Here are SI.com's five favorites for WNBA MVP (in no particular order), followed by our choice for three other year-end awards. The 6'4" forward-center's numbers (18.0 ppg, 8.8 rebounds) do not leap off the page, but the 2008 MVP has the ability to control the game on both ends of the floor. She's dominant when she wants to be?witness her 23 points, 11 rebounds and three assists in the All-Star game. Parker makes her teammates better and it's her drive that help L.A. finish second in the Western Conference.
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Elena Delle Donne
The leader in almost every statistical category among first year players, she's a lock to win rookie-of-the-year honors and the 6'5" forward could be the first player since Candace Parker in 2008 to also win MVP honors. Delle Donne has been a dominant offensive force, averaging 18.3 points and hitting 44.9% of her three-pointers and 92.5% of her free-throws. She even hit a buzzer-beating jumper in a win over Phoenix last week. Chicago had never made the playoffs before this year?with Delle Donne they clinched the top record in the East.
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The 6'1" guard-forward leads the league in scoring (21.8 ppg) and steals (2.8) while also contributing 5.5 rebounds and 4.7 assists. Despite of rash of injuries to other key player, McCoughtry still led the Dream to a second-place finish in the conference and a fifth-straight playoff berth?one for each year she's been in the league.
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The preseason favorite for league MVP, Moore has improved her already-stellar numbers in just about every category, especially in three-pointers, of which she makes a league-leading 44.4%. The dead-eye outside shooting, combined with her explosive athletic ability, makes her one of the league's most dangerous offensive threats. Moore led the Lynx to a title as a rookie two-years ago and, with the league's top record this season, they are a favorite to win the championship again.
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After missing most of last season with injuries, the 6-foot guard, and 2009 MVP, was supposed to team with rookie phenom Brittney Griner to dominate the league. Griner's injuries have not made that possible, but Taurasi has been a force all on her own. Her 20.8 points rank second in the league, but even more important, she's distributing the ball at the highest rate of her career. Her 186 assists (6.2 per game, 2nd in the WNBA) are 36 more than she's ever had in a season. Thanks to Taurasi's all-around play, the third-seeded Mercury are again threats to win the championship.
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Defensive Player of the Year
While Angel McCoughtry also deserves to be mentioned in this category, the 6'6" Fowles ranks second in the league in blocks (2.5) and alters many more shots. She was also named the league's top defender in 2011.
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While it's true that an improvement would be expected in the 5'7" guard's second season, Williams has become a more accurate shooter, which has helped increase her average to 15.9 ppg from 10.5 last season. She also set a WNBA single-game record with 51 points with a 98-65 win over the Silver Stars.
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Coach of the Year
Even without guard Sue Bird and center Lauren Jackson, two of the top players in the world at their respective positions, Agler has guided the Storm back to the playoffs.
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