Delle Donne a unanimous All-WNBA first team choice

Ross Houston
October 9, 2019

Sparks guard Chelsea Gray has been selected to the All-WNBA first team along with Washington Mystics forward Elena Delle Donne, who was selected league MVP, Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner, Chicago Sky guard Courtney Vanderloot and Seattle Storm forward Natasha Howard.

The Connecticut Sun are shining a little more brightly in recent days.

Both Delle Donne and Atkins warmed up ahead of the lineup announcement, but their status remained questionable.

The series is tied, 1-1, coming to CT for the second two games. A Game 5, if necessary, would be Thursday at Washington.

CT would get no closer.

Delle Donne left during the first quarter of Game 2 and did not return. She was diagnosed with a herniated disc and has not practiced this week.

Delle Donne did many things over the course of Sunday afternoon, but she never Saturday. Washington's 16 triples tied a WNBA Finals record. While Delle Donne went down and out in Game 2, Sun forward Jonquel Jones went off.

For the Sun they have relied on Jones this year for the scoring and she has only averaged out to 14.6 points a game with 44.8% shooting from the field on the year so far.

In their most dire time of the 2019 season, with question marks about Delle Donne and the Sun confidently tying the series up at one game apiece, the best offensive team in WNBA history delivered. Delle Donne leaned over with her arms outstretched, she put her hands on her knees, she even rocked back and forth between her right and left leg during timeouts.

Natasha Howard, Storm: The 2019 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year averaged career highs of 18.1 points (fourth in the WNBA), 8.2 rebounds (sixth) and 2.18 steals (second) to go with 1.74 blocks (third). He has also managed to clean the glass up nicely for the Mystics with a total of 8.3 rebounds a game and out of those she managed to get 1.5 of those on the offensive glass.

Jonquel Jones, Sun: Jones averaged 9.7 rebounds for her second rebounding title in four seasons, tied for the WNBA lead in blocked shots with 2.0 per game and contributed 14.6 points to help CT finish with the league's second-best record.

CT posted a 41-27 edge on the boards, as well as a 17-6 advantage on the offensive glass. Washington hit a staggering 16 three-pointers and held the Sun to a 25% clip from beyond the arc on their way to a 94-81 victory. Aerial Powers led Washington with eight rebounds. Those were the only shots she took in the first three quarters.

Deja Vu All Over Again For Mystics?

Taking the show on the road to CT was always going to be problematic for Washington, even with a full and healthy roster to call upon. Meesseman had 21 points off the bench, including nine to start the fourth quarter.

They opened the season with an 84-69 loss at CT. However, with Washington being just down the road the advantage for the Sun is lost in this game.

Delle Donne hit an early 3-pointer and the Mystics made six of their nine shots from behind the arc in the first quarter to take a 32-17 lead after 10 minutes.

When faced with that scenario in the past, they've usually been counted out.

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