Eight observations from the WNBA's opening week: Sylvia Fowles' record, Sabrina Ionescu, DeWanna Bonner and more


The WNBA's first week is in the books and there was plenty that caught my eye.

Here are eight observations from the opening week.

Sylvia Fowles sets rebounding record

Sylvia Fowles' basketball resume is stacked. She's a six-time All-Star, the 2017 league MVP, a three-time Defensive Player of the Year and, of course, a two-time WNBA champion and two-time Finals MVP winner.

This week she added another accomplishment to her Hall of Fame worthy career, becoming the WNBA's all-time leading rebounder.

"It still feels surreal at this moment," Fowles said after the game according to ESPN. "But I think I'll have time for it to soak in tomorrow and appreciate all the hard work I've put in the last 13 [seasons]."

When Fowles grabbed her 3,357th career rebound in the second quarter against the Seattle Storm, she passed former Lynx teammate Rebekkah Brunson, who finished her 15-year career with 3,356 boards. Brunson is now an assistant coach with the Lynx.

"I know how incredible Rebekkah Brunson was at rebounding," head coach Cheryl Reeve said after the game, "so it's just kind of a cool moment for our franchise, with Rebekkah being on staff and able to be here to hand off the lead, so to speak. I know Rebekkah is really proud it's Sylvia Fowles who is passing her."

It will be a while before anyone passes Fowles for the rebound crown. Tina Charles is the closest current active player at 3,133. Charles, of course, was granted a medical exemption for extrinsic asthma and won't play this season so the gap will continue to widen.

No other active player has hit the 3K mark in rebounds, so by season's end, Fowles will have a nice cushion.

Bridget Carleton brings you peace (signs)

Her Canadian teammate may be chasing a record of her own - most photos taken in a WNBA season with the double peace signs.

You'll rarely find Carleton without a smile on her face, but now it looks like she's added the double peace pose to her repertoire.

You're right, Bridget, we can't stop you, we can only hope to contain you.

We're not sure if the pose has a name but we'll dub it the "Double Bridge" and it looks like it's here to stay.

Jordin Canada is always hustling

Canada not only has possibly the greatest last name of all-time but she's also quickly becoming one of my favourite players in the league.

After starting most of last season, she'll come off the bench this year on a loaded Storm squad and has to be an early favourite for Sixth Woman of the Year.

Her energy and hustle are so infectious, she can change momentum in an instant without scoring a basket.

Check her out here:

According to WNBA Stats, Seattle is playing at the slowest pace in the league and have only had two fastbreak buckets through three games. Playing Canada more may help speed the Storm up.

DeWanna Bonner is hoopin!

We knew when All-Star Jonquel Jones decided to sit out due to concerns over the coronavirus that DeWanna Bonner would have to shoulder the offensive load for the Sun.

She's doing that and more in her first season in Connecticut, leading the league in scoring at 27.3 points per game.

Bonner has been giving opposing defences that work! Inside, outside - she's been near impossible to stop. We can't expect her to keep this scoring average for an entire season, and that's the problem the Sun face at the moment. Outside of Alyssa Thomas, no one else has been able to find any rhythm offensively.

It's still early in the season so don't count Connecticut out yet, especially since its defence is still one of the best in the league even without Jones, who was named first-team All-Defensive last season.

Washington Mystics ain't going nowhere

Everyone I talked to before the start of the season told me the Mystics would have a chance to repeat but only if Elena Delle Donne was in the lineup.

I'm sure at some point this season they'll miss the presence of last year's MVP but it hasn't shown up yet. Heck, Kristi Toliver and Natasha Cloud aren't there either and that hasn't stopped them.

The Mystics have been rolling as the only undefeated team in the league. They also have by far the best net rating through the first week of the season at 18.4.

Myisha Hines-Allen is a star. Her combination of power and finesse is going to give defences fits all year. Aerial Powers and Ariel Atkins have been lights out from three and we know that Emma Meesseman is the most unselfish superstar in the league.

Washington is clicking early and serving notice that it's here to defend its title.

Sabrina Ionescu is as good as advertised

Sabrina Ionescu is special. In just her second game, she went for 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

She plays with poise well beyond her years and is making plays that blow your mind.

Check out this dime from her against Dallas:

How many rookies in their second game make that pass to secure a two for one opportunity for her team? Ionescu is different, man. Hopefully she can return from the ankle injury she suffered in his second game soon.

Chelsea Gray is a wizard

Speaking of passes, how about this from Chelsea Gray:

I know the shot didn't fall but still, what a look!

Satou Sabally will lock you down

Ionescu will get a lot of attention this season, but don't forget about her college teammate and second overall pick in this past draft, Satou Sabally.

Sabally is already showing the potential to be an All-Defensive Team staple just three games into her career.

Check out this defensive stop in the clutch helping Dallas pick up a win over the Fever:

That's a big on the perimeter staying with a guard, blocking the shot and securing a victory for her squad. She's only three games into her career, she can only get better.

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

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