|2011 WNBA season|
|League||Women's National Basketball Association|
|Duration||June 3 – October 7|
|Number of games||34|
|Number of teams||12|
|TV partner(s)||ABC, ESPN, NBA TV|
|Top draft pick||Maya Moore|
|Picked by||Minnesota Lynx|
|Season MVP||Tamika Catchings (Indiana)|
|Eastern champions||Atlanta Dream|
|Eastern runners-up||Indiana Fever|
|Western champions||Minnesota Lynx|
|Western runners-up||Phoenix Mercury|
|Finals champions||Minnesota Lynx|
|Finals MVP||Seimone Augustus (Minnesota)|
The 2011 WNBA season was the 15th season of the Women's National Basketball Association. The regular season began on June 3 with the Los Angeles Sparks hosting the Minnesota Lynx, featuring 2011 WNBA Draft top pick Maya Moore, in a game televised on NBA TV. Four games followed the next day, with the marquee matchup, televised on ABC, featuring the defending champion Seattle Storm and the Phoenix Mercury in Seattle.
The Minnesota Lynx finished the regular season with the best record in the league at 27-7, and were the top seed in the Western Conference. The Indiana Fever were the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Lynx ultimately advanced to face the Atlanta Dream in the 2011 WNBA Finals.
2010/2011 WNBA offseason
- The new television deal with ESPN continued during the 2011 season (runs 2009–2016). For the first time ever, teams will be paid rights fees as part of this deal.
- As of the 2009 season, the maximum roster size per team was reduced from 13 to 11. Any team that falls below nine players able to play due to injury, pregnancy or any other factor outside of the control of the team will, upon request, be granted a roster hardship exception allowing the team to sign an additional player or players so that the team will have nine players able to play in an upcoming game or games. As soon as the injured (or otherwise sidelined) player(s) is able to play, the roster hardship player(s) – not any other player on the roster—must be waived.
- On October 12, 2010, the New York Liberty named former Monarchs coach John Whisenant head coach and general manager.
- On October 29, 2010, Pokey Chatman was named head coach and general manager of the Chicago Sky.
- On November 1, 2010, the Washington Mystics announced that Julie Plank (head coach) and Angela Taylor (GM) would not be returning to the team and that Trudi Lacey would take over head coach and GM positions.
- On December 3, 2010, Donna Orender, six-year league president, announced her resignation effective December 31.
- On January 11, 2011, The San Antonio Silver Stars announced that Dan Hughes would resume head coaching duties.
- The Washington Mystics announced a marquee sponsorship with Inova Health System on April 7, 2011. This marked the fifth team in the league to allow a sponsor to brand their uniforms.
- On draft day, Adidas introduced the Revolution 30 technology, to be used on all WNBA team uniforms. The uniforms are 30% lighter than before and also enable moisture management. Unlike their NBA and NBA D-League counterparts, however, all WNBA uniforms underwent complete redesigns.
- NBA Commissioner David Stern announced on April 21, 2011 that Laurel J. Richie would assume role as president of the WNBA on May 16.
- The New York Liberty will play home games for the next three seasons at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, due to summer renovations at Madison Square Garden.
On August 22, 2011, the WNBA announced a league-wide marquee sponsorship with Boost Mobile. The deal would allow the Boost Mobile logo to be placed on ten of the 12 teams' jerseys (excluding Phoenix and San Antonio) in addition to branding on the courts and in arenas. A source said the deal is worth "roughly $10 million over its four years" and is the richest in league history.
2011 WNBA Draft
The top picks were:
- Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
- Elizabeth Cambage, Tulsa Shock
- Courtney Vandersloot, Chicago Sky
- Amber Harris, Minnesota Lynx (from Conn.)
|Indiana Fever x||21||13||.618||–||13–4||8–9||13–9|
|Connecticut Sun x||21||13||.618||–||15–2||6–11||14–8|
|Atlanta Dream x||20||14||.588||1.0||11–6||9–8||14–8|
|New York Liberty x||19||15||.559||2.0||12-5||7–10||11–11|
|Chicago Sky o||14||20||.412||7.0||10–7||4–13||10–12|
|Washington Mystics o||6||28||.176||15.0||4–13||2–15||4–18|
|Minnesota Lynx x||27||7||.794||–||14–3||13–4||18–4|
|Seattle Storm x||21||13||.618||6.0||15–2||6–11||15–7|
|Phoenix Mercury x||19||15||.559||8.0||11–6||8–9||11–11|
|San Antonio Silver Stars x||18||16||.529||9.0||9–8||9–8||11–11|
|Los Angeles Sparks o||15||19||.441||12.0||10–7||5–12||10–12|
|Tulsa Shock o||3||31||.088||24.0||2–15||1–16||1–21|
The 2011 WNBA All-Star Game was hosted by the San Antonio Silver Stars on July 23 at the AT&T Center. Coverage of the game began at 3:30pm (ET) on ABC. This marks the first time the Silver Stars have hosted the annual event. This is only the second time in league history that the showcase was played on the court of a Western Conference team.
