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The Daily Swish: The WNBA Playoffs are full of highlights and Griner is the Defensive Player of the Year!

Let's get to some links.

Christian Petersen

Happy Friday everyone.

A lot of news today. The latest came out early this morning where Brittney Griner was named the 2014 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year, which James also mentioned in his post on the All-Defensive first and second teams. She had 129 blocks after playing in all 34 games in the 2014 season, which easily broke the previous record of 114 blocks that Margo Dydek set. In addition, Griner herself blocked more shots herself than eight WNBA teams did:

Team BLK
Phoenix Mercury 205
Chicago Sky 194
Atlanta Dream 146
Indiana Fever 139
Brittney Griner 129
Minnesota Lynx 124
Los Angeles Sparks 116
Tulsa Shock 110
Connecticut Sun 108
Washington Mystics 107
New York Liberty 99
San Antonio Stars 97
Seattle Storm 69

In addition, Griner's individual offensive and defensive ratings improved from 108 (offense) to 98 (defense) in 2013 to 115 to 91 in 2014. Needless to say, her improvement on defense helped the Mercury improve from 10th in team defensive rating (103) in 2013 to 1st in the WNBA (97) in 2014.

If you are wondering how the voting went, as you might have expected, it was a landslide:

Points Player Team
31 Brittney Griner Phoenix Mercury
4 Sancho Lyttle Atlanta Dream
1 Jessica Breland Chicago Sky
1 Angel McCoughtry Atlanta Dream
1 Maya Moore Minnesota Lynx

Congratulations to Griner on this well-deserved honor.

In addition to this latest news, we had two playoff games and the Draft Lottery Thusday. Here they are below:

Playoff Thursday final scores

The Indiana Fever grits out a 78-73 win against the Washington Mystics - Tamika Catchings, as we expected, was the X-Factor of this game.

Minnesota breathes a sigh of relief after 88-84 win - The Stars made a huge fourth quarter comeback, but it wasn't enough.

Playoff Thursday highlights

Ivory Latta's anklebreaking crossover - Bria WHO!?

Lindsay Whalen's playground pass to Maya Moore - The WNBA wasted its time with its highlight video. Time to do it again.

2015 WNBA Draft

Seattle Storm win the #1 pick in the 2015 WNBA Draft - With Brian Agler there to get his photo op, this really doesn't send the right message. He should be fired.

Other links

Mercury coach Sandy Brondello named the 2014 WNBA Coach of the Year - Well deserved because Phoenix made a 10 win improvement, AND had a stellar defense.

Which WNBA referees call the most fouls per game? - James has a nice post here on which officials are more likely to stop a game with their whistles.

L.A. Sparks analyst Dave Miller takes part in #Chillin4Charity - He did it two weeks ago, and noted it when the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has become the craze.

Thursday was Mike Thibault's 32nd wedding anniversary - unfortunately, Ivory Latta's crossover wasn't a good enough present.

Full 2014 WNBA Playoff predictions with Bright Side of the Sun - Nate talks with Bright Side of the Sun's Kris Habbas where they talk about the WNBA Playoffs and more.

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