The WNBA playoffs are tantalizingly close. The Sky, Aces, Sun, Storm and Mystics have already secured their spots in the postseason, leaving six teams (all but the Fever) to compete for three bids over the final week and a half of the regular season.
In their pursuit of the playoffs, several players stood out above the rest in the month of July. Just Women’s Sports honors the top individual performances by naming the Team of the Month, including starters and reserves.
Wilson is having an MVP-type season, averaging 19.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, two blocks, 1.9 assists and 1.3 steals per game. She’s making a positive impact in every part of the game, with her 17-point, 17-rebound, six-block performance in the Aces’ Commissioner’s Cup win serving as an indicator of how the forward steps up against top competition. In July, Wilson had eight 20-plus point games and four double-doubles to lead Las Vegas to a 9-3 record.
The Mercury are in the midst of a playoff push, and that means they need to get more out of players not named Skylar Diggins-Smith or Diana Taurasi. Cunningham is certainly doing her part. In July, the guard averaged 17 points — up from her season average of 12.2 — and had a career-high 36 points in a loss against the Lynx on July 12.
While Delle Donne was sidelined last season with a back injury, the Mystics missed the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Thanks to her return, that won’t happen again this season. Delle Donne is peaking at the right time, with some of her best performances coming in July. She averaged 22.3 points per game and recorded two double-doubles while leading the Mystics to a 6-3 record during the month.
Alyssa Thomas records her first career triple-double in the @ConnecticutSun's 94-84 victory over Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/HRdu7ZLSVM— Just Women’s Sports (@justwsports) July 23, 2022
Alyssa Thomas records her first career triple-double in the @ConnecticutSun's 94-84 victory over Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/HRdu7ZLSVM
Thomas made an appearance as a reserve last month thanks to her contributions in virtually every statistical category. After recording the first triple-double in Sun history on July 22 with 15 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds (and even before she picked up her second of the season on Tuesday night), Thomas is making the jump to July’s starting five. She also had three steals and a block in that July 22 game, a 94-84 win over the Lynx, proving just how versatile she is.
Seattle played 10 games in July, and Stewart was the leading scorer in eight of them. Nearly every game Stewart played for the playoff-bound Storm could be considered a highlight for the month, but her best performance came in an 82-72 win over Atlanta on the July 24. Stewart recorded a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while also adding four assists, two steals and three blocks. She continues to do it all for Seattle.
Kahleah Copper, G, Chicago Sky
Copper capped a July that included two double-doubles and four 20-plus point games with a 27-point performance in a 95-92 overtime win over the Sun on the last day of the month. She shot 63 percent from the field in that contest and added five rebounds and two assists.
Kelsey Plum, G, Las Vegas Aces
Plum continued her dominance in July, leading the Aces in scoring five times, while also shooting 45 percent from the 3-point line. Her All-Star MVP performance on July 10 accurately sums up Plum’s scoring acumen, as she finished with 30 points on 66.7 percent shooting.
FIFTH player in @WNBA history to reach this milestone.congrats, @SylviaFowles 👏 pic.twitter.com/VEnVzI0YYE— Minnesota Lynx (@minnesotalynx) July 31, 2022
FIFTH player in @WNBA history to reach this milestone.congrats, @SylviaFowles 👏 pic.twitter.com/VEnVzI0YYE
Sylvia Fowles, C, Minnesota Lynx
It’s hard to imagine the WNBA without Fowles, especially when she’s playing at such a high level. In July, the center bound for retirement after this season had five 10-plus rebound games and four double-doubles.
Tiffany Hayes, G, Atlanta Dream
Hayes made her debut for the Dream this month after overseas commitments and a knee injury kept her sidelined. She’s averaging 16.2 points for the playoff-hopeful Dream. Her best game was a 31-point performance in a 92-76 win over the Aces on July 19.
Diana Taurasi, G, Phoenix Mercury
Taurasi has scored over 28 points five times this season, with three of those performances coming in July. She had 28 in a 94-78 win over the Storm, 29 in an 80-75 win over the Mystics, and 30 in a 90-80 win over the Sparks.
Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.