Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekly Look at WNBA Stats

Two teams, Connecticut and Detroit, have hit the midway point of their seasons. The Storm will be there on Thursday. Let's take a look at the numbers, shall we?

Team          ORating     Team          DRating
--------------------- ---------------------
Phoenix 106.6 Los Angeles 90.4
Minnesota 103.0 Indiana 90.8
Connecticut 102.3 San Antonio 93.7
Detroit 101.9 Seattle 94.9
Chicago 101.4 Detroit 96.3
New York 101.2 Washington 96.7
Los Angeles 99.2 Houston 96.9
AVERAGE 98.4 Connecticut 98.4
Seattle 97.4 AVERAGE 98.4
San Antonio 96.9 Minnesota 99.2
Sacramento 96.0 Sacramento 99.9
Houston 94.2 New York 100.6
Atlanta 93.0 Chicago 101.6
Washington 92.1 Phoenix 107.6
Indiana 91.3 Atlanta 110.4
The Mercury offense continues surging. A week ago, Phoenix's Offensive Rating was 104.5, and it was 102.8 a week before. I'm pretty sure there's a Mercury rising joke in there somewhere. Phoenix's defense continues to be as bad as ever. Who knew Penny Taylor was really a defensive specialist?

A change at the top of the Defensive Ratings leaderboard, with the Sparks passing Indiana for the title of stingiest defense. The Storm made a nice push forward on the strength of yesterday's dominant defensive effort against Washington. Connecticut's defense is slipping a little.

The Dream's offense has been pretty good lately. However, Atlanta's defense has been as bad as ever, keeping the team winless.

Team          ExpW    Team          ExpW
------------------ ------------------
Los Angeles 23.7 Connecticut 21.7
Minnesota 20.3 Detroit 21.5
San Antonio 19.2 New York 17.7
Seattle 17.6 Indiana 17.3
Houston 16.3 Chicago 16.6
Phoenix 16.2 Washington 12.7
Sacramento 13.6 Atlanta 2.6
For the first time all year, the Sparks lead the league in Expected Wins. That really has more to do with the Sun and Shock beating each other up than the Sparks playing well, given they lost last week. Minnesota '08 is like Storm '07 in terms of winning by a lot and losing by a little. (Also, the Lynx have a really good offense and an average defense, like last year's Storm. Maybe it's something about Alan Horton?)

The Western Conference isn't quite as close in terms of differential as in the standings, where two games separate second place and seventh. However, Minnesota and Phoenix are all very tight. The Monarchs remain the odd team out of this group by differential.

Player              Tm   PER
Diana Taurasi PHO 30.5
Lauren Jackson SEA 26.9
Candace Parker LAS 25.9
Sophia Young SAS 25.3
Lindsay Whalen CON 24.9
Cappie Pondexter PHO 24.8
Candice Wiggins MIN 24.7
Janel McCarville NYL 24.6
Lisa Leslie LAS 23.5
Seimone Augustus MIN 23.3

Sancho Lyttle HOU 26.9 162 mins.
Sylvia Fowles CHI 24.6 123
Tasha Humphrey DET 23.8 166
In addition to the top 10 in PER, I've listed the players who would appear had they played enough minutes to qualify (I'm going with 200 as the current cutoff).

Taurasi has been hot, hot, hot lately and has pulled away from the rest of the league in PER. Parker also made a move up the charts, while Whalen has slumped a little.

The most interesting player here might be Lyttle. Her last two games in place of an injured Tina Thompson have been unreal: 38 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, nine steals, 17-for-21 shooting. Yikes! Find her some minutes when Thompson gets healthy.

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