Offense is at an all-time high in the WNBA this season, in part due to the elite level shooters across the league. Rookie duo Victoria Vivians and Kelsey Mitchell have entered the league ready to drain threes at a record pace, LaToya Sanders is threatening season records for shooting percentages, and Diana Taurasi continues to extend her dominance as the league’s all-time leader in three-point field goals. In a season where scoring is up and the schedule is condensed, there is perhaps no better place to put points on the board than from the free throw line. The all-time leader in free throw percentage isRead More →

This is the fourth in a series of posts called And One, where the goal is to take a deeper look at some of the figures in women’s basketball history who aren’t often mentioned or may not be well-known to newer fans of the game. The series continues with a feature on four-time WNBA All-Star and 2000 WNBA Most Improved Player Tari Phillips. After spending time in Minnesota as a role player coming off the bench, Natasha Howard has made a strong case for a Most Improved Player award so far as a much more impactful starter for the Seattle Storm. Averaging just 11.7 minutes inRead More →

This is the third in a series of posts called And One, where the goal is to take a deeper look at some of the figures in women’s basketball history who aren’t often mentioned or may not be well-known to newer fans of the game. The series continues with a feature on Olympic gold medalist, four-time WNBA All-Star, and Women’s Basketball Hall-of-Famer Natalie Williams. Your defensive possession isn’t over until you secure the rebound. There’s no doubt that players who can dominate the boards are integral to any basketball team. On the other end of the floor, offensive rebounds can give a team another opportunity toRead More →

The 15th WNBA All-Star Game is set for this Saturday, July 28, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, hosted for the first time by the Lynx in their home arena, Target Center. The league followed suit with the NBA, changing the format so that instead of playing East vs. West, the top vote-getters square off against each other in teams picked by the leading vote-getters. In this first year of the format, six players were selected from the Eastern Conference, while 16 were chosen from the Western Conference, so we can already see this format dramatically changes the distribution of All-Star picks. Because of this change andRead More →

This is the second in a series of posts called And One, where the goal is to take a deeper look at some of the figures in women’s basketball history who aren’t often mentioned or may not be well-known to newer fans of the game. The series continues with a feature on Olympic gold medalist and five-time WNBA All-Star Shannon Johnson. We’ve seen a ton of elite-level passing in the WNBA this season. Combine that with some of the best scorers the league has ever seen, and the assists start to rack up. Four of the top seven all-time assist-per-game leaders are active in the leagueRead More →

This is the first in what will be a series of posts called And One, where the goal is to take a deeper look at some of the figures in women’s basketball history who aren’t often mentioned or may not be well-known to newer fans of the game. The series starts with a feature on two-time WNBA champion Tangela Smith. I’ve spent a lot of time this WNBA season talking about movement up a couple of leader boards that, even at the time this is being written, are still very fluid: games played and blocks. Nine of the 25 players who lead the league in careerRead More →

Previously, I talked about a new metric for tracking the pain of a WNBA schedule considering the compactness of this summer’s schedule. In this post, I’ll take a look at how these numbers reflect on past seasons. To analyze the pain of a schedule, it makes the most sense to look toward the end of the season, when the pain of the schedule tends to be felt the most (the wear of the travel and full schedule of games has been played). In fact, for all but a few seasons (more on that in a minute), the maximum average pain is observed in the lastRead More →

The “condensed schedule” has been a major topic of discussion this WNBA season. With the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup beginning in late September, the 2018 WNBA season had to be stuffed into a shorter span starting in late May and ending (including Playoffs) less than four months later. That led me to dive in to a closer look at the pain of the WNBA schedule in general. In particular, in the first post of this series, I’m going to look at the 2017 and 2018 schedules. Using the WNBA Attendance Database and a very basic formula, I’ve plotted the relative pain of the WNBA scheduleRead More →

Continuing the theme of continuity in the WNBA, this time we’ll look at player movement around the league. Let’s start with a breakdown of a few figures, and we’ll dive deeper from there. Keep in mind this is based on each team’s roster as of June 17, 2018. Counting Movement First, we can look at average number of team movements per player on each team’s current roster. This is calculated as the total number of times a player on the roster has moved teams divided by the number of players on the roster. Years off are not counted, and franchise moves do not count. ThisRead More →

Continuity in the WNBA is not incredibly common. Rosters shuffle at least a couple players at least every few years, and it’s rare you see a player stay on a team’s roster for their entire career. In fact, of the players in the top 25 in games played all-time, only three played every game for the same team: Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever, drafted in 2001, played 2002 – 2016) Sue Bird (Seattle Storm, 2002 – present) Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury, 2004 – present) Special consideration can be given to players who only changed teams (presumably) because of their first team folding. Even in that case,Read More →