The Mystics start the regular season this Sunday, on Mother’s Day. And the WNBA’s going through its annual previews on who they believe will be the best teams in the league, and who will be the MVP.
On Wednesday, Justin Lester of WNBA.com provided his list of the Top 10 preseason MVP candidates for this season. Two familiar faces made the list as Elena Delle Donne topped the rankings and Emma Meesseman was ninth.
Why Elena Delle Donne figures to be the favorite
The 2015 WNBA MVP now plays for the team closest to her home and narrative is on her side. Expect her to be the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. If her shooting efficiency can improve along with that, that will make Washington even scarier in the regular season.
Don’t expect Meesseman to be the regular season MVP...
Lester placed Meesseman 9th in these rankings with the footnote that she is out for some time early this season for EuroBasket Women. For that reason, I don’t expect to see her in the MVP rankings once this season is over. If anything, it could help Delle Donne’s ranking because she will carry more of the load.
... but Meesseman can be a Finals MVP
If we assume that these MVP rankings are a list of who the Top 10 WNBA players are, then I agree that Meesseman is in that list. It’s a little early to predict that Washington will win the title this year.
But if they do, they should be at full strength with Meesseman back from EuroBasket Women and with familiarity playing with Delle Donne and Kristi Toliver as Mystics teammates. Because she’s so efficient and won’t have defenses focused on her like last season, it isn’t unreasonable to see her be the Mystics’ leading scorer in the postseason, even with Delle Donne.