The year of the non-MVP

The editor for the website for which I write asked all the writers for their votes on the “best of”s in the WNBA this year. I didn’t know who to choose for MVP, and I still don’t.

In past years it’s been pretty obvious who the final 2-3 candidates were due to their strong performances all season long. Even last year, when some didn’t agree that Candace Parker should have won, most agreed that she was at least on the short list of candidates.

Who do we have this year? Diana Taurasi, who has performed well and currently leads the league in points per game at 20.4, but whose season was marred by a drunk driving arrest in June. There is retiring Lisa Leslie – a sentimenal favorite for some – who has played extremely well. But it’s only been for half the season after she came back from a knee injury.

Becky Hammon is second in points per game and fourth in assists, but she hasn’t done much to “wow” fans this year as she has in the past. Lauren Jackson is always a killer, but her rebounding production has been down this year. She’s also been out for over a week after being diagnosed with a low back stress fracture.

Cappie Pondexter is another consideration, as is Sophia Young. But no strong or obvious candidate emerges from this list of top WNBA players.

A similar situation exists with Rookie of the Year. DeWanna Bonner started out the season on fire, and looked to be the obvious choice for the award. But her production has slowed as the season has gone on, while Angel McCoughtry’s has picked up. As a result, ROY could go to either player.

Perhaps it’s the Year of Inconsistency, but this year’s MVP will lack the punch of previous winners. Hopefully 2009 is just an off-year and this won’t become a trend.