2017 WNBA UPDATE

2017 WNBA UPDATE

Catch up on how our Aussies are faring a third of the way through the 2017 WNBA regular season.

NEW YORK LIBERTY (7-4)

Rebecca Allen- Coming off the bench, Allen has seen consistent court time for the Liberty, playing around ten minutes per game.

Her work on the glass has been impressive, averaging 2.7 rebounds per contest (sixth for New York) with a season-high nine rebounds (including two offensive) coming against Seattle.

While only averaging 2.3 points, Allen is shooting a strong 36% from beyond the arc after hitting at 57% last season.

Her role is more critical at the defensive end though and she is placed third in the club for blocks and sixth for steals to demonstrate her importance within the Liberty.

Sitting second in the East with a 7-4 record, New York face an important run over the next ten days as they face three conference rivals in Connecticut and Atlanta as well as a top of the table clash against Washington on June 30 AEST.

PHOENIX MERCURY (6-5)

Cayla George- Maintaining Phoenix's big front court off the bench when players like Brittany Griner need a rest, George sits third for Phoenix with 3.7 rebounds per game and third for blocks as well.

She has not been able to find her three-point shot yet but did knock down 2-3 from beyond the arc against Dallas in late May, finishing with ten points, five rebounds and a rejection in just 18 minutes.

With only a 1.5 game lead over their nearest rivals in the West Conference, Phoenix face a tough finish to the month with clashes against Seattle (third in the West) and Minnesota (first) to maintain a playoff position as they aim to reach the finals for a fifth straight year.

Leilani Mitchell- While only playing 11 games so far this year, Mitchell seems to be enjoying her time in Phoenix with career-high's across the board.

She is averaging 10.5 points (the first time she has hit double-figures in her career), 4.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 41.5% from the field and 40.5% from three-point range- numbers which are both above her career average as well.

Defensively, Mitchell has also tallied three games of three or more steals to lead the Mercury in that category but she will be aiming to bounce back from her last game when she shot 0-8 to be scoreless for the first time in 2017.

Steph Talbot- One of only three Phoenix players to start every game, Talbot is having an impressive start to her WNBA career.

Playing 20 minutes per night, Talbot sits sixth within the team for points (5.5), second for rebounds (3.7), fifth for assists (1.5) and third for steals with her most productive game coming against New York when she tallied 12 points, five boards, a steal and a block.

When she plays over 20 minutes, the Mercury are 5-1 and as her confidence grows, Phoenix are sure to benefit from her ability to play both ends of the court.

OTHER WNBL TALENT

Aside from the Australians to watch in 2017, there is a bevy of talent that has come over after playing in the most recent WNBL season.

Representing the Seattle Storm, Sami Whitcomb exploded for 22 points in just 15 minutes against New York on May 26, tying the record for the most three-pointers (six) in a half.

She is now averaging 5.6 points and a steal per game with the Storm sitting third in the Western Conference.

Natasha Cloud is a member of the Washington Mystics who currently lead the East and she has played ten games, scoring in her first eight while sitting second in the team for assists with three per contest.

She is playing alongside Asia Taylor who had her most productive game earlier this month when she tallied six points and seven rebounds against Minnesota.

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe is at New York with Bec Allen and has come into her own over the past fortnight, scoring ten points in two of her last three games and she now sits seventh for the Liberty with 2.6 rebounds per game.

Rounding out the WNBL talent, Jazmon Gwathmey is playing for Indiana and has also found form in June with the Fever now owning a 6-6 record.

On June 11 against Washington, she tallied ten points and two assists before backing up four days later with nine points, seven rebounds and a block.

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