MVP Sylvia Fowles broke Sylvia Fowles’ WNBA Finals record for rebounds in a game with 20 in the Minnesota Lynx’s 85-76, Game 5 series win over the Los Angeles Sparks. That’s just a sample of how dominant the league’s best center was against the reigning champs, and really anyone she played all season.
Somehow, her 10th year in the league was her best, and she capped it off with a historic performance that secured her team its fourth title in seven years.
Fowles double-doubled in all five Finals games to pull off a 3-2 series win over the Los Angeles Sparks. She averaged 18 points and 15 rebounds over the course of the series and made it look easy. She was unstoppable on all ends of the court.
Fowles is the league’s tallest star aside from Brittney Griner. She runs an old-school game, keeping her back to the basket, using her mechanics to perfection. She’s able to do this so well because her basketball IQ is off the charts — and because she’s coached by one of the best in Cheryl Reeve.
She’s always been great, but Reeve unexpectedly made her the greatest 10 years into her career.
The Lynx could not have pulled this off without Fowles
It was maybe the first time in the Lynx dynasty’s run that they relied on one star to do it all, but Fowles came through.
Minnesota has had four Olympic stars on its roster for at least three years. Maya Moore has typically been the leader of the pack, but despite her greatness, Fowles even found ways to outshine her.
2017 saw Fowles playing with an aggressiveness unparalleled by her previous seasons. It showed in her offensive rebounding numbers. She brought down at least four in each game, including seven in Game 5.
She also asserted herself on the offensive end early, sealing off defenders to catch the ball where she wanted it — and she became the Lynx’s go-to scorer.
Where there was a scoreless game for Lindsay Whalen and Seimone Augustus, no such event was ever in consideration for Fowles. She was getting hers, and without that push, the Lynx wouldn’t have made it to a Game 5.
Fowles isn’t going anywhere
At 31 years old, Fowles should be at the end of her peak. Instead she won MVP — and next season shouldn’t be much different.
There’s no telling what her ceiling is, considering she just broke expectations a decade after she joined the league. Fowles is as mobile as ever, and to match her perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidacy, she has some new post moves to remain steady as the league’s best traditional big.
The Lynx will continue to stay on top of the league, especially with Fowles at the helm.