Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Weekly WNBA Numbers

A day late because of the rare Monday Storm home game, let's take a look at the numbers around the WNBA. I was also delayed putting together a column looking at the surprising depth of the league's rookie class thus far, so be sure to give that a look.

We start with the Offensive and Defensive Ratings. These numbers do not include last night's games.

Team          ORating     Team          DRating
--------------------- ---------------------
Minnesota 105.9 Indiana 85.9
Connecticut 103.2 Los Angeles 91.3
Phoenix 102.8 San Antonio 93.9
Chicago 101.4 Detroit 94.5
Detroit 100.7 Connecticut 95.3
Los Angeles 99.5 Seattle 96.5
New York 99.5 Chicago 96.7
Seattle 98.1 AVERAGE 97.8
AVERAGE 97.8 New York 98.5
San Antonio 95.0 Washington 99.4
Sacramento 94.6 Minnesota 99.6
Washington 93.5 Sacramento 99.8
Houston 92.5 Houston 100.5
Atlanta 92.1 Phoenix 108.3
Indiana 90.2 Atlanta 112.4
The Lynx have come back to the pack a bit on offense, but still lead the league. New York's offense has been surprisingly potent in the early going, and seeing Chicago fourth in the league is also something of a surprise.

At the defensive end, Indiana remains way, way ahead of the rest of the league. Atlanta remains way, way behind - but so too is Phoenix. That kind of poor defense is going to be difficult for the Mercury to overcome and is unexpected with the team playing less smallball this season. San Antonio's defense really picked up last week in wins over the Storm and especially the offense-poor Fever.

How about the standings based on point differential, shown in expected wins over a 34-game season.
Team          ExpW    Team          ExpW
------------------ ------------------
Los Angeles 23.0 Connecticut 23.8
Minnesota 21.3 Detroit 23.1
San Antonio 18.3 Indiana 20.4
Seattle 17.6 Chicago 19.8
Sacramento 12.9 New York 18.2
Phoenix 12.8 Washington 11.2
Houston 11.8 Atlanta 1.9
Both conferences are fairly tight at the top with a gap. In the West, that's after fourth place. In the East, five teams are in serious contention for four playoff spots. Congrats to Atlanta, which finally is projected to actual wins over the course of the season.

We'll wrap it up with a look at the individual leaders in John Hollinger's PER rating.
Player              Tm   PER
Lindsay Whalen CON 28.0
Candice Wiggins MIN 26.1
Diana Taurasi PHO 25.9
Lauren Jackson SEA 25.7
Cappie Pondexter PHO 25.2
Sophia Young SAS 25.2
Sylvia Fowles CHI 25.0
Lisa Leslie LAS 24.0
Candace Parker LAS 23.9
Tiffany Jackson NYL 23.7
Whalen remains the league's early leader in PER, though I think that went down last night as Tanisha Wright blanketed her defensively. Wiggins has proven tremendous at getting to the free-throw line, attempting a league-high 68 free throws (Swin Cash, before last night, was second with 67. She does benefit from the Storm playing so many games so far).

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