Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Early Numbers

Our first check of the Storm's advanced statistics this season. Remember, after just three games, take everything with an enormous grain of salt. It's tempting to jump to conclusions, but three games isn't a big enough sample to be particularly meaningful.

Expected Wins: 22.6 (seventh in the WNBA, fourth in the West)
Offensive Rating: 106.6 (third in the WNBA)
Defensive Rating: 100.3 (eighth in the WNBA)
Rebound Percentage: 59.8% (second in the WNBA)

Click here for an explanation of these numbers.

The Storm has been incredibly good on the glass through three games, rebounding nearly 80% of opponents' misses - easily the best mark in the league. The rest of the defense has not been as strong; opposing teams have shot a solid 43.5% against the Storm. On offense, the Storm has benefited from hitting 24 three-pointers (second in the league) at a sizzling 40.7% clip.

The league has yet to really settle down in terms of expected wins, with eight teams predicted to win 22 games or more. Only three teams won that many games in 2006.

More important at the league level is how strong offense has been in the early going. The league Offensive Rating is 99.4 points per 100 possessions, up from last year's final number of 98.7. Historically, offenses have started very slowly in the WNBA because of the short exhibition season and the number of players who return late from overseas. Anecdotally, I haven't noticed a lot of the ugly shooting numbers we've often seen in Mays gone by, and the numbers confirm that. It could be a big season for scoring in the W.

Update: As pointed out by a commenter, I forgot that there is no explanation of "Expected wins" in the explanation I posted. Expected wins is how many wins a team's point differential should, on average, translate into over the course of a full season. The ranking is actually the ranking of the league on differential, but using Expected Wins translates that into a number that can be interpreted more easily. Unless, that is, it's early in the season and Indiana is expected to win more than 34 games and Houston a negative number. I don't think that will last.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What does "expected wins" mean? I might have missed it on your link to the explanations.