August 8, 2015 Louisville, KY. (Analyzed Sports) By: Charron Elliott
Delle Donne’s Road to Redemption
Last year Elena Delle Donne was forced to sit out through practically half of the Chicago Sky’s 2014 WNBA regular season games due to Lyme disease . Lyme disease is a bacterial infection contracted through the biting of ticks and can cause weakness, arthritis, and pain to the limbs of the body. However even while going through all of this, Delle Donne still managed to come back toward the end of the regular season, leading the Sky all the way to the WNBA Finals where the loss to the Phoenix Mercury. She averaged nearly 16 points and three rebounds in 278 minutes during the Sky’s nine playoff games.
So what has Elena Delle Donne’s production been like this season? Well let’s just say a healthy Elena Delle Donne has been on another level this WNBA season. She has been averaging nearly 24 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks per game for the Sky. Delle Donne is also averaging a career high 34 minutes per game and making nearly 95% of her free throws. She has had two 40 point games this season including a career high 45 points against the Atlanta Dream on June 24th. Delle Donne also managed to grab 14 rebounds and six blocks in the same game, which were also career highs. The 19 consecutive free throws she hit in the game was a WNBA record for most consecutive free throws made by a single player in a game.
What does all of this mean for the rest of the WNBA? Obviously it means that they are in trouble big time. Any time you have a player at 6 foot 5 with the abilities of an Elena Delle Donne, it is absolutely a match-up nightmare for a WNBA defense. Delle Donne can spread the floor with her outside shooting, she handles the basketball well, with her length she has the ability to challenge shots, she rebounds well, and she is lights out at the free throw line!
As for how her team is doing this season, the Chicago Sky have a record of 13-9 and are third place in the WNBA’s Eastern conference. The Sky loss last night at home against the Liberty 77-63. Delle Donne had 17 points and six rebounds getting most of her points from the free throw line where she was 8-8. The Sky will play the Phoenix Mercury for the second time this season tomorrow in Chicago’s All-State Arena. The Sky loss to the Mercury earlier this season 89-87 so it will be interesting to see if Delle Donne and the Sky can return the favor.
Regardless Elena Delle Donne is having a heck of a season ranking 1st in the WNBA in points and free throws. She now ranks 3rd All-Time in the WNBA in points per game trailing only Cynthia Cooper and Diana Taurasi. Delle Donne also ranks 1st All-Time in the WNBA in free throw percentage at 94% and 7th in blocks per game averaging nearly two. With that being said this is only her third year in the WNBA so she could go down as one of the greatest WNBA players of all time if she stays healthy. Delle Donne will look to lead the Sky back to the WNBA Finals to complete her road to redemption!
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