3:30 pm EDT
|East 118, West 113|
|Scoring by quarter: 33–36, 32–30, 27–26, 26–21|
|Pts: Cappie Pondexter (17)
Rebs: Angel McCoughtry (10)
Asts: Cappie Pondexter (7)
|Pts: Swin Cash (21)|
Rebs: Swin Cash (12)
Asts: Diana Taurasi (7)
The following shows the leaders for each statistic during the 2011 regular season.
|Points per game||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury||21.6 PPG|
|Rebounds per game||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||11.0 RPG|
|Assists per game||Lindsay Whalen||Minnesota Lynx||5.9 APG|
|Steals per game||Sancho Lyttle||Atlanta Dream||2.36 SPG|
|Blocks per game||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||2.00 BPG|
|Field goal percentage||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||59.1% (263–445)|
|Three point FG percentage||Jeanette Pohlen||Indiana Fever||46.8% (29–62)|
|Free throw percentage||DeWanna Bonner||Phoenix Mercury||90.9% (90–99)|
|Points per game||Team Stat||Phoenix Mercury||88.97 PPG|
|Least points allowed||Team Stat||Seattle Storm||69.85 PPG|
|Field goal percentage||Team Stat||Phoenix Mercury||46.1%|
|Least FG% allowed||Team Stat||Minnesota Lynx||41.3%|
Playoffs and Finals
Season award winners
Player of the Week award
|Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|June 3, 2011||Katie Douglas||Indiana Fever||Rebekkah Brunson||Minnesota Lynx|
|June 13, 2011||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||Candice Dupree||Phoenix Mercury|
|June 20, 2011||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Penny Taylor||Phoenix Mercury|
|June 27, 2011||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||Swin Cash||Seattle Storm|
|July 4, 2011||Cappie Pondexter||New York Liberty||Sue Bird||Seattle Storm|
|July 11, 2011||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||Rebekkah Brunson||Minnesota Lynx|
|July 18, 2011||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|July 25, 2011||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Becky Hammon||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|August 1, 2011||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|August 8, 2011||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||Diana Taurasi||Phoenix Mercury|
|August 15, 2011||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Candace Parker||Los Angeles Sparks|
|August 22, 2011||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|August 29, 2011||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||DeWanna Bonner||Phoenix Mercury|
|September 5, 2011||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Katie Smith||Seattle Storm|
Player of the Month award
|For games played||Eastern Conference||Western Conference|
|June 2011||Tina Charles||Connecticut Sun||Rebekkah Brunson||Minnesota Lynx|
|July 2011||Angel McCoughtry||Atlanta Dream||Seimone Augustus||Minnesota Lynx|
|August 2011||Sylvia Fowles||Chicago Sky||Lindsay Whalen||Minnesota Lynx|
Rookie of the Month award
|For games played||Player||Team|
|June 2011||Danielle Adams||San Antonio Silver Stars|
|July 2011||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|August 2011||Maya Moore||Minnesota Lynx|
|Most Valuable Player Award||Tamika Catchings||Forward||Indiana Fever||292 out of 1,071|
|Finals MVP Award||Seimone Augustus||Guard/Forward||Minnesota Lynx||Unanimous|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Maya Moore||Forward||Minnesota Lynx||38 out of 40|
|Most Improved Player Award||Kia Vaughn||Center||New York Liberty||15 out of 40|
|Defensive Player of the Year Award||Sylvia Fowles||Center||Chicago Sky||19 out of 40|
|Sixth Woman of the Year Award||DeWanna Bonner||Forward||Phoenix Mercury||20 out of 40|
|Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award||Sue Bird
San Antonio Silver Stars
|8 out of 39|
|Peak Performer: Points||Diana Taurasi||Guard/Forward||Phoenix Mercury||21.6 PPG|
|Peak Performer: Rebounds||Tina Charles||Center||Connecticut Sun||11.0 RPG|
|Peak Performer: Assists||Lindsay Whalen||Guard||Minnesota Lynx||5.9 APG|
|Coach of the Year Award||Cheryl Reeve||Coach||Minnesota Lynx||36 out of 40|
|All-WNBA First Team||Lindsay Whalen||Diana Taurasi||Angel McCoughtry||Tamika Catchings||Tina Charles|
|All-WNBA Second Team||Sue Bird||Cappie Pondexter||Penny Taylor||Seimone Augustus||Sylvia Fowles|
|All-Defensive First Team||Tanisha Wright||Angel McCoughtry||Tamika Catchings||Rebekkah Brunson||Sylvia Fowles|
|All-Defensive Second Team||Katie Douglas||Armintie Price||Swin Cash||Sancho Lyttle||Tina Charles|
|All-Rookie Team||Courtney Vandersloot||Danielle Robinson||Maya Moore||Danielle Adams||Liz Cambage|
- Atlanta Dream: Marynell Meadors
- Chicago Sky: Pokey Chatman
- Connecticut Sun: Mike Thibault
- Indiana Fever: Lin Dunn
- New York Liberty: John Whisenant
- Washington Mystics: Trudi Lacey
- Los Angeles Sparks: Jennifer Gillom and Joe Bryant
- Minnesota Lynx: Cheryl Reeve
- Phoenix Mercury: Corey Gaines
- San Antonio Silver Stars: Dan Hughes
- Seattle Storm: Brian Agler
- Tulsa Shock: Nolan Richardson and Teresa Edwards
- Playoffs 2011
- "Adidas to introduce lighter, more advanced NBA uniforms". NBA.com. September 22, 2010. Archived from the original on February 25, 2011. Retrieved March 7, 2011.
- "Boost Mobile and WNBA Form First-Ever Leaguewide Marquee Sponsorship". WNBA.com. August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
- "WNBA lands Boost Mobile as top sponsor". Sports Business Journal. August 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.