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Maya Moore Closing the Gap in the WNBA MVP Chase

The Chicago Sky’s Elena Delle Donne remains at the top of the WNBA’s MVP chase, but Minnesota’s Maya Moore is threatening to close the gap with a series of big performances. Let’s take a look at the race for the WNBA MVP.

Elena Delle Donne – Chicago Sky

Delle Donne continues to put up big numbers despite an ankle injury that put her briefly in a boot but only cost her one game. She is still leading the WNBA in scoring by a wide margin at 24.1 per game and is shooting a crisp 47 percent from the field and 96 percent from the free throw line. Toss in 8.8 rebounds, one steal and two blocks per game and its not really too hard to see why she has been the favorite for MVP for virtually the entire season.

Maya Moore – Minnesota Lynx

As good as Delle Donne has been, Maya Moore may have closed the gap a bit with a big week that resulted in her earning another WNBA Player of the Week honor. Moore averaged 26.7 points over her last three games and scored a season-high 36 in an 84-82 come-from-behind win in Atlanta against the Dream. Moore’s overall numbers are gaudy as well. She is second in the league in scoring at 20.1 points per game to go along with 5.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. Moore is shooting a respectable 43 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range. She also has the Lynx positioned at the top of the WNBA standings with an 18-7 record.

Tina Charles – New York Liberty

While capturing the MVP award is probably a long shot at best for Tina Charles, that shouldn’t put a damper on what has been a stellar season for herself and the New York Liberty. The Liberty currently sit atop the Eastern Conference standings and Charles is a big reason why. She is currently fourth in the league in scoring (17.6) and second in rebounding (9.1). She finished with 31 points, eight rebounds and three assists in a big 90-78 win at Connecticut last week. New York’s surge to the top of the Eastern Conference standings has been one of the biggest storylines of the WNBA season. You can thank Tina Charles for much of that.

Brittney Griner – Phoenix Mercury

Griner has generated headlines for the wrong reasons, but her play on the court has the Mercury poised for another strong playoff run. The Mercury are currently 15-9 and just two games back of Minnesota for the best record in the WNBA. Griner has been a big reason why averaging 15.4 points and 8.5 rebounds on the season. Her 4.35 blocks per game lead the league by a wide margin and its on the defensive end of the floor where she is truly a game changer.

Angel McCoughtry – Atlanta Dream

It has been a lost season for the Atlanta Dream so far this summer, but once again Angel McCoughtry is doing everything she can to keep her team in the hunt. McCoughtry is currently third in the league in scoring at 20.1 per game and is shooting 39 percent from the field and a career-best 36 percent from three-point range. At times she is a maddening player, but her inclusion on this list despite playing for a last place team just speaks to her talent.

Best of the rest

Nneka Ogwumike slips off the list this week, but that shouldn’t put a damper on what has been a solid season. Despite a sub .500 record, the Sparks remain in the playoff hunt and Ogwumike has been a big reason why. Alex Bentley continues to put up big numbers for Connecticut as they try to make a playoff push in the East, and DeWanna continues to hit big shots for the Mercury.

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