Liz Cambage’s breathtaking start to the WNBA season shows little sign of slowing down, with the Dallas centre once again being the best performed of the Aussies in the league.
Meanwhile, there was good news for Cayla George, whose time in the WNBA wilderness has proven to be shortlived.
Cambage’s impressive return to the WNBA continued this week, with the Dallas Wings centre picking up the Western Conference Player of the Week award following a scintillating week stacked with outstanding performances.
The Australian’s week commenced with a blockbuster battle against New York Liberty centre Tina Charles, with both players starring for their respective sides.
However, despite a 28 point effort on 10 of 17 shooting from Cambage, as well as 16 rebounds and 4 assists, Dallas threw away a 12 point fourth quarter lead, allowing the Liberty to score 35 points in the final term and take a 94-89 victory.
Fellow Australian Rebecca Allen played 20 minutes off the bench for New York, shooting 2 of 5 from the field to finish with 5 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
The Wings then faced Seattle, with a fourth quarter explosion from Cambage paving the way for Dallas to atone for a dismal middle portion of the game to escape with a 94-90 victory.
Having opened up a 34-20 lead after a quarter, Dallas could only tally 19 and 11 points in each of the next two quarters as Seattle trimmed the Wings’ margin to just two points heading into the final quarter.
However, Cambage saved the best for last to help her team over the line, scoring a mammoth 17 points in the final quarter to finish with 25 points, including her first WNBA career three-pointer, and 7 rebounds as the Wings managed to hold off the Storm by the barest of margins.
The Storm’s Australian guard Sami Whitcomb played just 8 minutes off the bench, but showcased her exemplary three-point shooting by burying a pair of triples to chip in with six points.
Whitcomb also played 8 minutes off the bench against Washington earlier in the week, but her radar wasn’t quite as calibrated in the Storm’s 81-77 defeat, with the usually hot shooting guard missing both of her attempts from beyond the arc to finish scoreless.
However, Whitcomb did chip in five points and two rebounds in 14 minutes later in the week as Seattle dominated Las Vegas in a 101-74 victory as the Storm rounded out the week by improving their overall record to 5-1.
After playing 20 minute against Cambage and Dallas earlier in the week, Rebecca Allen again came off the bench as New York defeated the still winless Indiana Fever 87-81 in overtime despite throwing away a 17 point halftime lead.
Allen was scoreless from the field, but connected on both of her free throw attempts to finish with 2 points and 2 rebounds in 16 minutes of action as the Liberty moved to 2-2 for the season.
Steph Talbot, Leilani Mitchell, and the Phoenix Mercury managed to finish the week above .500 after winning two of their three games this week.
The Mercury started their week with a high-scoring affair against Washington, but allowed the Mystics to build a substantial lead and not even a 30-20 final quarter could secure victory, falling 103-95 to a Mystics side that was missing superstar Elena Delle Donne.
Both Talbot and Mitchell came off the bench, with Talbot tallying 4 points in 5 minutes and Leilani Mitchell adding just five points but dishing out an impressive six assists in 16 minutes.
Phoenix then travelled to Minnesota to take on their arch-rival Lynx, although in recent years the rivalry has looked a bit like Serena Williams v Maria Sharapova with Minnesota winning 13 straight before this matchup.
But with Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner leading the charge, the Mercury shot the lights out, knocking down their shots at a 53.8% clip to open up a small advantage in the third quarter before securing a 95-85 victory.
Mitchell knocked down her only shot of the game to finish with 3 points and 2 assists in 13 minutes of action, whilst Talbot finished scoreless but with one assist in 9 minutes.
The Mercury rounded out their week with a 78-71 win over Atlanta, securing victory even after the Dream rallied from 14 down in the third quarter to be within a point going into the final term.
Once again, Talbot and Mitchell came off the bench yet again, with Talbot tallying two assists and three rebounds in ten minutes, whilst Mitchell connected on one of four attempts from the field to tally two points in 12 minutes.
WHAT. A. PASS.— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) June 3, 2018
Talbot Little pic.twitter.com/MRBax8qWzi
Finally, there was news out of Dallas this week as Australian forward Cayla George put pen to paper with the Dallas Wings, joining Liz Cambage and assistant coach Erin Phillips as Australians at the club.
The Wings will be George’s third team, but only the second the Opals star will see playing time for, having spent the 2015 and 2017 seasons at Phoenix before being traded to the Connecticut Sun, who waived her prior to the commencement of the season.