Monday, August 3, 2015

WNBA 2015 @ ASB: Power Ratings, Offensive Prowess, Three-ficiency

The WNBA Elite again showcased their game with a fast-paced and competitive All-Star Extravaganza. No Taurasi, No Parker, No Problem. Young studs like Nneka Ogwumike, Alex Bentley, Kayla McBride, Emma Meeseman and the hale and healthy Elena Della Donne (none older than 25) were happy to put their brand of skill and athleticism on display.

Typical of such an event, the players’ stuff-struttin’ was befitting of a schoolyard setting. Britney Griner wowed the crowd with a break-away two-hand throw-down and a defensive goaltend, believed to the a first. The Mercury’s Big Girl also launched five three-point shots, even made one.

In all, the ladies attempted 81 treys out of 201 shots. (No team is attempting as many as 20 per game.) MVP Maya Moore and McBride took ten apiece.

On that note, let’s begin the mid-season review at the stripe.

Three-ficiency

As basketball is evolving here in the 21st Century, “judicious accuracy” and “consistent challenge” seem to capture the offensive and defensive (respectively) philosophies for the more successful teams when it comes to three-point shooting.

Check out the whos sitting atop the standings or playing deep into the playoffs and invariably these squads invariably hold high ratings in both utilizing and defending the “stripe.”

Let’s try ranking the teams by the difference between their own three-point shooting and that of the opposition. (Attempts and makes are presented “per-game” for ease of comparison.)


No. 1 Indiana Fever   [+59]
[6-week rating: 1
4-week rating: 3
2-week rating: 7]

.376 [1st] – 5.69 [4th] out of 15.13 [5th]
.317 [3rd] – 4.81 [7th] out of 15.19 [8th]

No. 2 Minnesota Lynx   [+35]
[6-week rating: 4
4-week rating: 5
2-week rating: 5]

.353 [3rd] – 4.13 [9th] out of 11.69 [12th]
.318 [4th] – 5.75 [10th] out of 18.06 [12th]

No. 2 Washington Mystics   [+35]
[6-week rating: 3
4-week rating: 4
2-week rating: 4]

.325 [7th] – 5.8 [3rd] out of 17.87 [3rd]
.290 [1st] – 4.0 [2nd] out of 13.8 [2nd]

No. 4 Tulsa Shock   [+32]
[6-week rating: 2
4-week rating: 2
2-week rating: 2]

.348 [4th] – 6.83 [1st] out of 19.61 [1st]
.316 [2nd] – 4.39 [3rd] out of 13.89 [3rd]

No. 5 Phoenix Mercury   [+15]
[6-week rating: 6
4-week rating: 1
2-week rating: 3]

.357 [2nd] – 5.13 [6th] out of 14.38 [8th]
.342 [11th] – 5.06 [8th] out of 14.81 [7th]

No. 6 Seattle Storm   [+10]
[6-week rating: 7
4-week rating: 7
2-week rating: 6]

.329 [6th] – 5.39 [5th] out of 16.39 [4th]
.319 [5th] – 5.28 [9th] out of 16.56 [10th]

No. 7 Connecticut Sun   [+8]
[6-week rating: 5
4-week rating: 6
2-week rating: 1]

.346 [5th] – 6.27 [2nd] out of 18.13 [2nd]
.338 [10th] – 4.71 [5th] out of 14.0 [4th]

No. 8 Atlanta Dream   [-15]
[6-week rating: 8
4-week rating: 12
2-week rating: 9]

.309 [9th] – 4.65 [7th] out of 15.06 [6th]
.324 [6th] – 4.76 [6th] out of 14.71 [6th]

No. 9 Los Angeles Sparks   [-20]
[6-week rating: 9
4-week rating: 8
2-week rating: 12]

.307 [10th] – 4.63 [8th] out of 15.06 [6th]
.327 [7th] – 4.63 [4th] out of 14.13 [5th]

No. 10 San Antonio Stars   [-52]
[6-week rating: 12
4-week rating: 10
2-week rating: 8]

.276 [12th] – 3.47 [11th] out of 12.59 [10th]
.328 [8th] – 3.82 [1st] out of 11.65 [1st]

No. 11 New York Liberty   [-56]
[6-week rating: 11
4-week rating: 9
2-week rating: 11]

.280 [11th] – 3.29 [12th] out of 11.76 [11th]
.336 [9th] – 5.94 [11th] out of 17.71 [11th]

No. 12 Chicago Sky   [-61]
[6-week rating: 10
4-week rating: 11
2-week rating: 10]

.317 [8th] – 4.12 [10th] out of 13.0 [9th]
.378 [12th] – 6.0 [12th] out of 15.88 [9th]


Shooting and Scoring: The Grading Scale

To rank the teams, we’ll consider Points per game, Points per shot (i.e. field goal attempt), Points per possession and S(H)UM. (That last category is simply the sum of a team’s FG%, 3FG% and FT%.)

