Shavonte Zellous: Top 5 Games of 2013
By Andrew Nagel
Editor’s Note: Shavonte Zellous has been named the WNBA’s Most Improved Player for the 2013 season. Here’s a look back at “Z”‘s top five performances in the 2013 regular season.
Zellous and the Fever travelled to San Antonio to take on the Silver Stars to open the 2013 season and won 79-64.
Zellous picked up right where she left off in last year’s WNBA Finals, leading all scorers on this opening night as she and Fever forward Tamika Catchings both scored 19 points. Zellous was an efficient 8-14 from the field, 2-5 from 3-point point range, and collected five rebounds in a little over 33 minutes of action.
#1 overall draft pick Brittany Griner was scratched with a left knee sprain, but it didn’t matter as the Mercury still prevailed over the Fever 82-67.
With Griner on the sidelines, the best matchup of the night was Fever guard Shavonte Zellous going up against Mercury guard Diana Taurasi. Though Phoenix took the game, Zellous arguably outperformed the Olympian Taurasi, scoring a season-high 29 points on 10-13 shooting, 6-7 from the 3-point line and 3-4 at the charity stripe.
The Fever traveled to Connecticut to take on the Sun to kick off the month of August. It was crunch time for the Fever, fighting to make the playoffs for their ninth consecutive year. The Fever were short on their bench on this night, only dressing eight and ended up falling 70-64.
Shavonte Zellous did everything in her power to try to steal this game from the Sun. “Z” was all over the court. In her 35 minutes of action she scored 20 points going 8-17 from the field, 2-6 from beyond the arc. She also had four rebounds, three assists, three steals and one blocked shot. It was a gallant effort and a game the Fever could look at as one, despite the outcome, that really got them going towards making the playoffs.
The return of Shavonte Zellous! Zellous had missed the last four games with plantar fasciitis. In the four games Zellous missed, the Fever dropped three, and were looking to rebound when the Silver Stars came to town.
Though she was a little rusty early, but when Zellous found her rhythm, the Fever flourished. She finished the night with 20 points, scoring 11 in the fourth quarter alone. In addition, Zellous had two assists, two steals, one rebound and one blocked shot in the 80-63 win.
With the Fever and the New York Liberty fighting for the final playoff for the Eastern Conference, this game had a heavyweight title bout feel to it in a city that is used to watching championship sporting events. The Liberty were on the bubble at the time and were playing desperate.
Shavonte Zellous and the Fever got out to a fast start opening up the game on a 14-0 run, with Zellous scoring eight of the fourteen points. As with any good prize fight, the lead went back and forth, but Zellous hit a huge 3-point shot with a little over two minutes remaining and iced the game with a layup with under thirty seconds left to lead the Fever to a 73-67 win. Zellous finished with 21 points as the Fever extended their lead over the Liberty in the Eastern Conference standings.