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2018 WNBA MVP: The case for Breanna Stewart

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There is no debate, and the numbers show it.

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Seattle Storm/WNBA

Breanna Stewart is having a career year while leading the Seattle Storm to a league-best record. I have always viewed the Most Valuable Player award as an award that should go to the best player on the best team. Picking an MVP in other leagues always leads to debate, and there may be those that have other viable options for this award, but Breanna, in my view, is the clear-cut WNBA MVP this season.

Stewart has been in the top two in scoring all year, currently sitting at 22.0 PPG behind Dallas’s Liz Cambage, who is at 23.0 PPG. However, Stewart has scored more total points, currently with 705 points while Cambage has scored 668.

The forward is approaching several scoring milestones as we approach the final stretch of the regular season.

Stewart’s 705 points are good enough for the 13th-most in a WNBA season, and just 11 points over the next two games will push her into a Top 10 all-time scoring season. If she can muster 35 points over these last two games, she will pass Lauren Jackson (739) for the franchise record in single season scoring. If she manages just one more 20-point game, she will break her own franchise record for 20-point games in a season.

She is currently fifth in FG% among players shooting over 300 attempts (52.2%), and she is tied for 8th in 3-PT FG% among players shooting over 100 3 -PT shots (38.4%). She sits behind just Sylvia Fowles and Liz Cambage in rebounding at 8.4 rebounds per game.

Stewart, just in her third year, has improved within the context of her career, as well.

Her marks in field goal percentage are career highs. She averaged 2.4 turnovers per game her first two years; that number is down to 1.8 turnovers per game. Lastly, she leads the league in Win Shares at 7.1. Her Win Share total over 48 minutes is .330.

Her elevated play on both ends of the court has helped the Storm become the league leaders in Net Rating, at 9.9. Breanna Stewart is easily the most deserving of the 2018 WNBA MVP Award. Her team and individual success are clearly a step above everyone else.

Sources: WNBA Advanced Team Stats, WNBA Player Stats, Basketball-Reference