This is an official form of apology to Tina Charles for disrespecting her and her high level of play this season. I tweeted a few weeks ago that Charles was not an MVP candidate due to the Washington Mystics being a lower seed team. I now realized that my analysis towards Charles was disrespectful and I must hold myself accountable for my comments.
The way I view MVP candidates is for a player to have a phenomenal individual season alongside being a spectacular leader for their team. It’s without a doubt that the Mystics are missing their 2019 MVP, Elena Delle Donne, that could have elevated their chances of becoming a championship favorite. In Delle Donne’s absence, Charles has carried the load for the Mystics. She’s put the team on her back and continues to be the leading factor in Washington’s playoff hunt.
Charles is averaging a career-high 25.8 points per game along with 9.6 rebounds on 46 percent shooting. She continues to dominate as a hybrid post player by scoring both inside and out. Charles’ offensive ability has never been an issue, to say the least. Since her college days at UCONN, fans have understood what she was capable of as it has shown through the course of her WNBA career.
It isn’t just Charles putting up dominant numbers, it is also showing true leadership against the top teams in the WNBA. On June 22 against the Seattle Storm, Charles came out with a chip on her shoulder and carried the load in the Mystics’ 87-83 victory against the defending champions. Charles scored 34 points and shot efficiently from three-point range. Also, let’s not forget to mention she crashed the glass as well, grabbing 16 rebounds in the contest. Facing a tough team like Seattle and grabbing the win gave the Mystics momentum and confidence as they moved forward through the season. Charles as the veteran leader elevated her play and set the tone from the jump.
There’s still a lot of basketball to be played, but Tina Charles has been an MVP Candidate throughout this season. Nobody can name more than three players that have placed better performances than her this season. If Charles can find a way to lead the Mystics into the playoffs, it will become another way for her MVP chance to continue depending on how far their postseason run could be.