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ROY Race Between Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark Has No Clear Winner, Says Monica McNutt

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

ROY Race Between Angel Reese and Caitlin Clark Has No Clear Winner, Says Monica McNutt

Indiana Fever star Caitlin Clark is the frontrunner to win the WNBA’s Rookie of the Year award, but Monica McNutt believes the race is far from over. The ESPN analyst claimed that Chicago Sky center Angel Reese‘s stellar form and the team’s recent results could propel her into the lead to take home the coveted prize.

On First Take, McNutt claimed that if Clark and Reese finished the year with stellar numbers, voters would have a tough time making their pick for the award. However, if stats couldn’t separate them, the player who leads their team to the playoffs would likely be crowned the Rookie of the Year. She explained,

“My whole thing coming into this was which rookie, should the race be open to darkhorse contenders, is going to the greatest impact on winning… Yesterday, my answer was Caitlin. Because at the time, Indiana held the eighth seed… After last night’s contest [between the Fever and Sky], it flipped. You have Sky in the playoffs now. Which means Angel Reese has impacted winning…”

The Fever and Sky are neck and neck in the WNBA standings. Indiana is the ninth seed with a 38.9% win rate, while Chicago currently holds the eighth spot with a 40% win rate. At the midway mark of the season, the battle for the eighth seed, like the race for the Rookie of the Year award is too close to call.

For now, Reese and the Sky have the edge following their narrow 88-87 win against Clark and the Fever on Sunday. The center delivered a statement performance in the victory, and McNutt couldn’t help but admire her effort.

Monica McNutt impressed with Angel Reese’s exceptional outing against Fever

With her team down 0-2 in the season series against the Fever, Angel Reese shouldered the responsibility of ending their losing streak and dropped the best performance of her WNBA career so far.

She finished the game with 25 points and 16 rebounds, shooting 75% from the field, in a dominant display against her arch-rival.

McNutt lauded Reese’s performance and noted that her sensational display was a result of her relentlessness and grit, which she has showcased since the start of the season. She explained,

“She’s quick off the ground, she knows when she misses a shot, she’s back to her own rebound. She’s in there mixing up with bigs… She says it all the time, ‘I knew that defense and effort would translate.’ And that’s exactly what she has hung her hat on… And you have to give her a ton of credit for doing that.”

McNutt’s assessment of Reese’s dominance in the paint is spot on. Her 16 rebounds against the Fever were the most in a game by a player this season. She ranks second in the league in rebounds with 11.1 per game, only trailing reigning MVP A’ja Wilson (11.6).

However, no player in the same stratosphere as her in hauling in offensive boards. She averages 4.7 offensive rebounds, 1.5 more than Seattle Storm’s Ezi Magbegor, who ranks second in the category.

Reese has been nearly unstoppable in the paint on both ends of the floor. Her finishing at the rim has been disappointing this season but showcased a marked improvement in recent outings.

If Reese finishes with the same efficiency that she did against the Sky, Clark would have to up her game by a lot to pip her to the Rookie of the Year award. Simply put, this race only seems to be getting more interesting with each passing game.

Post Edited By:Tonoy Sengupta

About the author

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar

Jay Mahesh Lokegaonkar


Jay Lokegaonkar is a basketball journalist who has been following the sports as a fan 2005. He has worked in a slew of roles covering the NBA, including writer, editor, content manager, social media manager, and head of content since 2018. However, his primary passion is writing about the NBA. Especially throwback stories about the league's iconic players and franchises. Revisiting incredible tales and bringing scarcely believable stories to readers are one his main interests as a writer.

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