Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WNBA 2017: 8-Week Progress Report

Weeks 7 and 8 of WNBA 2017 offered little in terms of truly competitive basketball – not a single of of the 23 games played was decided by fewer than five points. Additionally, five separate teams allowed their opponents to shoot 40+% from three-point land – unsurprisingly, those teams went a collective 3-8 against the rest of the league.

As a whole, the league is making just over one in three (.335) on its treys, which this season represent just over one in four (.258) of all FG attempts.

Playoff Positioning

While the Washington Mystics and Phoenix Mercury have been swapping the No. 2 position in these rankings, the new-look, defending champion LA Sparks sport a better record and hold two victories apiece over both in the race for the coveted No. 2 playoff seed. Under the “W’s” geographically neutral post-season format, only the top two seeds are spared the single-game “guillotine” rounds.

The contenders would be wise not to sleep on the surprising Connecticut Sun. The absence of stud Chiney Ogwumike triggered an 0-4 start, but Curt Miller’s ladies have notched a dozen victories thereafter, including handing the peerless Lynx their only defeat – on their home floor, to boot.

The following rankings reflect play through Friday, July 7. An explanation of the criteria is available hereAn index of the season's b-weekly rankings is available here.


No. 1 Minnesota Lynx, 13-1 (9)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 1]

KK:  +6; (7 Road Wins – 1 Home Loss) / No. 1 overall
Flow:  +5.07; (44.3 stops OF opp [No. 1] – 39.2 stops BY opp [No. 2] / No. 1 overall
Striping:  +0.25; (+1.14) conversions [No. 4] – (+0.89) opp conversions [No. 8] / No. 6 overall
SPOR-t:  +152; (646 [No. 1] – 494 [No. 1]) / No. 1 overall

Abacus Revelation: Through 14 games, the Lynx have outscored the opposition by 15.3 points per 100 possessions.


No. 2 Washington Mystics, 10-7 (13.5)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 4]

KK:  +1; (3 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall (tied)
Flow:  +3.00; (43.1 stops OF opp [No. 4] – 40.1 stops BY opp [No. 3] / No. 3 overall
Striping:  +0.53; (+2.12) conversions [No. 1] – (+1.59) opp conversions [No. 12] / No. 3 overall
SPOR-t:  +45; (591 [No. 3] – 546 [No. 6]) / No. 3 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Mystics are outscoring their opponents by 5 points a game at the free throw line on the season.


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Masters of the Craft (Part 1)

Which teams are performing the rudimentary skills of the game most proficiently at both ends of the floor? Let’s consider six elements of play: FG shooting, three-point shooting, Points per Game, Offensive Rebounding, the matter of turnovers and the SPOR-t score of our ratings. These teams hold a Top Four rank offensively and defensively:

FG%: NONE
3FG%: Minnesota
PPG: Los Angeles, Minnesota
OR%: Connecticut, Minnesota, Washington
TO%: Atlanta, Indiana
SPOR-t: Connecticut, Minnesota


No. 3 Phoenix Mercury, 9-6 (14.5)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 2]

KK:  +1; (5 Road Win – 4 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall (tied)
Flow:  +2.87; (43.3 stops OF opp [No. 3] – 40.5 stops BY opp [No. 4] / No. 4 overall
Striping:  +0.60; (+0.90) conversions [No. 6] – (+0.30) opp conversions [No. 3] / No. 1 overall
SPOR-t:  +14; (553 [No. 7] – 539 [No. 5]) / No. 5 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Mercury lead the league in defending the three-ball (.291).


No. 4 Connecticut Sun, 9-7 (17)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 3]

KK:  +3; (6 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 3 overall
Flow:  +0.38; (41.6 stops OF opp [No. 6] – 41.2 stops BY opp [No. 7] / No. 7 overall
Striping:  +0.47; (+1.22) conversions [No. 3] – (+0.75) conversions [No. 6] / No. 5 overall
SPOR-t:  +93; (619 [No. 2] – 526 [No. 3]) / No. 2 overall

Abacus Revelation: Over the past four weeks, the Sun have made exactly half (318-636) their FG attempts (73-161, .453, from beyond the arc.


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Scoring Pace 23 games [95 overall]

100+ points: 1 games [6 overall]
90-99 points: 7 games [37 overall]
80-89 points: 19 games [66 overall]
70-79 points: 12 games [57 overall]
60-69 points: 5 games [19 overall]
<60 points: 2 games [5 overall]


No. 5 Los Angeles Sparks, 12-4 (19)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 5]

KK:  +5; (5 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 2 overall
Flow:  +3.19; (41.03 stops OF opp [No. 7] – 38.1 stops BY opp [No. 1] / No. 2 overall
Striping:  -0.09; (+0.94) conversions [No. 5] – (+1.03) opp conversions [No. 9]) / No. 8 overall
SPOR-t:  -5; (575 [No. 4] – 580 [No. 7]) / No. 7 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Sparks’ loss in Minnesota last week was just the third time they’d shot below 30% on threes this season – two of them losses.


No. 6 New York Liberty, 8-7 (27.5)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 6]

KK:  0; (3 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 6 overall (tied)
Flow:  +0.60; (42.8 stops OF opp [No. 5] – 42.2 stops BY opp [No. 8] / No. 6 overall
Striping:  -0.60; (+0.23) conversions [No. 10] – (+0.83) opp conversions [No. 7] / No. 11 overall
SPOR-t:  +39; (555 [No. 6] – 516 [No. 1]) / No. 4 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Liberty converted less than 42% of their possessions during Weeks 7 & 8.


