Takeaways: Griner and the Mercury beat the Sun at home

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 1: Diana Taurasi
PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 1: Diana Taurasi /
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3. An injury-free Brittney Griner would have been this season’s MVP

There are too many incredible players having incredible seasons this year to make a case for one without insulting another. However, even amidst one of the most efficient, productive seasons ever by Sylvia Fowles, Griner makes the case for her own ridiculous value with every game she plays.

Fowles is always going to lose some credit in these discussions based on the talent around her. Griner, even with Taurasi as a teammate, has had no such advantage, especially during a season where her team has struggled to integrate new parts. And yet she still leads the league in points and blocks per game by a wide margin, during the most efficient season of her career. Phoenix was 11-6 when she got injured, and has performed better since her return. That they are even in the playoff picture this season is largely a testament to her play on both ends.

Alas, the fifth-year veteran missed too much time this year to really be in the conversation, and her Mercury are barely going to scratch .500 this season. There is hope, however that she can stay healthy for the playoffs and perform on an even bigger stage.

Next: Candace Parker on efficiency and the MVP race

If Phoenix can count on the kind of superhero game Griner put together tonight, with 31 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists, they are going to be a scary playoff team, one much more similar to that 10-6 squad than the one that has gone 7-10 since.