2014 WNBA Champion and two-time Defensive Player of the Year Brittney Griner was named the Western Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league office today. It’s the fourth career honor for Griner, and the first time since August 10, 2015.
Currently a front-runner for the league’s MVP and Most Improved Player awards, Griner earned the award after leading the Mercury to a 3-0 record last week, including victories over East powers Washington and New York, who entered the week ahead of Phoenix in the standings. After entering 2017 without a career 30-point game and recording only two double-doubles last season, Griner had two 30-point efforts and two double-doubles last week alone en route to averaging 25.3 points on 68.2-percent (30-of-44) shooting, 11.7 rebounds and 4.7 blocks in the three games.
After foul trouble limited her to a season-low six points in the Mercury’s game on June 30, Griner rebounded with a 30-point, 14-rebound performance at home against the Washington Mystics on July 5. She finished 11-of-17 (64.7 percent) from the field and added three blocks in Phoenix’s 88-80 win.
Then, after recording 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks on Friday in San Antonio, Griner notched 31 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks in 34 minutes of action on Sunday afternoon against New York. Griner shot a blistering 76.4 percent (13-of-17) from the floor.
Through the Mercury’s first 16 games of the season, Griner is leading the league in both scoring (career-high 22.4 points) and blocks (2.8 blocks), and ranks sixth in rebounding (career-high 8.4 rebounds) and fourth in field goal percentage (.581). She alone has accounted for four of the league’s 10 30-point games this season (teammates Diana Taurasi and Monique Currie each have one each as well), while her 38-point effort on June 7 at Indiana is the most points scored in a game during the 2017 season. She is the only player in the WNBA this summer averaging at least 22 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks, something only New Orlreans’ Anthony Davis accomplished during the 2016-17 NBA campaign.
History has been made! Diana Taurasi is the new all-time leading scorer in WNBA history as she attempts to lead the Mercury to a WNBA-record tying fourth championship. Tickets for the next Mercury home game on Wednesday, July 12, and the remaining seven regular-season Mercury home games, can be purchased by calling 602.252.WNBA or by visiting PhoenixMercury.com.