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Just The Sports: Brief Guide To The WNBA

Just The Sports

Friday, June 30, 2006

Brief Guide To The WNBA

You are a basketball junkie. After the culmination of the NBA Finals, you felt an undeniable void in your life. Even the enthusiasm you managed to muster about the NBA draft was tempered by the fact you had to deal with hearing Stephen A. Smith, Greg Anthony, and Dick Vitale. Now, faced with the threat of five months without being able to watch competitive basketball, you are beginning to ask yourself the question all basketball junkies ask themselves at some point. Is the WNBA that bad?

The simple answer is no, the WNBA is not that bad. While women's basketball is not still as efficient as men's basketball, this is not to say that there are not still great teams. However, if you are going to check out the WNBA, you should at least do so with some sort education about who the best teams are to watch.

Since you are a basketball junkie, it is safe to assume that you love offense. True, defense is necessary, too, but watching a team who plays great defense means having to deal with missed shots and turnovers.

Overall, the Western Conference is more offensively efficient than is the Eastern Conference, having five of seven teams with a higher offensive rating than the league average while the Eastern Conference only has two of seven teams with above average efficiency. So if you have a choice between the Western Conference and the Eastern Conference, always go West.

Even though the Eastern Conference overall is the lesser efficient conference in the WNBA, the conference does sport the team with the highest offensive efficiency in the league. The Connecticut Sun have an offensive efficiency of 112.3 so from a purely offensive point, this is the team to watch in the NBA. You might want to watch this team against the lower teams of the NBA to ensure you will get an offensive explosion.

The other teams who are more offensively efficient than the league average are the Washington Mystics (107.8), Los Angeles Sparks (102.7), Minnesota Lynx (101.5), Phoenix Mercury (106.1), Sacramento Monarchs (102.9), and the Seattle Storm (105.3).

Of those teams, perhaps the most exciting, probably in the WNBA, is the Phoenix Mercury, but not because they have the best players in the league or even the best record (at 6-7, they most certainly don't). The reason is because the Mercury score a lot of points (106.1) and they also give up a lot of points (108.9), ensuring a high-scoring, efficient affair.

Under no condition, unless you enjoy watching blowouts, should you watch the Charlotte Sting or the Chicago Sky. If their records of 3-12 and 2-13, respectively, are not enough to scare you away, then perhaps their offensive efficiency ratings of 90.4 and 90.6, also respectively, will.

If you are watching television and someone comes in and switches the channel to a game where the Sting are playing the Sky, then you should punch that person in the mouth, take the remote and turn the channel back, and then punch the person again lest they forget why they were punched in the first place.

Should you be one of the few who enjoys watching a team that plays great defense and okay offense, then look no further than the Houston Comets, with a defensive efficiency of 92.6. The Indiana Fever are not far behind at 93.4, though.

Now, you should have a better idea of which WNBA teams are worthy of being watched. Good luck, basketball junkie.

(UPDATE: I foolishly called the Chicago Sky the Chicago Fire. Forgive me, but still don't watch their games.)


  • Dear David:

    Chicago's WNBA team is the Sky, not the Fire.

    Chicago's Major League Soccer team is the Fire.

    Just so you know.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:13 AM  

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