It’s been roughly three weeks since the 2021 WNBA leading scorer, Tina Charles, packed her bags in Phoenix and decided to join the Seattle Storm.
Charles’ abrupt departure from the Phoenix Mercury is certainly not something commonly seen in the league, especially since she just signed with the Mercury this past February. She was playing fairly well in Phoenix, dropping 17.3 points a contest on 44% shooting and grabbing 7.3 boards.
Charles also played 33.1 minutes per game, so it doesn’t seem like playing time was a factor, but Phoenix’s poor performance undoubtedly was. At the time of her exit, the Mercury were on a seven-game losing streak, dropping 11 of the last 15 games.
In her first interview after joining the Storm, Charles made sure to add, “I have a small window and there’s a way that I want to play with the time that I have left.”
She’s playing to win, and she believes joining fellow former UConn stars, Sue Bird and Brenna Stewart, gives her a good chance of doing just that.
How has Charles played since the change of scenery?
Since making her way to Seattle, Charles has seen a decrease in most statistical categories. Her scoring average has gone down by seven, rebounds down by 1.4, assists down by 1.2, and field goal attempts down by 5.9. While this statistical decline may look concerning, it makes a lot of sense when you see that Charles is playing 12.8 minutes per game less on her new squad.
We’re going off a small sample size of seven games here, but still, don’t expect her to average as much as she did in Phoenix if she doesn’t see an increase in playing time.
Not much to complain about
While the 2012 WNBA MVP has been doing less in the box score and spending more time on the bench, don’t expect her to ditch Seattle. Her squad has the third-best record in the W and finds themselves as a serious title contender.
Although Charles has no reason to root against the Mercury, she’s certainly glad to not be wearing purple and orange. Phoenix is currently 0.5 GB from the final playoff spot.
In her 12th year, Charles isn’t worried about individual stats. She’s worried about getting her team wins.
It’s time for Tina Charles to finally get the ring she rightfully deserves.