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WNBA

A'Ja Wilson or Breanna Stewart for MVP and more 2020 WNBA awards picks

StewWilson

The WNBA season that was supposed to start in May didn't get underway until late July in what feels like a whirlwind of a season.

All 12 teams were in one location and were able to complete the shortened 22-game season which will go down as one of the most unusual in league history due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MORE: 2020 WNBA Playoffs: What is the WNBA playoffs schedule?

All in all, fans were still able to see the best players in the world compete in the best league in the world and with the playoffs beginning this week the intensity is sure to ratchet up a notch.

We asked two of our NBA.com experts to weigh-in and give us their end of season award predictions now that the regular season is complete and the playoffs are here.

Here's what Carlan Gay and NBA Latam's Agustin Aboy had to say.

MVP

Breanna Stewart: Her comeback season has been outstanding. Even on a team that is as good as Seattle, Stewie shines. She's on full MVP level, takes a lot of responsibilities on the offensive side of the floor and does a little bit of everything (she´s top 10 in nearly every individual statistical category) to help the best team of the regular season get wins.

- Agustin Aboy

A'ja Wilson: As good as Stewie has been, I'm going with A'ja Wilson. When the season started and we knew Liz Cambage wasn't going to be in the wubble many knew if the Aces had any success this season it would fall on the shoulders of A'ja Wilson. She took on that pressure and deliver helping the Aces finish with the best record in the league.

- Carlan Gay

Defensive Player of the Year

Alysha Clark: Seattle shines on offence but also on defence and Alysha Clark plays a big role in that. The 33-year-old veteran is like a swiss knife for the Storm, wreaking havoc on the opposite teams and taking the responsibility every night matching up against stars. Even Diana Taurasi gave her props, comparing being defended by Clark to "having a little bodyguard wherever I go". There's a reason why Clark is nearly top 5 in win shares in 2020 despite not being a top offensive option (9.5 points per game).

- Aboy

Alysha Clark: There's a reason why Seattle was the best defensive team in the league this season. They have multiple great defenders, but to me, Clark is the most valuable. As Agustin said her versatility really allows the Storm to do than the stat quo on defence. There's a reason she led the league in defensive win shares according to WNBA stats.

- Gay

Rookie of the Year

Satou Sabally: With Sabrina Ionescu falling out of the race due to injury, her former teammate at Oregon Satou Sabally stole the spotlight. The German has a unique skill set for a player that stands 6'4, producing either in the paint or on the perimeter. She gets double-doubles routinely, has a good feel defensively despite being only 22 and has emerged as a team leader in Dallas almost helping the franchise make the Playoffs. It's all really fun to watch. Her numbers of 13.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG and 2.5 APG are very impressive for a rookie and were only matched by legends like Lisa Leslie, Tamika Catchings, Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart.

- Aboy

Satou Sabally: Crystal Dangerfield has been great all year, but like Agustin, I'm going with Sabally. The ability to play both ends of the floor is huge and something that will turn Sabally into an All-Star quickly. The Wings who are rebuilding nearly made the playoffs and Sabally's growth through the season is a big part why. She's going to be good, really good for years to come.

- Gay

Most Improved Player

Betnijah Laney: From being waived by the Indiana Fever to becoming a star for the Atlanta Dream, it's been quite a season for Betnijah Laney. She's showing a whole new side of her game, scoring 17.2 PPG shooting 40.5 percent from 3-point range - she even gave us not one but two 30-point games. Laney showed not only that she deserves a place in the league, but that she can thrive in it.

- Aboy and Gay

Sixth Woman of the Year

Dearica Hamby: Bria Hartley started as my candidate, but with her being out, it has to be a Las Vegas Aces player. The bench mob of the Aces is doing really well and Dearica Hamby and Jackie Young are key players for the Nevada franchise. I'll go with Hamby for back to back trophies due to her being more consistent (13.0 PPG and 7.1 RPG with 53.9 FG% and 47.4 3P%), but Young also deserves praise, having developed a lot from her rookie season.

- Aboy

Jordin Canada: There are plenty of other players who come off the bench and may give more production than Jordin Canada, but I don't think there another player who can shift the momentum of the game the way she can without scoring. Her defence, her pace and overall intensity when she checks into a game is unmatched. When Canada plays you feel her presence regardless of the score, that's why she gets my vote.

- Gay

Coach of the Year

Gary Kloppenburg: Having to step into the head coach role again for the Storm, Gary Kloppenburg is finally getting his shining moment. Seattle leads the league in both offensive and defensive ratings and even though he gets the joy of working with a top-level roster, it's still not an easy task to go out there nearly every night and get a win.

- Aboy

Cheryl Reeve: I think if you told anyone that the Lynx would only get seven games out of Sylvia Fowles before the season started they'd tell you Minnesota would struggle to make the playoffs. Instead, the Lynx finished with a top-four seed and 14-8 record. Coach Reeve got the best out of Napheesa Collier - who's becoming one of the best players in the league just two years into her WNBA career. She got the best out of rookie Crystal Dangerfield, vet Damiris Dantas and found something in Canadian Bridget Carleton. Reeve has done an incredible job rolling with the punches this season and she should be rewarded.

- Gay

The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, WNBA or its clubs.

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