Again, we’ll rank the teams from 1 to 12 in all criteria and simply add up the rankings.

No. 1 Chicago Sky [5]
[6-week rating: 1
4-week rating: 1
2-week rating: 1]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
85.8 [1st] – 1.225 [1st] –1.048 [1st] – 1637 [2nd]

No. 2 Minnesota Lynx [9]
[6-week rating: 2
4-week rating: 2
2-week rating: 2]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
77.7 [3rd] – 1.184 [3rd] –1.003 [2nd] – 1651 [1st]

No. 3 Phoenix Mercury [15]
[6-week rating: 4
4-week rating: 6
2-week rating: 6]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
76.5 [4th] – 1.179 [4th] –0.975 [4th] – 1609 [3th]

No. 4 Indiana Fever [19]
[6-week rating: 2
4-week rating: 3
2-week rating: 5]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
76.4 [6th] – 1.199 [2nd] –0.963 [5th] – 1546 [6th]

No. 5 Tulsa Shock [22]
[6-week rating: 5
4-week rating: 4
2-week rating: 3]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
78.1 [2nd] – 1.114 [10th] –0.984 [3rd] – 1519 [7th]

No. 6 Washington Mystics [28]
[6-week rating: 9
4-week rating: 5
2-week rating: 8]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
73.3 [8th] – 1.141 [6th] –0.957 [6th] – 1516 [8th]

No. 7 Los Angeles Sparks [31]
[6-week rating: 6
4-week rating: 9
2-week rating: 12]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
70.1 [11th] – 1.127 [8th] –0.938 [8th] – 1570 [4th]

No. 8 Connecticut Sun [32]
[6-week rating: 7
4-week rating: 7
2-week rating: 4]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
76.5 [5th] – 1.090 [11th] –0.947 [7th] – 1513 [9th]

No. 9 Seattle Storm [33]
[6-week rating: 10
4-week rating: 10
2-week rating: 10]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
69.7 [12th] – 1.156 [5th] –0.911 [11th] – 1561 [5th]

No. 10 New York Liberty [37]
[6-week rating: 7
4-week rating: 8
2-week rating: 7]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
73.0 [9th] – 1.131 [7th] –0.921 [9th] – 1450 [12th]

No. 11 San Antonio Stars [39]
[6-week rating: 12
4-week rating: 11
2-week rating: 11]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
71.0 [10th] – 1.122 [9th] –0.911 [10th] – 1481 [10th]

No. 12 Atlanta Dream [42]
[6-week rating: 11
4-week rating: 12
2-week rating: 9]

PPG  /  PPS  /  PPP  /  S(H)UM
74.8 [7th] – 1.085 [12th] –0.898 [12th] – 1460 [11th]

Power Rankings --The Measurement Instrument

Our team-ranking tool utilizes four elements. Two scales are based solely on team wins and losses; the others are measures of the efficiency of team performance in comparison with the competition. First, we’ll simply use win-loss record irrespective of conference.

The second criterion will be the difference between a team’s road wins and its home losses. Since this cute little metric is said to be a personal favorite of current Sacramento Kings coach George Karl, let’s call this the Karl Kount (KK).

Criterion No. 3, Conversion Quotient (CQ), involves the rate at which a team converts its possessions into a successful field goals or free throw attempts. Like the KK, the computation is simple subtraction—a team’s rate of offensive efficiency minus that of the opponent.

Lastly, please allow Abacus to introduce the “SPOR-t” score. SPOR-t stands for “Shooting Plus Offensive Rebounds minus turnovers.” Add a team’s FG percentage and its offensive rebounding percentage (o. boards divided by missed FG’s). Then subtract the percentage of a team’s possessions lost to turnovers. For example, a team shoots field goals at a .488 clip, its offensive rebounds account for .199 of its missed field goals, and .143 of its possessions result in a turnover. So its SPOR-t is (488+199-143) or 544. Once again, our measurement will be the difference between the SPOR-t scores of a team and its opposition.

We’ll rank the teams from 1 to 12 in all criteria and simply add up the rankings. Low score wins, naturally.

