• October 21, 2021

Alana Beard wins second straight Defensive Player of the Year Award

Alana Beard on defense vs. Diana Taurasi. Image: NBAE/Getty Images.
Alana Beard on defense vs. Diana Taurasi. Image: NBAE/Getty Images.

Los Angeles Sparks guard/forward Alana Beard won the 2018 Defensive Player of the Year Award. This is the second straight season that the 36-year-old four-time All-Star has earned the honor. She is the fifth player in league history to win the award in consecutive seasons. She received 16 of the 39 votes from the media panel, followed by Sylvia Fowles of the Minnesota Lynx who finished second with nine votes.

Beard’s 1.47 steals per game ranked fourth in the WNBA and helped the Sparks pace the league in steals (7.94 spg) and points allowed (77.0 ppg).  Los Angeles also ranked second in opponents’ turnovers per game (14.97) and defensive rating (98.7 points per 100 possessions).

Beard will receive $5,000 and a specially designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

The league also announced the All-Defensive teams. The league’s head coaches selected the teams by position and were not permitted to vote for players from their own teams. Players earned five points for each First Team vote and three points for each Second Team vote. If a player received votes at multiple positions, she was slotted at the position where she received the most votes.

2018 WNBA All-Defensive First Team

Position Player Team  1st Team 2nd Team  Total
Guard Alana Beard Los Angeles 9 1 48
Center Brittney Griner Phoenix 7 2 41
Guard Jasmine Thomas Connecticut 7 2 41
Forward Natasha Howard Seattle 5 4 37
Forward Jessica Breland Atlanta 5 3 34

2018 WNBA All-Defensive Second Team

Position Player  Team 1st Team 2nd Team Total 
Center Sylvia Fowles Minnesota 4 4 32
Guard Tiffany Hayes Atlanta 4 4 32
Forward Rebekkah Brunson Minnesota 4 1 23
Forward Nneka Ogwumike Los Angeles 2 4 22
Guard Ariel Atkins Washington 2 3 19

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