The Associated Press WNBA awards were announced Tuesday, and there weren’t a lot of surprises. Breanna Stewart was the player of the year, A’ja Wilson the unanimous rookie of the year, Natasha Howard as most improved.
And while the Lynx – who play Los Angeles tonight in a first-round, single-elimination game at Staples Center – didn’t have the season they’d hoped, there were a couple players who were honored.
Center Sylvia Fowles was named defensive player of the year for the fourth time in her career and for the second time with the Lynx. She led the league in rebounding, setting a single-season league record with 404. She was also in the top ten in steals and blocks.Only Tamika Catchings (five) has won the award more times.
Fowles, who led the league in field goal percentage (61.9) and Maya Moore were named to the second-team All-WNBA team.
Stewart averaged 21.8 points, 8.4 rebounds and shot 52.9 percent from the field this season to help the Storm earn a bye until the semifinals of the playoffs. She received 12 of the 14 votes with Liz Cambage earning the other two.
"To be recognized as the best player is where I want to be and I want to continue to get better," Stewart said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. "The biggest change I made besides improving on the court was preparing myself off the court. Make myself strong and take care of my body nutritionally."
Here are the other awards:
--Atlanta’s Nicki Collen is coach of the year
--Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones was sixth person of the year
--Phoenix Mercury forward DeWanna Bonner was comeback player of the year
--First-team All-WNBA: Stewart, Liz Cambage, Elena Delle Donne, Diana Taurasi, Tiffany Hayes
--Second-team: Candace Parker, Maya Moore, Sylvia Fowles, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins-Smith
--All-rookie team: A’Ja Wilson, Azura Stevens, Kia Nurse, Kelsey Mitchell, Ariel Atkins, Diamond De Shields.