Delle Donne is averaging 18.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and one blocked shot per game this season. She is shooting 47.5% from the field and 41.9% from three-point range. She has also been a lockdown defender, averaging just under one swipe per night for the Mystics.
Elena Delle Donne – Pick and Pop
Details from Delle Donne on PnP:
1. Contact on the screen to take better advantage on the shot.
2. Fake when she receives to get extra space.
3. No dribble if she doesn't need it.#FilmRoom #Scouting #WNBATwitter pic.twitter.com/EquBH6X1Ik
— Marc Ribas (@mribas7) June 18, 2023
Delle Donne’s hot start is especially impressive, considering she has been dealing with injuries throughout her career. She missed all but three games in the 2021 season and took a measured approach in 2022, not playing in 11 of the Washington Mystics’ 36 games.
However, Delle Donne is healthy and playing at an MVP level. She has played in 11 of the Mystics’ 12 games this season, and her solid play has kept Washington in the hunt for an Eastern Conference championship. Washington is 1.5 games behind the Connecticut Sun in what is turning out to be a tight Eastern Conference race.
If Delle Donne can stay healthy and continue her hot play, she should remain a strong contender for the 2023 WNBA MVP award.
Here are some of the factors that could affect Delle Donne’s MVP odds:
- Her health: Delle Donne has been injury-prone throughout her career, so her health will be a major factor in her MVP chances. If she can stay healthy, she will be a major contender for the award.
- The Mystics’ record: The Mystics are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference, but they will need to maintain a high level of play if Delle Donne is to win MVP. If the Mystics struggle, it will hurt Delle Donne’s chances.
- The play of other MVP candidates: Many players are have strong seasons, including Breanna Stewart, A’ja Wilson, Alyssa Thomas, Jackie Young, and Brittney Griner.
Is Elena Delle Donne a Good Bet to Win the 2023 WNBA Award?
No, she’s not a good bet on DraftKings to win the award because there are players like Stewart posting better numbers, and the New York Liberty will likely win the Eastern Conference.
Delle Donne has started the 2023 season with a bang, and good for her; the Mystics’ leading scorer has spent the better part of the last two seasons on the injury report but seems to have found some good luck with her health and has missed only one game this season.
The Mystics forward can beat teams in many ways; she’s a terrific shot blocker known for making the “big play” when it matters most on the defensive end. She’s better than average defending the pick and roll, but her defensive win shares are far lower than her career average.
Finally, Delle Donne is a great player, but she’s not the MVP Delle Donne of years past. She’s still one of the best players in the WNBA, and her usage rate is similar to her career percentages. Still, the scoring numbers are down, and her shooting percentage from inside and outside the arc is below her career average. She still makes the big play, gets buckets, and defends, but that won’t be good enough to win the 2023 WNBA MVP Award.