No. 7 Atlanta Dream, 7-8 (29.5)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 7]

KK:  0; (3 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 6 overall (tied)
Flow:  +1.40; (44.3 stops OF opp [No. 2] – 42.9 stops BY opp [No. 10] / No. 5 overall
Striping:  -1.27; [-1.07) conversions [No. 12] – (+0.20) conversions [No. 2] / No. 12 overall
SPOR-t:  +6; (538 [No. 8] – 532 [No.4]) / No. 6 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Dream discovered their shooting stroke in the last two weeks (.453, up from .401).


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Scoring Differential 23 games [95 overall]

1-5 points: 0 games [21 overall]
6-10 points: 13 games [37 overall]
11-15 points: 5 games [16 overall]
16-20 points:  1 games [9 overall]
>20:  4 games [12 overall]


No. 8 Seattle Storm, 7-9 (30)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 9]

KK:  -2; (2 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall
Flow:  -0.56; (40.2 stops OF opp [No. 9] – 40.8 stops BY opp [No. 6] / No. 8 overall
Striping:  +0.59; (+1.81) conversions [No. 2] - (+1.22) opp conversions [No. 10] / No. 2 overall
SPOR-t:  -78; (522 [No. 11] – 600 [No. 10]) / No. 10 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Storm have attempted exactly as many (314) treys as free throws – and so have their opponents (294). Weird, huh?


No. 9 Dallas Wings, 9-9 (32.5)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 8]

KK:  -1; (4 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)
Flow:  -2.33; (40.1 stops OF opp [No. 10] – 42.4 stops BY opp [No. 9] / No. 9 overall
Striping:  0.00; (+0.61) conversions [No. 8] – (+0.61) conversions [No. 4] / No. 7 overall
SPOR-t:  -27; (568 [No. 5] – 595 [No. 9]) / No. 8 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Wings ranked Top Three on both backboards for Weeks 7 & 8.


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Masters of the Craft (Part 2)

Are not the exceptionally inept worthy of some recognition? Here are the teams that hold a Bottom Four offensive and defensive ranking in our key elements of play: FG shooting, three-point shooting, PPG, Offensive Rebounding, Turnovers and SPOR-t.

FG%: Dallas, San Antonio
3FG%: Indiana
PPG: Chicago, Indiana, San Antonio
OR%: Indiana, Los Angeles, Seattle
TO%: Chicago, Seattle
SPOR-t: Chicago, Indiana, Seattle


No. 10 Chicago Sky, 3-12 (39)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 10]

KK:  -4; (3 Road Win – 7 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall
Flow:  -5.33; (40.6 stops OF opp [No. 8] – 45.9 stops BY opp [No. 12] / No. 12 overall
Striping:  +0.50; (+0.47) conversions [No. 9] – (-0.03) opp conversions [No. 1] / No. 4 overall
SPOR-t:  -87; (519 [No. 12] – 606 [No. 11]) / No. 12 overall

Abacus Revelation: Sky opponents shot a sizzling 42% (20 for 48) on threes during Weeks 7 & 8.


No. 11 Indiana Fever, 7-9 (39.5)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 6
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 11]

KK:  -1; (2 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)
Flow:  -2.50; (38.1 stops OF opp [No. 12] – 40.6 stops BY opp [No. 5] / No. 10 overall
Striping:  -0.56; (+0.81) conversions [No. 7] – (+1.38) conversions [No. 11] / No. 10 overall
SPOR-t:  -84; (533 [No. 10] – 617 [No. 12]) / No. 11 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Fever rank dead last in FG defense (.490) and 3FG defense (.376).


No. 12 San Antonio Stars, 1-16 (41)
[2-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
4-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 12]

KK:  -8; (0 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses) / No. 12 overall
Flow:  -4.76; (39.4 stops OF opp [No. 11] – 44.2 stops BY opp [No. 11] / No. 11 overall
Striping:  -0.44; (+0.21) conversions [No. 11] – (+0.65) opp conversions [No. 5] / No. 9 overall
SPOR-t:  -53; (538 [No. 8] – 591 [No. 8]) / No. 9 overall

Abacus Revelation: The old-school Stars are the “W’s” most reluctant three-point shooters.


Abacus Revelation for the Road / Random Ranking – per-game missed three-point shots

Through 95 games, WNBA players have attempted 3,262 three-point shots. They have been off-target on 2,169 of them – an average of 11.4 misses per game per team.

Connecticut 9.38 missed treys [3Par: .233, No. 8]
Indiana 9.56 missed treys [3Par: .211, No. 11]
San Antonio 9.65 missed treys [3Par: .209, No. 12]
Los Angeles 9.81 missed treys [3Par: .248, No. 6]
Chicago 9.93 missed treys [3Par: .215, No. 10]
Minnesota 10.43 missed treys [3Par: .242, No. 7]
New York 11.53 missed treys [3Par: .252, No. 5]
Atlanta 11.87 missed treys [3Par: .230, No. 9]
Seattle 12.63 missed treys [3Par: .316, No. 2]
Dallas 13.44 missed treys [3Par: .285, No. 4]
Phoenix 13.47 missed treys [3Par: .309, No. 3]
Washington 14.88 missed treys [3Par: .318, No. 1]