Though the Storm is more than a tenth of the way through the 2008 season, it’s still very early. Nothing shows that more than the fact that 10 days into the season the Minnesota Lynx is still sitting on one game played. Still, it’s never too early to at least glance at the advanced statistics.
In terms of Offensive Rating, the surprising 3-0 Connecticut Sun laps the rest of the league.
Team ORating------------------Connecticut 114.8Los Angeles 109.4Minnesota 106.6Phoenix 102.1San Antonio 101.1Chicago 100.3Detroit 99.0Seattle 98.8AVERAGE 96.5Sacramento 90.6New York 90.2Indiana 89.7Houston 85.2Atlanta 84.0Washington 83.8
Talk about a disparity between the haves and the have-nots – look at that gap between the Storm and the Monarchs, bridged only by league average. That San Antonio’s offense has played so well early despite some subpar shooting from Becky Hammon and two games without Ann Wauters should make the rest of the WNBA afraid. Very afraid.
Team DRating------------------Indiana 83.8Connecticut 84.9Minnesota 86.7Los Angeles 90.5Detroit 91.3New York 93.7Chicago 94.3Washington 95.0San Antonio 95.9AVERAGE 96.5Seattle 98.2Houston 100.9Sacramento 102.9Phoenix 107.0Atlanta 114.3
Definitely a skewed distribution in terms of Defensive Rating; nine of the 14 teams in the league are above-average, in no small part because the Dream’s defense has been a nightmare. (Sorry, bad pun.) Phoenix’s defense also has to be a major concern – weren’t the Mercury supposed to be better at that end with traditional post players? Don’t look for Connecticut and Minnesota to maintain their lofty defensive perches, but the Fever might easily lead the league in Defensive Rating wire to wire.
Too early for Pythagorean records, at least as long as the Sun is projected to win more than 34 games and Atlanta to lose more than 34. Moving ahead, here are your early leaders in PER, including some surprising names.
Player Tm PER----------------------------Charde Houston MIN 43.1Sidney Spencer LAS 37.7Katie Douglas IND 34.7Sophia Young SAS 34.4Lisa Leslie LAS 33.9Candace Parker LAS 32.9Lindsay Whalen CON 31.2Nicky Anosike MIN 30.9Candice Dupree CHI 30.2Plenette Pierson DET 29.2
I don’t count on Houston, Spencer and Anosike staying up there with more minutes, but Pierson’s fast start might not be a fluke. Bill Laimbeer ought to get her more time so the Shock gets off to better starts.