WNBA Playoffs - Congrats WNBA Champion Chicago Sky!

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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#61 » by jamaalstar21 » Mon Oct 4, 2021 8:49 pm

bape_lovers wrote:if Canada has a team, definitely would watch


Toronto would be a perfect market for the WNBA. I remember an ownership group tried to form and they marketed they were going to bring Toronto a team, but it ended up not being a thing.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#62 » by Doctor MJ » Mon Oct 4, 2021 8:50 pm

jamaalstar21 wrote:
bape_lovers wrote:if Canada has a team, definitely would watch


Toronto would be a perfect market for the WNBA. I remember an ownership group tried to form and they marketed they were going to bring Toronto a team, but it ended up not being a thing.


Needs to happen now. With the WNBA's momentum, they should be looking for a couple expansion locations, and given how Toronto has proven to be super-die hard as a fanbase, they should be at the top of the list.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#63 » by jokeboy86 » Mon Oct 4, 2021 10:36 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:
bape_lovers wrote:if Canada has a team, definitely would watch


Toronto would be a perfect market for the WNBA. I remember an ownership group tried to form and they marketed they were going to bring Toronto a team, but it ended up not being a thing.


Needs to happen now. With the WNBA's momentum, they should be looking for a couple expansion locations, and given how Toronto has proven to be super-die hard as a fanbase, they should be at the top of the list.


All Drake would have to do is one ig post and I bet this would happen. Hell he could probably outright own the team if we wanted.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#64 » by zike_42 » Tue Oct 5, 2021 1:46 am

There are not enough teams in the league right now. The #8 pick of the most recent draft (Shyla Heal) was cut because Chicago and Dallas didn't have enough room to give a rookie time to grow and make mistakes. Imagine if four games into his career, the Knicks waived Obi Toppin. Madness. There just aren't enough roster spots and the WNBA needs to expand.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#65 » by jokeboy86 » Tue Oct 5, 2021 2:42 am

zike_42 wrote:There are not enough teams in the league right now. The #8 pick of the most recent draft (Shyla Heal) was cut because Chicago and Dallas didn't have enough room to give a rookie time to grow and make mistakes. Imagine if four games into his career, the Knicks waived Obi Toppin. Madness. There just aren't enough roster spots and the WNBA needs to expand.


They cant add anymore teams. Though the league is doing better it’s still debatable whether the league or any of its teams are profitable. At this point I think the NBA and its TV partners are a hindrance to the WNBA because its existence is never in doubt no matter how bad things get and sometimes in business, desperation and fighting to survive can lead to inventiveness(can also lead to bankruptcy too) To me the sports market is oversaturated and though I like watching the WNBA its not priority television over other sports for me. At this point I simply don't know what more the league can do to grow their audience because they’ve tried everything. They’ve changed playoff formats, they switched the time of year for the season, they’ve had transcendent college stars
they’ve heavily marketed.

The only thing they havent had is a star who’s takes the Rousey/Carano/Kournikova route and openly tries to crossover to a mainstream audience and is willing to overuse their looks to get that attention. Now this will never happen because that’s an outdated male-centric image of what a female athlete should be and something that would be heavily criticised
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#66 » by Doctor MJ » Tue Oct 5, 2021 3:50 am

jokeboy86 wrote:
zike_42 wrote:There are not enough teams in the league right now. The #8 pick of the most recent draft (Shyla Heal) was cut because Chicago and Dallas didn't have enough room to give a rookie time to grow and make mistakes. Imagine if four games into his career, the Knicks waived Obi Toppin. Madness. There just aren't enough roster spots and the WNBA needs to expand.


They cant add anymore teams. Though the league is doing better it’s still debatable whether the league or any of its teams are profitable. At this point I think the NBA and its TV partners are a hindrance to the WNBA because its existence is never in doubt no matter how bad things get and sometimes in business, desperation and fighting to survive can lead to inventiveness(can also lead to bankruptcy too) To me the sports market is oversaturated and though I like watching the WNBA its not priority television over other sports for me. At this point I simply don't know what more the league can do to grow their audience because they’ve tried everything. They’ve changed playoff formats, they switched the time of year for the season, they’ve had transcendent college stars
they’ve heavily marketed.

