The WNBA is in trouble this season. The offensive efficiency rating has dropped to 99.2 this season from 105.6 the previous season. It’s the lowest offensive efficiency rating since 2015. Teams aren’t scoring this season.
Except for the Washington Mystics who are leading the league with 83.9 points per game. Over the weekend the Mystics beat Indiana in a 95-88 overtime game and a 95-65 blowout of Atlanta.
Enter facemask Elena Delle Donne.
EDD broke her nose two weeks ago and missed the last three games. The Mystics lost all three games in her absence.
Homegirl came back with a face mask on this weekend and in two games scored 56 points on 20-for-35 shooting from the field (57%) and 7-for-9 from three (77%) with 23 rebounds and 5 blocks.
She is the best player in the WNBA and it isn’t particularly close.
2019 is a strange year for the league as superstars, Breanna Stewart, Maya Moore, Angel McCoughtry, Diana Taurasi and Skylar Diggins are all missing the season leaving a huge void that Elena Delle Donne is filling singlehandedly.
She’s straight up carrying the league on her back. There’s a reason why she led all players in All-Star voting.
Teams are struggling to put the ball in the basket shooting only 33% from three this year which is the 4th lowest shooting percentage in WNBA history. EDD is shooting 41% from the arc.
I don’t want to make every conversation about women’s sports to be about how they should make more money because we all understand why WNBA players unfortunately don’t have higher salaries and their inability to score is adding to their lack of revenue.
That being said, the WNBA is like a part-time job for a lot of these women because the salaries are so low that they have to play in Europe to earn a real living which makes the WNBA season sort of a casual afterthought for some which could also be why the shooting numbers are so low.
It’s an impossible conundrum for the league. They don’t make enough to put in the time to improve their game and until they improve their game, they won’t make enough.
Elena Delle Donne is the carrying the WNBA and deserves all of the money, attention and accolades.