On Friday morning, the WNBA announced that Lynx center Sylvia Fowles had won the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year.
In true Lynx-fashion, Fowles didn’t really take any credit for it, instead deferring to her coaches and teammates.
“This award is amazing,” Fowles said at a press conference before Friday’s Game 2 against the Phoenix Mercury. “Like I said before, a lot of that has to do with my teammates, not letting me settle and pushing me everyday to be what they know I can be.”
Of course, Fowles winning the award is no fluke. She’s won three of them. The first two coming in 2011 and 2013 with the Chicago Sky.
On the season, Fowles averaged 13.9 points, 8.4 rebounds (fourth in league), 1.8 blocks (fourth in league) and 1.3 steals per game.
What might be the most impressive thing about her defense is that fact that once she got to Minnesota, she had to change the way she played.
With the Sky, Fowles was asked to be more of a roamer defensively, leading to more “flashy” plays when meeting the person with the ball. In Minnesota, she’s been asked to guard her matchup and her matchup only. It took some adjusting to, but after less than two seasons with the Lynx, Fowles has regained the “best defensive player in the league” title.
But of course, just two hours before tipoff against the Mercury, that wasn’t her concern.
“I’m happy with this award, but I’m ready to play.”