner. Even things as small as sitting one of her stars at a time so the team continued to win games shows Reeve’s detail and preparation.

 

Defensive Player of the Year – Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx

Minnesota plays the best team defense in the league, and most of it is because of the eraser they have on the backline. Over the years Fowles, always a strong defender, has gotten even better in terms of anticipation, body control (not fouling), and help defense. This was her best year yet.

All-Defense Team (six members because they are all so good)

Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx

Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever

Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

Briann January, Indiana Fever

Elizabeth Williams, Atlanta Dream

Alana Beard, Los Angeles Spark

 

Rookie of the Year - Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

Do I need to explain this one?

All Rookie Team

Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm

Moriah Jefferson, San Antonio Stars

Imani Boyette, Chicago Sky

Aerial Powers, Dallas Wings

Bria Holmes, Atlanta Dream

 

Most Improved Player – Elizabeth Williams, Atlanta Dream

Normally, we don’t like giving Most Improved to a second year player. By nature of just getting that first year done, there is often a big jump in performance. Williams though, went from being a limited at best contributor in Connecticut to tying for the most minutes per game in the league. Her instincts, her footwork, her offensive moves and defensive positioning were tremendously improved. She is the exception to the “skip the second year player for most improved” rule.

Honorable mention to teammate Layshia Clarendon, Connecticut’s Jasmine Thomas, Washington’s Tayler Hill, and New York’s Sugar Rodgers

 

Sixth Player of the Year – Jantel Lavender, Los Angeles Sparks

The easiest award selection is this one. Lavender put up starters numbers in less than 20 minutes per game. She accepted coming off the bench without complaint, and took the challenge of the new role and excelled.  No one is even close.

 

Most Obvious First Ballot Hall of Famer – Tamika Catchings, Indiana Fever

 We had to give Catchings a merit of honor award for her contributions to the game of women’s basketball, her amazing giving to fans and community, and the overall respect she has earned. Accordingly, we name Tamika Catchings the recipient of a special Dishie award, the Most Obvious First Ballot Hall of Famer.

That’s all of them!  We hope you’ve enjoyed our selections, and we look forward to the playoffs!