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Sylvia Fowles’ Remarkable Consistency
Sylvia Fowles may be headed towards retirement, but her numbers are still strong and consistent throughout her 15-year career.
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📸: Chris Poss
Minnesota Lynx center Sylvia Fowles is playing her final WNBA season, which when complete, will end a spectacular 15-year career. Fowles is an eight-time All Star, four-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time Finals MVP and 2017 WNBA MVP. She is the all-time leader in both field goal percentage and defensive rebounds.
Those are some amazing accomplishments, but even more so when you look at the consistent production throughout her long career. I split Fowles’ stats into 5-year increments and compared her numbers at those stages to her career average for selected data. As the data below shows, the variances are miniscule. Games and field goal percentage are season averages; and minutes, points and total rebounds are per game averages.
Sylvia Fowles selected stats for 5-year increments:
*Based on games played through 7/28
The numbers indicate that Fowles started her career strong and is finishing even stronger as field goal percentage and total rebounds continue to rise in the last five years of her career and even in her final season.
Who wouldn’t want a player that you could count on for 30+ minutes, nearly 10 rebounds, and 15+ points each night while shooting nearly 60% as Sylvia Fowles did for 15 years with the Chicago Sky and Minnesota Lynx?
Field goal percentage:
Fowles has four of the top 10 all time field goal percentages for a season (minimum of 5 attempts per game and 20 games played), and the numbers continue to improve! Fowles’ second highest field goal percentage of her career was 64.0% in 2021 and she is right behind that this season at 62.7%. Her only higher percentages are 65.5% in 2017, 63.8% in 2012.
Here’s another amazing consistency stat: Field goals made by Fowles in 5-year increments:
Fowles also has four of the top 10 all-time total rebounding seasons, and her average is up for the most recent five years at 10.2 compared to her career average of 9.8.
Minutes restrictions for Fowles have been discussed since at least the 2020 season when Fowles only played seven games due to a calf injury. But it turns out that the Lynx are not the same without her, and Fowles is not a big fan of the limitation. She is averaging 28.1 minutes this season.
One of the all-time greats
Fowles’ career longevity and consistent excellence have her at or near the top of the league in the following key categories: first in points per scoring attempt, total rebounds, and defensive rebounds; second in offensive rebounds; third in win shares; and fourth in blocks.
Add the numerous stories of what a fantastic teammate and person Sylvia Fowles is and it’s no surprise each team wants to honor her at her last stop at each city. Fowles is a one-of-a-kind player and person and will most certainly be missed by all.