WNBA Playoffs - Congrats WNBA Champion Chicago Sky!

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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#21 » by azcatz11 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:33 pm

WNBA isn’t bad at all. Not my cup of tea but I’ve been to a few games and it’s fun
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#22 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:43 pm

bisme37 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:I watched! I feel like there's a lot of positive momentum with the WNBA now. I think the Bubble phenomenon and all that went with it actually ended up giving the WNBA a boost despite the fact that I wasn't following the specifics last year.

Also glad people haven't gone negative yet. Hate that it's so common. Completely fine to prefer the men's game for obvious reasons, but if you really love the thinking that goes into basketball skill and strategy development, there's plenty to appreciate. Even when I feel like the WNBA is needlessly behind the curve with regards to NBA strategy, I find that interesting because it allows me to apply what I've learned in one sphere to diagnose what's going on in the other.


Yeah I've noticed that too, it's almost like the WNBA is 10 or so years behind on style of play. Most WNBA teams play more in the paint and shoot way fewer 3s than NBA teams. But I can't decide if it's a matter of their league is still evolving or if it's just a matter of there are a ton of really good bigs in the WNBA right now and it makes sense to play through them. Jonquel Jones, Candace Parker, Aja Wilson, Liz Cambage, Delle Donne, Brianna Stewart etc etc are all MVP level players and they are all bigs (4s or 5s).

In any case I think a lot of the NBA fans who pine for the olden days of the league would actually like WNBA if they gave it a chance.


So, it's interesting, people in the WNBA will specifically note the contrast with the NBA when it comes to relying on post offense and kind of shrug with a "things are just different for some reason"...but what I see when I look at +/- data is much of what I used to see in the NBA: Things not working as well as people think they are.

Tina Charles is the most salient example of this. She'll probably get some MVP votes on the back of her scoring so much, but it wasn't creating massive life to offensive effectiveness. We can point to similar things with Sylvia Fowles, Candace Parker, etc. The WNBA's in this weird position where they can acknowledge Taurasi is the best scorer of all-time and how much she fits with current NBA trends, but many teams are still convinced that the retrograde path is serving them best.

I'm leaving out Jones, Delle Donne & Stewart because they are excellent shooters who just happen to be "big" sized in the WNBA.

I'm leaving out Wilson & Cambage because I want to see how they play out in the playoffs. That's basically the ultimate power lineup and they are clearly a title contender with it, but there is clearly redundancy to the fit there.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#23 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:47 pm

jamaalstar21 wrote:Fowles defense is incredible.


So I think this is something that bears further scrutiny from NBA eyes. Fowles is probably considered the greatest defensive big in WNBA history at this point - 4 DPOYs will do that - but her apparent +/- impact always seems to lag behind her stature. It's possible that the issue isn't that her defense is overrated, but that would specifically seem to mean her offense is even more overrated.

Sorry for coming across as a "hater" here, I'm really not looking to tear down your observation because it's what everyone sees when they watch Fowles - myself included - but there sure seems to be a disconnect between how good she looks and how impactful she is.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#24 » by jamaalstar21 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:52 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:Fowles defense is incredible.


So I think this is something that bears further scrutiny from NBA eyes. Fowles is probably considered the greatest defensive big in WNBA history at this point - 4 DPOYs will do that - but her apparent +/- impact always seems to lag behind her stature. It's possible that the issue isn't that her defense is overrated, but that would specifically seem to mean her offense is even more overrated.

Sorry for coming across as a "hater" here, I'm really not looking to tear down your observation because it's what everyone sees when they watch Fowles - myself included - but there sure seems to be a disconnect between how good she looks and how impactful she is.


Definitely have never really liked her offense. She's disciplined on offense, hit the corners on the short rolls etc, and her length and strength creates some buckets. In this broadcast they're begging for Fowles to get the ball, and I don't really get it. She's more of a scrapper than good post player.

But defensively I don't see what's not to like. Super quick feet, very disciplined and fundamental (but sometimes overplays shooters and leaves the paint wide open on a team that relies on her in here), great rim protector that get her hands up. I admit to having never dug deep on any WNBA analytics.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#25 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:53 pm

dockingsched wrote:I like how you can hear the coach and players in the huddle, good insight.

Watching Lloyd continuously throw up bad shots in OT was irritating.


Agree on the first.

On the 2nd it's interesting because Phoenix has been playing better than Seattle since Stewart went down to injury, but Seattle still won the last game against Phoenix on the back of brilliant Jewell performance. It really seems like they went with the game plan that they were going to try to win this game with Loyd as the star, and it really didn't work.

