Big Three give WNBA one big day
If the WNBA is hoping the much-heralded trio of Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins gives the league a Bird-Magic-esque rebirth (it is, BTW), then it has to be happy with what it saw on Memorial Day.
Two of the players made their WNBA debuts on Monday (it was Diggins' second game) and already Delle Donne is among the league leaders in scoring, Diggins has the league-high assist game, and Griner leads the league in dunks — FOR A CAREER.
Here’s her first of the night.
But did you notice the score at the time? Yeah, it was one of those games.
Griner, the No. 1 overall pick by Phoenix, and Delle Donne, selected No. 2 by Chicago, faced off in the marquee game of the young season. But the game was hardly a contest. Delle Donne, playing what some are already calling one of the greatest debuts in WNBA history, had 16 first-half points and 22 for the game as her Sky easily handled the Mercury on the road, 102-80.
"Today was absolutely amazing," said Delle Donne, who scored the sixth-most points in a WNBA debut. "We came here to get a win and that's what we're leaving with."
Griner, meanwhile, struggled with foul trouble but still put up solid numbers: 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. But the bigger number was what she put down. Two ... as in slam dunks. See?
Her dunks were the fourth and fifth in WNBA regular-season history, and she joins Lisa Leslie and Candace Parker (twice) as the only players to do it. So if her debut was any indication, Griner will become the WNBA's career leader in dunks in her second game.
"I wish it was in a win, but whenever I can dunk, the crowd got into it," Griner said.
While Delle Donne and Griner were doing their point-dropping, rim-rattling things, Diggins was doing her things, too — dishing out assists and playing serious minutes.
And though the No. 3 overall pick's Tulsa Shock fell at home to the Washington Mystics and No. 4 overall pick Tayler Hill, 95-90 in overtime, when the game was done, Diggins had the most assists (11) and minutes played (42:26) of any player in the league thus far.