The only thing they havent had is a star who’s takes the Rousey/Carano/Kournikova route and openly tries to crossover to a mainstream audience and is willing to overuse their looks to get that attention. Now this will never happen because that’s an outdated male-centric image of what a female athlete should be and something that would be heavily criticised


You've got a lot of insight here but I think your knowledge needs some updating. While 5 years ago - 20 years in to the WNBA's existence - it wouldn't have been unreasonable to see the WNBA as stuck, it's popularity has grow quite a bit since then. Its TV ratings are up, it's general mentions are up, it's occupying a more visible placement on sports websites...and we're talking about it here now because things have changed.

None of this is to say that I expect the WNBA rival the NBA in popularity or anything like that, but it's not really all that expensive for an existing NBA team to field a WNBA team in their same facility during the NBA off-season, so when the league is growing in popularity, it makes sense to ask where to expand rather than if.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#67 » by shangrila » Tue Oct 5, 2021 4:29 am

I think Expansion talk is putting the cart before the horse.

Get what you have now in a sustainable place before trying to do more.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#68 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Oct 7, 2021 2:15 am

shangrila wrote:I think Expansion talk is putting the cart before the horse.

Get what you have now in a sustainable place before trying to do more.

What’s the horse?

What specific threshold are you looking to see crossed before you see expansion as a wise action?


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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#69 » by 5paceman » Thu Oct 7, 2021 2:33 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
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.


I think there is more value going into the post in WNBA vs NBA. A center can do work without virtually every player on the court being a 6'7+ super athlete. With the offenses and ball movement, you might have said the NBA was previously behind the WNBA.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#70 » by shangrila » Thu Oct 7, 2021 3:31 am

Doctor MJ wrote:
shangrila wrote:I think Expansion talk is putting the cart before the horse.

Get what you have now in a sustainable place before trying to do more.

What’s the horse?

What specific threshold are you looking to see crossed before you see expansion as a wise action?


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When individual teams are financially viable?

When the league itself doesn't require subsidies from the NBA?

When the viewership numbers people are posting are sustained for, at minimum, an entire season, rather than a couple of weeks?

When they can afford to have their brawls inside the stadium rather than at the food truck outside?

I don't know. I get that people want it to do well. I personally don't care either way, but that means I certainly don't want them to fail. That said, they get their first glimmer of hope in, what, their entire history and people are suddenly talking about expansion? It's too soon and saying that isn't some indictment on the product.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#71 » by Doctor MJ » Thu Oct 7, 2021 8:09 pm

shangrila wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
shangrila wrote:I think Expansion talk is putting the cart before the horse.

Get what you have now in a sustainable place before trying to do more.

What’s the horse?

What specific threshold are you looking to see crossed before you see expansion as a wise action?


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When individual teams are financially viable?

When the league itself doesn't require subsidies from the NBA?

When the viewership numbers people are posting are sustained for, at minimum, an entire season, rather than a couple of weeks?

When they can afford to have their brawls inside the stadium rather than at the food truck outside?

I don't know. I get that people want it to do well. I personally don't care either way, but that means I certainly don't want them to fail. That said, they get their first glimmer of hope in, what, their entire history and people are suddenly talking about expansion? It's too soon and saying that isn't some indictment on the product.


Okay first: What data are you looking at to know the answers to these questions? When I do a Google search, the reference I see over and over again is that the WNBA makes $60 million in revenue and has costs of $70 million, but that $60 million number is at least from as far back as 2018, and the entire point we're making here is that things have changed a lot in the last few years.

I'll also note that back then they estimated revenue for the WNBA was almost entirely from attendance, which makes the fact that TV ratings have gone up quite a bit in recent years particularly relevant.

Now, it's possible that with the Covid disruption wreaking havoc with sports attendance the WNBA hasn't been able to make a profit despite TV ratings improving, but that's still a very different situation than one where the WNBA simply cannot make enough money to support itself.

Second thing I'll say: It's very difficult to separate the WNBA out from the NBA financially, and that's as the NBA always intended it to be. If the women's league were owned entirely by those outside the NBA, then we'd expect a tendency to play in smaller venues and perhaps with more of a regional focus to save money, but since the NBA isn't doing those things, apparently the NBA just doesn't want to do those things. Either it's because they don't mind losing some money, or because the costs they are reporting aren't actually the costs they have to any organization that's not affiliated with the NBA.

Either way, if a league can regularly average attendance in the 5-10 thousand range, there should be a way to make that make a profit if that's what you want from it.

Third thing, and I'll quote you again because I feel I need to emphasize this:

When the viewership numbers people are posting are sustained for, at minimum, an entire season, rather than a couple of weeks?


