WNBA Weekly Wrap: Griner returns to action, Stewart drops 45 in NY

Published May 22, 2023, 5:00 PMYoyo Sarmenta

Brittney Griner finally returned to the court for the Mercury. Breanna Stewart only needed two games to set a franchise record for the Liberty.

Games of the Week

The WNBA kicked off this weekend and as teams paraded their retooled rosters, the main story belonged to Brittney Griner and her triumphant return to the floor. After missing all of last season because she was wrongfully detained in Russia, it was a welcome sight to see her finally playing again. 

The Mercury lost their first two games but the results paled in comparison to watching her doing her thing for the first time since the 2021 WNBA Finals. She had 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting plus six rebounds and four blocks in her first game then had 27 points, 10 boards, and four blocks in Phoenix’s home opener. BG looked incredibly like the BG of old. 

Last season, every game carried a bit more weight knowing that Griner was far from home. This year, that weight has been lifted, and watching her again makes the W feel complete. 

Team in the spotlight

The Connecticut Sun entered the season with a new coach and without their MVP. Two games in, the new era for the Sun is shining bright and early. They defeated the Indiana Fever in their first game before outlasting the Washington Mystics in their second game. 

It’s hard to replace a Jonquel Jones but the Sun still have a reliable core of DeWanna Bonner, Alyssa Thomas, and Brionna Jones to lead them. This group has veteran smarts, leadership, and not to mention, talent to still compete with the best. 

Just when you thought the Sun would take some time to readjust themselves, it seems like they’re off to their winning ways just like before. It’s still early, but it’s great to see them bring their competitive edge. 

An honorable mention goes to the Chicago Sky for also sporting a 2-0 record after the opening weekend. With all the changes to their roster, they’ve come out of the gates swinging. 

Big-time baller

It didn’t take long for Breanna Stewart to make herself feel at home in New York. 

In her first home game, she allowed Liberty fans to see what’s it like to have her on the team. She erupted for 45 points – a career-high and franchise-record – plus 12 rebounds in just three quarters against the Fever. She went 15-for-21 from the field and drilled six 3s as she became just the fifth player in league history to have a 45-point double-double. 


Watch out for… 

Arike Ogunbowale opened the season with a 27-point barrage against the Atlanta Dream. An All-Star the past two seasons, we might be looking at another All-Star year from the Dallas franchise player. Back in 2020, she was the league’s scoring champion with an average of 22.8 points per game. Can she do it again this year?