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2022 WNBA awards: Aces tidy up as A’ja Wilson, Jackie Young, Becky Hammon all win major honors

The WNBA playoffs are arriving at a close, and today the league’s award season is finished as well. In the last couple of weeks the league officially honored the very best and the brightest from the 2022 regular season. Here is a look at each and every individual winner alongside All-WNBA, All-Defensive and All-Rookie Teams.

MVP: A’ja Wilson, NEVADA Aces

Needlessly to say, the MVP race came right down to A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart, also it was decided by simply several votes. Ultimately, Wilson eked out the win, earning 31 first-place votes and 478 total points in comparison to Stewart’s 23 first-place votes and 446 total points. Wilson set up 19.5 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, while shooting 50.1 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from behind the arc. Apart from points, all those numbers were career-highs, and she finished fifth in the league in scoring, second in rebounding and first in blocks; no-one else was in the very best five in every three categories. Wilson may be the seventh player to win multiple MVP awards and the fifth player to win MVP and DPOY in exactly the same season.

Defensive Player of the entire year: A’ja Wilson, NEVADA Aces

In another of the closest races we’ve seen this awards season, A’ja Wilson beat out Alyssa Thomas and Breanna Stewart for Defensive Player of the entire year. This is actually the first-time that Wilson has won the award, and she actually is the initial player in Aces franchise history to take action. Wilson led the league in blocks with 1.9 per game, and she also averaged 7.6 defensive rebounds and 1.4 steals. Furthermore, she finished third in defensive win shares at 2.4, per Basketball-Reference.com. As the Aces didn’t have the very best team defense, Wilson’s individual prowess and elite rim protection were enough to earn her the honor.

Rookie of the entire year: Rhyne Howard, Atlanta Dream

There is little suspense when this award was announced. Howard, the No. 1 overall pick, was terrific in her rookie season, averaging 16.2 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Among rookies, she was initially in scoring, sixth in rebounding, first in assists and first in steals. She also became just the eighth rookie in league history to average at the very least 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two stocks (steals plus blocks). Thanks in large part to Howard, the Dream exceeded expectations and nearly made the playoffs.

Most Improved Player: Jackie Young, NEVADA Aces

In another win for the top-seeded Aces, Jackie Young was named Most Improved Player. After steadily improving since her rookie season in 2019, Young took a leap this year and became an All-Star for the very first time. She averaged 15.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while shooting 43.1 percent from 3-point land; all those numbers, save for assists, were a career-high. Young’s outside shooting was the largest difference, as she went from the reluctant shooter to 1 of the greatest in the league.

Sixth Player of the entire year: Brionna Jones, Connecticut Sun

With Alyssa Thomas once more healthy, last season’s Most Improved Player, Brionna Jones, moved back again to the bench. There, she quickly became the runaway favorite for Sixth Player of the entire year and has officially claimed the honor. She actually is the 3rd different Sun player to win the award, that is more than any franchise. Jones set up set up 13.8 points and 5.1 rebounds on 56.9 percent from the field, and she was called an All-Star for the next consecutive season.

Coach of the entire year: Becky Hammon, NEVADA Aces

One of the primary moves of the complete offseason was the Aces letting long-time head coach Bill Laimbeer go and hiring Becky Hammon to displace him. She turned the Aces right into a modern basketball team and helped make sure they are borderline unstoppable on offense. Under Hammon’s leadership, the Aces won a franchise-record 26 games and earned the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. Hammon is the 3rd former player to win the award.

Executive of the entire year: James Wade, Chicago Sky

Wade has dual responsibilities because the head coach and general manager of the Sky, and few people in the annals of the league have available the arrangement are well as he did recently. After leading the Sky to the title last season, then come up with a masterclass on team development and roster management in the wintertime to ensure they remained contenders this year. Key moves included re-signing Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Kahleah Copper, signing Emma Meesseman and Rebekah Gardner in free agency, and in addition trading for Julie Allemand.

All-WNBA First Team

Note: All-WNBA teams are actually position-less

Skylar Diggins-Smith

Phoenix Mercury

Candace Parker

Chicago Sky

Kelsey Plum

NEVADA Aces

Breanna Stewart

Seattle Storm

A’ja Wilson

NEVADA Aces

All-WNBA Second Team

Sylvia Fowles

Minnesota Lynx

Sabrina Ionescu

NY Liberty

Jonquel Jones

Connecticut Sun

Nneka Ogwumike

LA Sparks

Alyssa Thomas

Connecticut Sun

All-Defensive First Team

Note: All-Defensive teams remain position-based

Ariel Atkins

Washington Mystics

Guard

Natasha Cloud

Washington Mystics

Guard

Breanna Stewart

Seattle Storm

Forward

A’ja Wilson

NEVADA Aces

Forward

Sylvia Fowles

Minnesota Lynx

Center

All-Defensive Second Team

Player

Team

Position

Brittney Sykes

LA Sparks

Guard

Gabby Williams

Seattle Storm

Guard

Ezi Magbegor

Seattle Storm

Forward

Alyssa Thomas

Connecticut Sun

Forward

Jonquel Jones

Connecticut Sun

Center

All-Rookie Team

Rhyne Howard

Atlanta Dream

NaLyssa Smith

Indiana Fever

Shakira Austin

Washington Mystics

Queen Egbo

Indiana Fever

Rebekah Gardner

Chicago Sky

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