The WNBA website has made a bigger commitment this season to providing a variety of statistics for players and teams. With a portion of the season complete, let’s take a look at how the teams stack up in some statistical categories.
Two teams have raced in front of the pack early in the season and a look at their efficiency statistics clearly shows why that is the case. Los Angeles and Minnesota have the league’s two most efficient offenses, averaging around 110 points per 100 possessions as indicated by the blue bars. They also have the same ranks defensively, only allowing around 90 points per 100 possessions as indicated by the red bars. Also of note in the early going, five of the top six offenses are in the Western Conference as teams are listed in order of offensive rating.
Instead of looking at raw rebounding totals or rebounding margin, another way to look at how teams crash the boards is rebounding percentage, which indicates what percentage of available rebounds teams grab on each end of the court. This approach is also helpful in determining which teams are making an effort to attack the offensive glass. Some teams are more interested in getting back on defense than generating second chance opportunities, but might still put a premium on defensive rebounding. Separating the statistics allows us to determine effectiveness in either scenario. The x-axis represents offensive rebounding percentage and the y-axis represents defensive rebounding percentage. Dallas is the most successful team at grabbing offensive rebounds so far, but is the second worst at defensive rebounding. Minnesota on the other hand, has been the best at limiting second chances for their opponents, but they do not rank nearly as highly when it comes to creating their own. Chicago has done well at both ends, ranking second in both categories.
Teams have had a variety of approaches in scoring their points. Dallas is the only team to score less than half of its points inside the arc, combining a big lead in percentage of points from behind the arc with a high ranking in percentage of points from free throws. Chicago is extremely reliant on points inside the arc, ranking dead last in percentage of points from the stripe and behind the arc. Atlanta has the early lead in highest percentage of points from the free throw line.
All data is from wnba.com and includes all games played through June 14th.