Seattle Storm – Not-Too-Early-MVP Award For Breanna Stewart?

The Seattle Storm are on a hot start to July as the team heads south to take on the Atlanta Dream. Sue Bird was nearly unconscious in the first two games of the month. Here’s quite possibly the play of the year for the Storm:

Bird has 20 assists in July, and has committed just three turnovers. There’s a bucket at the end of every pass from her, I’m thoroughly convinced.

Besides Bird’s annual resurgence, it might be time to finally crown Breanna Stewart as the league’s MVP. We’re just halfway through the year, but she’s been nothing short of amazing.

In this play, watch Breanna Stewart start at the top of the key and feign a second screen for her teammate as she slides her way just below the free throw line. The defender sitting in a zone actually meets Stewart on time but can’t quite keep up when Stewart goes left and scoops the ball in for a layup. Her ability to score in the middle of chaos like this essentially renders the opposing team’s zone useless.

Her ability to drive the ball from the perimeter is also a sight to behold. She’s comfortable taking the ball to the hole with her left. In the following, Stewart fights through three defenders prodding at the ball:

It’s something that Stewart has done all year, and there hasn’t been a defender to completely reign Stewart in. Does she remind you of anyone?

Sure, comparing her to an all-time baller might be a bit short-sighted, but Stewart’s the real deal. Take a look at some of her statistics on the defensive side of the ball:

Statistic # / % League Rank
Block% 3.6 5
Defensive Rebounding % 23.8 7
Steal % 2.4 7
Defensive Rating 96.8 4
Defensive Win Shares 1.3 2


She’s quickly established herself as one of the top defenders in the WNBA. Keep in mind, Stewart is also playing in an offense that’s pretty demanding of her, as she’s taking about 15 shots per game. No other player in the league is ranked top 5 in defensive rating and offensive rating.

I was already pretty excited about Breanna Stewart’s potential at the beginning of the year, but now that we’re midway, it’s great to be able to back up talk with stats. It’s not unreasonable to declare her the best player so far this season.

The Atlanta Dream have been a bit over performing their record, per basketball-reference (you can read about the Pythagorean Win calculation here):

Team Wins Losses W/L% Pts/G PtsA/G PW PL
Dream 8 8 .500 75 79 5 11


As you can tell, the Dream don’t generate enough offense that’s viable, so look for the Storm to dominate on the defensive end.

On the offensive end, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bird ends up with an absurd 15 assists. In the past two games, Breanna Stewart hasn’t netted a three point shot, so we’ll see if she can re-establish her comfort from beyond the arc.

The Storm will then take on a formidable Washington Mystics on Sunday. The Mystics have only lost two game in their past seven matchups, and will look to test their mettle against a top team.

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About Sebastian Pycior 54 Articles
Sebastian is an industrial professional, having graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science in 2013. He remains largely interested in the effects sports have on greater society. From Las Vegas, he’s moved on from the world of 'odds' and has embraced storylines and aspects surrounding Seattle sports.