Ariel Atkins Named to WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
NEW YORK - Seattle Storm forward Alysha Clark was unanimously selected to the 2020 WNBA All-Defensive First Team, the WNBA announced today.
Clark received the maximum 11 votes from the WNBA's head coaches and earned All-Defensive Team honors for the second straight season.
Along with Clark (55 points), the WNBA All-Defensive First Team features the Atlanta Dream guard Betnijah Laney (47), Phoenix Mercury forward Brianna Turner (43), Connecticut Sun forward Alyssa Thomas (39) and Dream center Elizabeth Williams (24).
The WNBA All-Defensive Second Team consists of Storm forward Breanna Stewart (33 points), Minnesota Lynx forward Napheesa Collier (30), Washington Mystics guard Ariel Atkins (25), Los Angeles Sparks guard Brittney Sykes (24) and Las Vegas Aces center A'ja Wilson (21).
The WNBA's 12 head coaches selected the All-Defensive First and Second Teams by position and were not permitted to vote for players from their own teams. Players earned five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team vote. If a player received votes at multiple positions, she was slotted at the position where she received the most votes.
2020 WNBA All-Defensive First Team
Alysha Clark, Storm: Clark earned her first appearance on the All-Defensive First Team after making her debut on the All-Defensive Team last year as a Second Team selection. In her ninth WNBA season, Clark helped the Storm rank second in points allowed per game (76.0).
Betnijah Laney, Dream: The 2020 WNBA Most Improved Player became an All-Defensive Team pick for the first time after she ranked 10th in the league in steals (1.6 spg) and averaged 3.8 defensive rebounds in 22 games.
Brianna Turner, Mercury: Turner ranked second in the WNBA in blocks (1.95 bpg) and seventh in defensive rebounding (6.4 drpg) while starting in all 22 games for Phoenix en route to her first All-Defensive Team nod.
Alyssa Thomas, Sun: Thomas led the WNBA in steals (2.0 spg) and was fifth in defensive rebounding (7.2 drpg) as Connecticut allowed the second fewest points per game (79.9). The All-Defensive First Team honor is the first for Thomas, who was a Second Team pick in 2017 and 2019.
Elizabeth Williams, Dream: Williams ranked fourth in the league in blocks (1.4 bpg) and contributed 3.5 dprg en route to earning All-Defensive Team acclaim for the first time.
2020 WNBA All-Defensive Second Team
Breanna Stewart, Storm: Stewart, the 2018 league MVP and runner-up to A'ja Wilson for the MVP honor this season, ranked fourth in defensive rebounds (7.3 drpg), fifth in blocks (1.3 bpg) and seventh in steals (1.65 spg).
She also was an All-Defensive Second Team pick as a rookie in 2016.
Napheesa Collier, Lynx: The 2019 WNBA Rookie of the Year was selected to the All-Defensive Team for the first time. Collier ranked third in the WNBA in steals (1.81 spg), sixth in blocks (1.27 bpg), and tied for eighth in defensive rebounds (6.3 drpg).
Ariel Atkins, Mystics: Atkins has earned All-Defensive Second Team honors in each of her three WNBA seasons. She finished third in the WNBA in steals with 1.77 per game this season.
Brittney Sykes, Sparks: Sykes ranked 15th in the WNBA in steals (a career-high 1.5 spg) this season en route to her first All-Defensive Team selection, despite averaging just 24.4 minutes (53rd among all players).
A'ja Wilson, Aces: Named the league's 2020 regular-season Most Valuable Player on Sept. 17, Wilson has earned a berth on the All-Defensive Team for the first time in her three WNBA seasons. Wilson led the WNBA in blocks (2.0 bpg) and ranked sixth in defensive rebounds (7.0 drpg), setting career highs in both categories.
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from September 29, 2020
- A'ja Wilson Named to WNBA All-Defensive Second Team - Las Vegas Aces
- Williams and Laney Land All-Defensive First Team Honors - Atlanta Dream
- Ariel Atkins Named to WNBA All-Defensive Second Team - Washington Mystics
- Two Atlanta Dream Players and Seattle Storm's Alysha Clark Headline 2020 WNBA All-Defensive Team - WNBA
- Napheesa Collier Named to WNBA All-Defensive Second Team - Minnesota Lynx
- Los Angeles' Nneka Ogwumike Wins 2020 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award - WNBA
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