The Seattle Storm know how to defend at a high level.
Their team defense and individual player defense has been a driving force in their return to the WNBA Finals this season.
And now the league has recognized just that.
Storm forward Alysha Clark was a unanimous choice for the WNBA's 2020 all-defensive first team.
The league announced both first and second teams on Tuesday.
Clark's Storm teammate, Breanna Stewart, made the second team as Seattle has advanced to play in the WNBA Finals for the fourth time in franchise history.
Players around the league have praised Clark’s defense for years.
“[Alysha Clark] is probably the best defender in this league,” Mercury All-Star Diana Taurasi said during an Aug. 8 matchup between the Seattle Storm and Phoenix Mercury. “She’s strong. She’s physical. It’s like having a little bodyguard wherever I go.”
This season, the Storm rank second in points allowed per game at 76.0 in large part due to Clark slowing down Seattle's opponents top players.
At 5-foot-11, Clark is listed as a forward for Seattle but she was voted into the all-defensive spot as a guard by the league’s coaches this year.
Interestingly enough, Sparks forward/center Candace Parker, who won the 2020 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award, did not make either the first or second all-defensive teams.
This marks the first time in league history that the defensive player of the year in either the WNBA or NBA has not made one of the all-defensive teams.
The 2020 All-Defensive first team also includes:
- Atlanta guard/forward Betnijah Laney
- Phoenix forward Brianna Turner
- Connecticut forward Alyssa Thomas
- Atlanta center Elizabeth Williams
The 2020 All-Defensive second team consisted of Stewart and:
- Minnesota forward Napheesa Collier
- Washington guard Ariel Atkins
- Los Angeles guard Brittney Sykes
- Las Vegas center A'ja Wilson
[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Blazers Podcast with hosts NBA Champion Channing Frye and Emmy Award winner Dan Sheldon and special guest Kyle O'Quinn]: