Aussies in WNBA: Taylor's Mercury rising
|Alanna Jarry||Jun 30, 2016|
The once top-of-the-table and undefeated Minnesota Lynx have been stunned, losing 3 games in a row and most recently to the New York Liberty by 3 points in overtime. This proves how close the teams are to each other in the WNBA, with such high talent on display at both ends of the table.
Penny Taylor's Phoenix Mercury and the Los Angeles Sparks are starting to prove that they are the teams to beat after earning a string of wins under their belt and with their stars firing.
Players of the Week
Holding the Eastern Conference Player of the Week title for the fourth time this season was New York Liberty's Tina Charles.
Charles made 23 points, 9 rebounds and an incredible 10 assists in the Liberty's 90-79 win over the Atlanta Dream. The forward then backed it up with 21 points, 13 rebounds in the win over Chicago Sky at home.
Diana Taurasi earned her first Western Conference Player of the Week so far this season, and the 19th time overall for her career. Taurasi - being the ultimate scoring machine - became the fastest player in WNBA history to reach 7,000 points this week. She logged 27 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the Mercury's win over the Mystics, and then 24 points and 5 rebounds in the road win against the Liberty.
In true Taurasi style, her 7,000th point came at a crucial time in the game and from way beyond the arc.
Australia's Rebecca Allen was welcomed back with open arms by her New York Liberty teammates, and fans as well. The dynamic Australian forward made 8 points and 2 rebounds in her first game against the Chicago Sky.
Allen has continued to make a great impact as she finds her feet with the Liberty. Her talent is thrilling to watch and will provide some great sparks for New York for the remainder of the season.
Penny Taylor has been in her standard dominant form, netting 16 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists in the Mercury's win over the Liberty. With Taylor, Taurasi and Brittney Griner firing, the Mercury are rising fast!
Erin Phillips too has been performing well for the Dallas Wings, bringing her usual uncompromising and win at all cost aggressiveness to the point guard role, game in and game out. Phillips brings assists that no one else on the court can see to the game.
Jenna O'Hea and the Seattle Storm have only played the two games in the past week, but the Australian guard has still managed to make impact in those games and has been given solid minutes.
Tributes flow for one of coaching's greatest
It was an emotional week for many WNBA players who were products of the University of Tennessee under the guidance of head coach Pat Summitt, who unfortunately passed away earlier this week after a five-year battle with Alzheimers disease.
Summitt is arguably one of the best college coaches of all time and was a pioneer in changing the way women's basketball is played. The NCAA did not even formally recognise women's basketball until Summitt came along. Her resume includes 8 national titles and 1,098 games, holding the record for the most games coached by any Division 1 basketball coach - male or female.
Summitt had a large impact on many players, one being WNBA MVP favourite Candace Parker, who played on the same day that Summitt passed. Her emotional tribute to her past coach could be felt by writing the word 'rebound' on her shoes - a skill consistently drilled in to her by Summitt. Parker happened to equal her highest rebounds so far this season in this game.
The WNBA has also put together a tribute in memory of Summitt that every fan should watch.