Tiffany Hayes, Breanna Stewart the WNBA Players of the Month; A’ja Wilson the Rookie of the Month
Atlanta Dream guard Tiffany Hayes and Seattle Storm forward Breanna Stewart were the Players of the Month for their respective conferences in July, the WNBA announced Wednesday. Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson was also the Rookie of the Month.
The timing of Hayes’ honor is somewhat ironic, as she was one of the biggest snubs from this year’s All-Star Game.
The Dream were 9-2 over the month of July, which they owe in part to Hayes’ scoring. She averaged 17.6 points and shot 38.5 percent from three-point range.
It’s not entirely coincidental Atlanta’s eight-game winning streak ended on a night when Hayes was 1-of-5 from beyond the arc.
The Dream continue to lead the WNBA in defensive rating (96.3), but their offense will likely determine whether they can win a title in 2018. Atlanta is 4-6 when allowing at least 80 points.
Stewart and Wilson, meanwhile, have been just as important to their teams as the WNBA season moved past the halfway mark.
Were the Aces higher than ninth in the standings, Wilson would be making a stronger challenge for Most Valuable Player.
The 2018 No. 1 overall draft pick has yet to hit any sort of rookie wall. She averaged 18.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.3 blocks in eight games last month.
Wilson is enjoying a first season not unlike that of Stewart. Not only is she stuffing the stat sheet, but she might also help her team overachieve and reach the postseason. The WNBA may as well engrave her name on the Rookie of the Year trophy already.
Stewart hasn’t opened up that kind of lead in the MVP race, but she’s arguably at the front of the pack. Her 22.6 points per game lead the league, and she’s fourth in rebounding (8.1).
Stewart was the Western Conference Player of the Month despite Liz Cambage scoring a league-record 53 points in a 104-87 win over the New York Liberty and following up with 35 points and 17 rebounds in a 90-81 win over the Washington Mystics.