No. 1 Minnesota Lynx (5.5)
[6-week Abacus rating: 1
4-week Abacus rating: 1
2-week Abacus rating: 2]

12-4, .750; 1st seed West / 1st overall                                            
KK:  +4; (6 Road Wins – 2 Home Loss) / No. 1 overall (tied)
CQ:  +64; (.487 [3rd] - .423 [2nd]) / No. 1 overall
SPOR-t:  +106; (536 [2nd] – 430 [2nd]) / No. 2 overall

No. 2 New York Liberty (6.5)
[6-week Abacus rating: 4
4-week Abacus rating: 4
2-week Abacus rating: 6]

12-5, .706; 1st seed East / 2nd overall
KK:  +4; (6 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 1 overall (tied)
CQ:  +44; (.466 [6th] - .422 [1st]) / No. 2 overall
SPOR-t:  +112; (504 [4th] – 392 [1st]) / No. 1 overall

No. 3 Chicago Sky (12)
[6-week Abacus rating: 2
4-week Abacus rating: 5
2-week Abacus rating: 3]

11-6, .647; 2nd seed East / 3th overall
KK:  +3; (4 Road Wins – 1 Home Loss) / No. 3 overall
CQ:  +39; (.510 [1st] - .471 [7th]) / No. 3 overall
SPOR-t:  +65; (571 [1st] – 506 [7th]) / No. 3 overall

No. 4 Tulsa Shock (20.5)
[6-week Abacus rating: 3
4-week Abacus rating: 2
2-week Abacus rating 1]

10-8, .556; 3rd seed West / 6th overall
KK:  +2; (4 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall (tied)
CQ:  -3; (.472 [4th] - .475 [8th]) / No. 6 overall
SPOR-t:  +44; (535 [3rd] – 491 [6th]) / No. 4 overall

No. 5 Washington Mystics (22)
[6-week Abacus rating: 8
4-week Abacus rating: 6
2-week Abacus rating: 5]

9-6, .600; 3rd seed East / 4th overall
KK:  +2; (4 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall (tied)
CQ:  +11; (.462 [7th] - .451 [4th]) / No. 5 overall
SPOR-t:  -40; (481 [8th] – 521 [9th]) / No. 8 overall (tied)

No. 6 Phoenix Mercury (22.5)
[6-week Abacus rating: 5
4-week Abacus rating: 7
2-week Abacus rating: 7]

9-7, .563; 2nd seed West / 5th overall
KK:  +1; (3 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 6 overall (tied)
CQ:  +20; (.470 [5th] - .450 [3rd]) / No. 4 overall
SPOR-t:  -11; (468 [9th] – 479 [4th]) / No. 7 overall

No. 7 Connecticut Sun (26.5)
[6-week Abacus rating: 6
4-week Abacus rating: 3
2-week Abacus rating: 3]

8-7, .533; 4th seed East / 7th overall
KK:  +1; (5 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 6 overall (tied)
CQ:  -4; (.454 [8th] - .458 [5th]) / No. 7 overall
SPOR-t:  +3; (492 [5th] – 489 [5th]) / No. 6 overall

No. 8 Atlanta Dream (32)
[6-week Abacus rating: 9
4-week Abacus rating: 9
2-week Abacus rating: 8]

7-10, .412; 6th seed East / 9th overall
KK:  -2; (2 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 9 overall
CQ:  -26; (.445 [11th] - .471 [6th]) / No. 9 overall
SPOR-t:  +24; (486 [7th] – 462 [3rd]) / No. 5 overall

No. 9 Indiana Fever (32.5)
[6-week Abacus rating: 7
4-week Abacus rating: 8
2-week Abacus rating: 10]

8-8, .500; 5th seed East / 8th overall
KK:  -1; (3 Road Win – 4 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall
CQ:  -13; (.474 [3rd] - .487 [11th]) / No. 8 overall
SPOR-t:  -40; (488 [6th] – 528 [11th]) / No. 8 overall (tied)

No. 10 San Antonio Stars (41)
[6-week Abacus rating: 10
4-week Abacus rating: 11
2-week Abacus rating: 11]

5-12, .294; 4th seed West / 10th overall
KK:  -3; (0 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall
CQ:  -33; (.453 [9th] - .486 [10th]) / No. 10 overall
SPOR-t:  -91; (458 [11th] – 549 [12th]) / No. 11 overall

No. 11 Seattle Storm (45)
[6-week Abacus rating: 11
4-week Abacus rating: 10
2-week Abacus rating: 9]

5-13, .278; 5th seed West / 11th overall
KK:  -4; (1 Road Win – 5 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall
CQ:  -45; (.435 [12th] - .480 [9th]) / No. 11 overall
SPOR-t:  -125; (389 [12th] – 514 [8th]) / No. 12 overall

No. 12 Los Angeles Sparks (46)
[6-week Abacus rating: 12
4-week Abacus rating: 11
2-week Abacus rating: 12]

3-13, .188; 6th seed West / 12th overall
KK:  -6; (0 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 12 overall
CQ:  -53; (.449 [10th] - .502 [12th]) / No. 12 overall
SPOR-t:  -67; (459 [10th] – 526 [10th]) / No. 10 overall


Prior Ratings and Data are available through Week 2, Week 4 and Week 6.