The WNBA announced that a pair of New York Liberty teammates have been named to the 2023 All-Defensive First and Second Teams.
For the second year in a row, Liberty forward Breanna Stewart earned herself First Team honors.
During her first season with the team, Stewart was a real defensive anchor for the Liberty, swallowing up 9.3 rebounds per game (third-most in the WNBA), to go along with 1.6 blocks (fourth in the league) and 1.5 steals.
In more advanced stats, Stewart posted a defensive win share mark of 3.3, which was the third-highest total by a WNBA player this season.
With the latest honor, Stewart has now secured five total All-Defensive nods in her career, including two First Team finishes (2022 and 2023).
Also earning an All-Defensive award was Liberty guard/forward Betnijah Laney, who was named to the Second Team.
As New York’s primary perimeter defender, Laney was integral in transforming the Liberty into a top defensive team this season.
With Laney as a defensive anchor, the Liberty paced the WNBA in lowest opponent field goal percentage (42.4%), fewest opponent points per game (80.6), fewest opponent fastbreak points (9.9 per game), along with ranking third in defensive rating (99.4) and fourth in blocks (4.5 per game).
This is the second All-Defensive award of Laney’s career, after picking up a First Team selection back in 2020.
With Stewart and Laney both being chosen for the defense-centric honors, they become the first pair of teammates in Liberty franchise history to earn First and Second All-Defensive Team awards in the same season.