On both teams you seemed to have a situation where the player actually most capable of getting theirs against tough defense (Taurasi/Bird) was too old to be relied upon all day long, so they were hoping that their top young player (Diggins/Loyd) could carry them. Neither looked that great today, but Loyd certainly looked worse, and it really felt like Seattle needed to hand the ball to Bird instead.

Also I'll say this: One of the things that's frustrating with WNBA players that I'm seeing is that when they get tired, you see it in their shots more than the NBA players. More air balls from players who at full energy are capable shooters. More "lazy" lay-ins that don't go in.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#26 » by jamaalstar21 » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:01 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:Fowles defense is incredible.


So I think this is something that bears further scrutiny from NBA eyes. Fowles is probably considered the greatest defensive big in WNBA history at this point - 4 DPOYs will do that - but her apparent +/- impact always seems to lag behind her stature. It's possible that the issue isn't that her defense is overrated, but that would specifically seem to mean her offense is even more overrated.

Sorry for coming across as a "hater" here, I'm really not looking to tear down your observation because it's what everyone sees when they watch Fowles - myself included - but there sure seems to be a disconnect between how good she looks and how impactful she is.


Out of curiosity, where do you track WNBA numbers mostly. I find the WNBA website unfairly brutal to navigate. They have some stats on bbref, but the +/- apparently only goes back to 2018. I had no idea there was an analytics based anti-Fowles argument and am now intrigued. Any good WNBA journalists you keep an eye on?
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#27 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:05 pm

jamaalstar21 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:Fowles defense is incredible.


So I think this is something that bears further scrutiny from NBA eyes. Fowles is probably considered the greatest defensive big in WNBA history at this point - 4 DPOYs will do that - but her apparent +/- impact always seems to lag behind her stature. It's possible that the issue isn't that her defense is overrated, but that would specifically seem to mean her offense is even more overrated.

Sorry for coming across as a "hater" here, I'm really not looking to tear down your observation because it's what everyone sees when they watch Fowles - myself included - but there sure seems to be a disconnect between how good she looks and how impactful she is.


Definitely have never really liked her offense. She's disciplined on offense, hit the corners on the short rolls etc, and her length and strength creates some buckets. In this broadcast they're begging for Fowles to get the ball, and I don't really get it. She's more of a scrapper than good post player.

But defensively I don't see what's not to like. Super quick feet, very disciplined and fundamental (but sometimes overplays shooters and leaves the paint wide open on a team that relies on her in here), great rim protector that get her hands up. I admit to having never dug deep on any WNBA analytics.


17 points on 9 FGA looks good to WNBA folks just like it does to NBA folks, but as we've learned in the NBA, there are myriad costs to trying to get the ball into the post against an alert defense that don't show up in the player's shooting efficiency.

Re: "defensively I don't see what's not to like". It's possible the issue is purely on offense action and not about how she plays defense at all. I'm just saying that there's something somewhere in Fowles game that doesn't seem to add up to the sum of parts.

Something else to understand about where I'm coming from:

Probably the most shocking thing I've seen since diving back into WNBA analysis for the first time in over a decade is how off the charts Maya Moore looks by impact stats. People in the WNBA think they were properly rating Moore because she won an MVP and a Finals MVP and is generally seen as the best player of the '10s, but from what I see Moore was generally the most effective player in the league from her rookie year in 2011 to 2017 with a level of dominance that can only be matched by Cynthia Cooper.

And since Fowles was Moore's teammate when Fowles won the MVP, that's me saying that not only was Fowles not actually worthy of MVP honors, the WNBA world really got confused when they started thinking Fowles as the best player on the Lynx, period.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#28 » by Doctor MJ » Sun Sep 26, 2021 11:41 pm

jamaalstar21 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:Fowles defense is incredible.


So I think this is something that bears further scrutiny from NBA eyes. Fowles is probably considered the greatest defensive big in WNBA history at this point - 4 DPOYs will do that - but her apparent +/- impact always seems to lag behind her stature. It's possible that the issue isn't that her defense is overrated, but that would specifically seem to mean her offense is even more overrated.

Sorry for coming across as a "hater" here, I'm really not looking to tear down your observation because it's what everyone sees when they watch Fowles - myself included - but there sure seems to be a disconnect between how good she looks and how impactful she is.


