Mercury center earns 12th career Player of the Week honor and 4th of the season
PHOENIX – 2014 WNBA Champion, two-time Defensive Player of the Year and two-time WNBA scoring leader Brittney Griner was named the Western Conference Player of the Week, as announced by the league office today. It’s the fourth Player of the Week honor of the season for Griner and the 12th of her career, the second-most by a Mercury player in franchise history (Diana Taurasi, 20).
Griner joins Jonquel Jones for the most Player of the Week awards this season, while it also marks the fourth consecutive week a Mercury player has won the honor (Griner on August 23 & Skylar Diggins-Smith on August 30). With her fourth Player of the Week honor, Griner matches Taurasi (four in 2008) for the most Player of the Week nods in a season in franchise history, while the five total Player of the Week awards the Mercury has won matches the franchise record for the most in a season (five in 2008).
Griner earns the award after leading the Mercury to a 2-0 record over the course of last week, extending the team’s current win streak to eight games. The 6-foot-9 center posted averages of 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.0 blocks, while shooting 51.7 percent (15-of-29) from the field and 90 percent (9-for-10) from the free throw line.
Griner opened up the week with an 18-point, 5-rebounds and 4-assists performance in a 20-point blowout over Chicago on August 31. She followed that up with 22 points and 5 rebounds in a 22-point win over Indiana on September 4. Griner knocked down her one three-point attempt in the game and now stands at three triples on the season and five in her career.
One of the league’s front-runners for MVP this season, Griner ranks inside the top-5 in scoring (20.7 ppg – 3rd), field goal percentage (57.4 – 2nd), rebounding (career-best 9.4 rpg – T-5th), blocks per game (2.0 – 1st) and efficiency rating (25.8 – 2nd), the only player in the league to rank in the top-5 in all four categories. Additionally, Griner is the only player in the league this season averaging 20+ points, 9+ rebounds and 2+ blocks per game. Since she was drafted, no players have put up such numbers in a season, while only three players in WNBA history have averaged such numbers in a season (Lauren Jackson – 2007, Candace Parker – 2010 and Sylvia Fowles – 2011).
2020 Tokyo Olympic gold medalists Diana Taurasi, Brittney Griner and Skylar Diggins-Smith return to Phoenix this summer, as the trio attempts to lead the Mercury to a WNBA-record tying fourth championship in 2021.