Your Day in Women’s Basketball, July 30: Sylvia Fowles alone atop rebound leaderboard

Sylvia Fowles becomes the WNBA’s all-time leading rebounder

The great Sylvia Fowles did it! On Tuesday, Fowles passed the legendary Rebekkah Brunson to become a legend in her own right: the greatest rebounder in WNBA history.

“I think BB is extremely happy I’m breaking her record, so I try not to give her a hard time,” Fowles said. “But at the same time, I try to be respectable of what she’s done for this league. So it’s going to be an honor.”

There was sad news for Fowles’ Lynx teammate, however. After an offseason of high hopes, Karima Christmas-Kelly went down with a season-ending Achilles injury. It’s her third season-ending injury in three years, which is absolutely heartbreaking considering all the work she has put into rehabbing and getting back out on the court. We wish her a speedy recovery.

I don’t know how many times I’ll need to say it this year. But the Storm are back. Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart should not be this good coming off of an entire season off. And yet, here they are, taking the league by storm just two games in.

The Storm are an excellent shooting team and it all starts with Bird who, need I remind you, is 40 years old. Everything clicks in that offense, everyone goes to the right spot, and everybody eats. It’s incredible to watch. So watch it.

In the Los Angeles Sparks loss to the now-looking-like-a-juggernaut Chicago Sky, it was hard to find much to praise on their end of the court. Thankfully, the bench unit pulled through for Los Angeles. Brittney Sykes and Seimone Augustus, in particular, have revamped the Sparks offense through two games.

On the other side of the court, let’s talk about those Sky! Nearly everyone on the team has contributed to its two impressive wins, including Azurá Stevens and Gabby Williams, who were teammates at UConn.

There’s nothing more wholesome, nor more effective on the court, than a pair of old teammates getting the gang back together.

“I think Gabby’s like a sister to me so that play was pretty special,” Stevens said in a post-game presser. “Just her hitting me on that cut. And I love playing with her. I’ve missed the couple years that I wasn’t playing with her.”

I would hate to be a Dream player right now, but I would also love to be a Dream fan. The team is scheduled to play 10 games in the next 18 days. You can see why that might be an issue.

Additionally, the team doesn’t get to its typical pre-game practice which has offset its schedule a bit. Atlanta is often scheduled for a 1 p.m. shootaround, giving them at least 6 hours before tipoff. Yikes.

In the NCAA, the powerhouse Oregon Ducks needed some way to recoup, you know, losing its three stars to the first round of the WNBA Draft and all. The stars aligned for the Ducks, and they may have found their answer. Maryland transfer Taylor Mikesell will be immediately eligible to play for Oregon in the upcoming season. Mikesell is a knockdown shooter and should benefit Oregon’s retooled offense.

On Tuesday, DeWanna Bonner and Alyssa Thomas were absolutely dominant, combining to score 57 points. Against most teams, on most nights, that would be enough. But not against the Mystics.

On the bright side, the pair won’t face the Mystics every single night. Expect Curt Miller’s squad to bounce back from its 0-2 start. (Also, Sun fans: watch out for Jacki Gemelos. Miller has an ace up his sleeve.)

Wednesday’s Games

The Indiana Fever defeated the Phoenix Mercury 106-100 in a wake-up call for Phoenix’s Big 3 and anyone (me) who picked the Mercury to finish second.

The Las Vegas Aces obliterated the Atlanta Dream 100-70 on the back of MVP candidate A’ja Wilson’s 21 points and Dearica Hamby’s 20-piece.

The Dallas Wings overcame the New York Liberty despite a mammoth performance by Sabrina Ionescu, who found out how to become a dominant player in just two games.

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