May 13, 2024 

Locked On Women’s Basketball: WNBA preseason awards and predictions

Natalie Heavren and Em Adler discuss the results of Adler's preseason survey, which predicts the highs and lows of the upcoming WNBA season

On the latest episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball, host Natalie Heavren sits down with WNBA and college basketball correspondent Em Adler to dive into WNBA preseason awards and predictions. They also discuss what they’re most excited for this season and predict what could be the most thrilling matchups and moments.

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Adler opens the show by breaking down the survey she created to ascertain predictions for the WNBA season. For participants, “you end up getting pretty much all of our beat writers, more than a couple of national folks,” Adler explains. “And you open it up, you pick your favorite teams, and you pick your least, well, I shouldn’t say favorites.” And who were these title favorites? Per Adler, “Everyone pretty much agreed here that the title favorites are Las Vegas.”

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Heavren follows up to ask about some of the other results from the survey, such as best and worst offense. “Best offense was Vegas,” explains Adler, “but it’s a tie between Vegas and New York … which is interesting because Vegas was pretty comfortably over New York last year.” And on the other end of things? “Chicago … four of your maybe six best players are centers … that’s not gonna make for good offense.”

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Heavren and Adler move onto discussing the MVP award, who Heavren believes is A’ja Wilson‘s to lose. “I don’t think you can ever consider an award in the preseason as someone’s to lose,” Adler says. But, as Adler explains, A’a is “one of the best players in league history … and if she wants to come out swinging after losing last year’s MVP race, it’s hers. She wants it.”

Heavren and Adler round out the show by addressing some trends they’re seeing that listeners should watch for. “People think there’s unsurprisingly going to be more switching in the league,” Adler explains. “We’re also expecting to see an uptick in guard screening … and overall better offensive efficiency.” And, of course, charters!

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