Honoring Sylvia Fowles: Taking a look back at the most dominant center ever.
Sylvia Fowles is retiring after this season and we take a look back at her career.
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Last week, the Minnesota Lynx announced that Sylvia Fowles was re-signing for one year and that it would be her final season in the WNBA. This will be Fowles 15th season in the league. She has put up quite an impressive resume in the WNBA and could be called one of the best centers in league history.
Here at Her Hoop Stats, we specialize in numbers and data, and we decided to take a look back and show you an in-depth perspective of just how great of a player she has been in the WNBA. After taking a look at these numbers, you can decide for yourselves if she could be called the best center ever.
Using advanced metrics, her PER(Player Efficiency Rating) was 26.6 and was third in the league last season. In terms of total PER Minutes (which is an estimate of the total value created by a player in their minutes played with their per minute value estimated via Player Efficiency Rating) was 24,894 which was second in the league. She also ranked 3rd in Win Shares Per 40 Minutes at 0.27, another estimate of value per minute, and 4th in total Win Shares with 6.3.
Last season, Fowles played in 31 games. She played an average of 30.1 minutes per game and averaged 16.0 points per game and 10.1 rebounds per game. She led the WNBA in 2-point percentage at 64.1%. She was second overall in total rebounds per game. and first overall with 312 total rebounds. It wasn’t just rebounding, though, she was also second overall in steals (1.8) and blocks (1.8) per game. That’s the only season in WNBA history a player has ranked 2nd or 1st in rebounds, steals, and blocks per game. Not only that, she didn’t foul all that much with 2.5 per game which was among the bottom of the league. Talk about efficiency! She showed just how effective she is when she was on the court last season.
Fowles has played for 2 WNBA franchises, the Chicago Sky and the Minnesota Lynx. Fowles played for seven seasons as a member of the Sky and it will be her eighth season as a member of the Lynx. Her career numbers in the regular season are 15.8 points per game which is 20th overall and 9.8 rebounds per game which is 1st overall. She has started in 369 games which is 17th overall and played in 378 games which is 36th overall. Her FG percentage is 59.7% which is 1st overall. She is truly the best rebounder the league has ever seen because she is first overall in total rebounds per game. She has won the WNBA’s Defensive Player of the Year Award four times which ties her and Tamika Catchings for most all-time. Another impressive stat that Fowles has in her career is that she is fourth overall in blocks with 685, but not only that, she’s in the bottom in terms of total fouls with just 976. This shows that she’s a dominant shot-blocker over her career while staying out of foul trouble a large majority of the time.
In terms of her playoffs career stats, she has made the playoffs in her nine seasons. Twice with the Sky and seven times with the Lynx. She started all 41 career playoff games. She played an average of 32.9 minutes per game and averaged 14.9 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game. In terms of rebounds per game, she is first overall and she has the best FG percentage at 58.4%! This shows that she was extremely effective when given the ball to score. She made the most when the team needed the most, which is the playoffs.
Fowles is known for being a good teammate and helping her team out when needed. She makes an impact on the floor both offensively and defensively. In her overall win shares she has 73.6 which is fourth overall. Defensively, she’s even better as her defensive win shares of 22.8 are third overall. This just shows how valuable she has been to her teams over her career.
Fowles resume’s highlights are that she was named the WNBA MVP in 2017, she was a 2x WNBA Champion (2015, 2017) with the Minnesota Lynx as well as being named the Finals MVP in those years as well. She’s a 7x WNBA All-Star and was named to the All-WNBA teams (first and second) 7 times in her career. She was also named to the WNBA 25th Anniversary Team last season.
Through the numbers and statistics, Sylvia Fowles has always delivered for her teams over the years and has remained steady. She will go down as a WNBA legend and quite possibly the best center the league has had.
Sylvia Fowles’ final season kicks off on May 6th when the Minnesota Lynx face the Seattle Storm on the road.