Out of curiosity, where do you track WNBA numbers mostly. I find the WNBA website unfairly brutal to navigate. They have some stats on bbref, but the +/- apparently only goes back to 2018. I had no idea there was an analytics based anti-Fowles argument and am now intrigued. Any good WNBA journalists you keep an eye on?


Actually, the WNBA site is the one I like best, but it took some getting used to.

Other stuff:

bkref has stuff for the past 3 years.

The (old?) statistician from the Lynx still has stuff going back to 2013.

The WNBA site also has stuff archived that tends to break things down more from on/off perspective, but you have to guess the URLs and if I recall it only goes back to 2005.

2006 WNBA Net Plus/Minus Leaders

I'd say Positive Residual is the site that's done the most with more advanced impact estimations.

Since you're interested, I'll spreadsheet that I've made with various stuff in it. I'm still adding and updating to it though.

Doc's WNBA Compendium

You can see on that that the highlighted sheet was me coming up with 25 player WNBA GOAT list. Those following the WNBA know that the league has just released their own 25 greatest player list, and mine was put together just before that was released. If memory serves, I predicted 23 out of the 25 players, though my list itself only agreed on 21 of them.

In terms of good WNBA journalists, it's a great question. I've gone through the various WNBA podcasts and that was useful. The women on those podcasts tend to have relatively deep historical knowledge on a player scouting level, the men tend to be more analytical. The best analyst I've seen is Kevin Pelton, who you may also recognize from his regular NBA work.

But while I admire Pelton's ability to systematically go through and do analysis, I'm not super-impressed by him relative to the best minds in NBA circles, which includes the best minds on RealGM.

I've been talking to ElGee about this and perhaps prodding him to consider either doing some analysis on this front, or finding someone (ideally a woman) who he could promote, and he's interested in doing it but he's busy.

Short of that I was thinking I might start a blog again to just communicate what I've been finding because much of what I find I don't see people fully getting their heads around. But I have to admit that I haven't been watching the WNBA all these years, and you add that on top of me being a guy, and I'm a bit reluctant to put much into trying to convince others they should listen to me.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#29 » by jamaalstar21 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:16 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
So I think this is something that bears further scrutiny from NBA eyes. Fowles is probably considered the greatest defensive big in WNBA history at this point - 4 DPOYs will do that - but her apparent +/- impact always seems to lag behind her stature. It's possible that the issue isn't that her defense is overrated, but that would specifically seem to mean her offense is even more overrated.

Sorry for coming across as a "hater" here, I'm really not looking to tear down your observation because it's what everyone sees when they watch Fowles - myself included - but there sure seems to be a disconnect between how good she looks and how impactful she is.


Out of curiosity, where do you track WNBA numbers mostly. I find the WNBA website unfairly brutal to navigate. They have some stats on bbref, but the +/- apparently only goes back to 2018. I had no idea there was an analytics based anti-Fowles argument and am now intrigued. Any good WNBA journalists you keep an eye on?


Actually, the WNBA site is the one I like best, but it took some getting used to.

Other stuff:

bkref has stuff for the past 3 years.

The (old?) statistician from the Lynx still has stuff going back to 2013.

The WNBA site also has stuff archived that tends to break things down more from on/off perspective, but you have to guess the URLs and if I recall it only goes back to 2005.

2006 WNBA Net Plus/Minus Leaders

I'd say Positive Residual is the site that's done the most with more advanced impact estimations.

Since you're interested, I'll spreadsheet that I've made with various stuff in it. I'm still adding and updating to it though.

Doc's WNBA Compendium

You can see on that that the highlighted sheet was me coming up with 25 player WNBA GOAT list. Those following the WNBA know that the league has just released their own 25 greatest player list, and mine was put together just before that was released. If memory serves, I predicted 23 out of the 25 players, though my list itself only agreed on 21 of them.

In terms of good WNBA journalists, it's a great question. I've gone through the various WNBA podcasts and that was useful. The women on those podcasts tend to have relatively deep historical knowledge on a player scouting level, the men tend to be more analytical. The best analyst I've seen is Kevin Pelton, who you may also recognize from his regular NBA work.

But while I admire Pelton's ability to systematically go through and do analysis, I'm not super-impressed by him relative to the best minds in NBA circles, which includes the best minds on RealGM.

I've been talking to ElGee about this and perhaps prodding him to consider either doing some analysis on this front, or finding someone (ideally a woman) who he could promote, and he's interested in doing it but he's busy.

