Lynx Star Sylvia Fowles Named 2017 WNBA MVP

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 14, 2017

Minnesota Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles plays in the first quarter during Game 5 of the WNBA basketball finals against the Los Angeles Sparks Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles was named the 2017 WNBA MVP on Thursday. 

Fowles was widely expected to win the award after she averaged 18.9 points and 10.4 rebounds a game in the regular season. The 31-year-old helped the Lynx post the WNBA's best record (27-7) as well.

"It's a proud moment for me to standing here as the 2017 MVP," Fowles said upon winning the MVP award, per play-by-play announcer John Focke.

According to WNBA.com, Fowles collected 35 of the 37 first-place votes. Tina Charles, Candace Parker, Nneka Ogwumike and Jonquel Jones rounded out the top five. Fowles is the second Lynx player to receive the honor, joining Maya Moore, who won it in 2014.

Fowles was named to the All-WNBA first team on Tuesday.

Whereas the traditional back-to-the-basket center is falling out of favor in the NBA, it's enjoying a renaissance in the WNBA thanks in large part to the efforts of Fowles, who was dominant on both ends of the floor. 

In addition to finishing fifth in scoring average, she tied Elizabeth Williams for second in blocks per game (2.0). According to Basketball Reference, Fowles was second in offensive rating (126.7) and first in defensive rating (90.7). Her 9.0 win shares were also best in the WNBA.

Fowles will have a big say in whether the Lynx win their fourth WNBA title in seven years. She helped give Minnesota a 1-0 lead over the Washington Mystics in the semifinals by scoring 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds in a 101-81 victory Tuesday.

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