Short of that I was thinking I might start a blog again to just communicate what I've been finding because much of what I find I don't see people fully getting their heads around. But I have to admit that I haven't been watching the WNBA all these years, and you add that on top of me being a guy, and I'm a bit reluctant to put much into trying to convince others they should listen to me.


Amazing Doc, thanks for all of this. Gonna dive right on in. I've noticed The Athletic has upped their content since the bubble. It's hard to go from a casual fan to being a diehard who is up on the discourse.

I think it's fair to say there isn't enough WNBA content right now in general, so if you have the interest and passion for it right now, it would be a tragedy for you not to contribute just because you're worried about being the correct person. It would be another matter if there were hundreds of female journalists and WNBA historians being ignored while actively making content. There is too much space right now to worry yet about taking up space! There's an oversaturation of NBA talk for sure (and a never-ending appetite), but every single word going towards the WNBA helps build interest and the credibility of the league.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#30 » by prophet_of_rage » Mon Sep 27, 2021 12:33 am

bisme37 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:I watched! I feel like there's a lot of positive momentum with the WNBA now. I think the Bubble phenomenon and all that went with it actually ended up giving the WNBA a boost despite the fact that I wasn't following the specifics last year.

Also glad people haven't gone negative yet. Hate that it's so common. Completely fine to prefer the men's game for obvious reasons, but if you really love the thinking that goes into basketball skill and strategy development, there's plenty to appreciate. Even when I feel like the WNBA is needlessly behind the curve with regards to NBA strategy, I find that interesting because it allows me to apply what I've learned in one sphere to diagnose what's going on in the other.


Yeah I've noticed that too, it's almost like the WNBA is 10 or so years behind on style of play. Most WNBA teams play more in the paint and shoot way fewer 3s than NBA teams. But I can't decide if it's a matter of their league is still evolving or if it's just a matter of there are a ton of really good bigs in the WNBA right now and it makes sense to play through them. Jonquel Jones, Candace Parker, Aja Wilson, Liz Cambage, Delle Donne, Brianna Stewart etc etc are all MVP level players and they are all bigs (4s or 5s).

In any case I think a lot of the NBA fans who pine for the olden days of the league would actually like WNBA if they gave it a chance.
Correct. You get different styles in the WNBA and post play and mid range shooting.

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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#31 » by Clyde Frazier » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:42 pm

I don't watch too many games, but I happen to love the bird taurasi rivalry so i tuned in yesterday. I think the storm gave that game away as they kept going to loyd. She just started forcing it in the second half out of frustration. They should've looked to get samuelson involved more down the stretch. Ionescu is also fun to watch so it's cool to see her with the liberty.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#32 » by Stan » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:45 pm

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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#33 » by Jadoogar » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:51 pm

Stan wrote:


can we ban these types of posts?
If you didn't want to talk about the WNBA, you didn't need to come into the thread.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#34 » by CIN-C-STAR » Wed Sep 29, 2021 3:37 am

Is it just me or do the Mercury get the friendliest whistle in the league?
Admittedly I don't watch many games, but it seems like whenever I've watched them they just get soft calls that I'm not seeing other teams get.
Maybe it's just that Diggins and Taurasi know how to flop better than other guards. Or maybe it's just small sample size. Not really sure.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#35 » by TwoStarz » Wed Sep 29, 2021 5:02 am

How come Liz doesn’t start for aces?
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#36 » by bisme37 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:06 pm

TwoStarz wrote:How come Liz doesn’t start for aces?


I think it's just temporary because she recently had covid and is still getting back into shape. She's always started when I've watched the Aces before last night.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#37 » by QingJames » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:11 pm

Really hope Toronto gets a WNBA team soon. I'd watch it pretty religiously, but I find it hard to watch without a home team in the running.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#38 » by bisme37 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:11 pm

Awesome double OT game between Chicago and Connecticut last night. Jonquel Jones is so impressive. I can't think of too many basketball players who are more skilled at the game. Shooting, passing, postups, ball handling, defense, size. She's a monster. I love Bonner too.

Chicago got the win though. I still think Conn wins the series (best of 5) but Parker, Vandersloot (17 assists last night!) and Quigley are awesome and they may have the veteran experience to take down the #1 seed Sun. Next game is on Thurs.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#39 » by Jadoogar » Fri Oct 1, 2021 4:06 am

taurasi the goat, career high at age 39
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#40 » by grindtime22 » Fri Oct 1, 2021 5:47 am

Jadoogar wrote:taurasi the goat, career high at age 39



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