This just shows you're not really paying attention to what everyone's saying. I've been talking about a trend that's been taking place over the last several years. More than that, if there was a moment that was the big leap forward, that was 2020. You assuming we're talking about something that just happened a week ago just isn't a reasonable assumption. It feels like you're assuming you already knew the lay of the land of the WNBA until perhaps "right this moment" because you're just hearing about things right this moment, but the truth is likely that you haven't actually been paying enough attention to know where the "cart" is relative to the "horse".

Last thing I'll say is this:

I'm not suggesting any NBA franchise should be forced to add their own WNBA expansion team. But you have to understand that this isn't a situation where all the big markets have teams and we're talking about giving New Orleans a WNBA team.

We've been discussing Toronto in this thread as a candidate. Right now, there are 12 WNBA teams and only 4 of them come from a larger metro area than Toronto (NY, LA, Chi, Dal). If smaller markets can make it work, it stands to reason bigger ones probably can too.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#72 » by jamaalstar21 » Thu Oct 7, 2021 8:21 pm

Confusing TV schedule, lack of accessible merch is hurting WNBA's growth this article by Cassandra Negley isn't exactly an in-depth WNBA economics article, but it does point out some simple obstacles the WNBA faces.

The merch thing is glaring. Every now and then when I'm feeling hype about a WNBA player, I'll think about getting their jersey and check the WNBA store. Until this season, the jerseys have been hideous. They often look like something a bank's HR department would buy for their employees recreational basketball team. This year they put out some nice ones. I really wanted an Indiana Fever jersey, the one with the "stranger things" branding:
Image
but I didn't have a favorite player there and haven't watched many Fever games this year. So I made a custom #24 Tamika Catching, who was my favorite WNBA player for a while, and after all that it just kept coming up "distributor error" and not letting me buy it lol.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#73 » by codydaze » Thu Oct 7, 2021 8:32 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
jamaalstar21 wrote:
bape_lovers wrote:if Canada has a team, definitely would watch


Toronto would be a perfect market for the WNBA. I remember an ownership group tried to form and they marketed they were going to bring Toronto a team, but it ended up not being a thing.


Needs to happen now. With the WNBA's momentum, they should be looking for a couple expansion locations, and given how Toronto has proven to be super-die hard as a fanbase, they should be at the top of the list.


There's a ton of interest in Sacramento among the fan base to bring back the Monarchs too. I know I would definitely become more engaged with the WNBA if they brought them back.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#74 » by bisme37 » Thu Oct 7, 2021 10:00 pm

So uhh I guess my pick of Connecticut winning the title didn't exactly work out.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#75 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Oct 8, 2021 7:39 pm

bisme37 wrote:So uhh I guess my pick of Connecticut winning the title didn't exactly work out.


Amazing how quick things can turn around, eh?

We'll see it how it all plays out, but I'm reluctant to say that this Chicago team is now a juggernaut. While I understand that the addition of Parker makes the Sky sound like a super-team, they still don't look like one to me. Feels to me more like the Sun's regular season dominance didn't translate to the playoffs like you'd hope and expect.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#76 » by bisme37 » Fri Oct 8, 2021 7:45 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
bisme37 wrote:So uhh I guess my pick of Connecticut winning the title didn't exactly work out.


Amazing how quick things can turn around, eh?

We'll see it how it all plays out, but I'm reluctant to say that this Chicago team is now a juggernaut. While I understand that the addition of Parker makes the Sky sound like a super-team, they still don't look like one to me. Feels to me more like the Sun's regular season dominance didn't translate to the playoffs like you'd hope and expect.


It's hard to evaluate the Sun now. I saw them as the dominant team they were in the RS but they didn't even win a playoff series. Got to the semifinals simply because of getting byes in the first two rounds. So who knows what this team really was?
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#77 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Oct 8, 2021 7:50 pm

5paceman wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
bisme37 wrote:
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.


I think there is more value going into the post in WNBA vs NBA. A center can do work without virtually every player on the court being a 6'7+ super athlete. With the offenses and ball movement, you might have said the NBA was previously behind the WNBA.


I think there's some truth in what you say about essentially the geometry of women's basketball on a 10 foot hoop compared to men's basketball, but I also see evidence that they are overestimating the effectiveness of post offense in ways that remind me of where we were with the NBA not too long ago.

Re: "With the offenses and ball movement, you might have said the NBA was previously behind the WNBA." Interesting thing to discuss.

I think what I'd say is that I think the WNBA has always been more egalitarian in its shot allocation than the NBA, and when I see really great passing teams like the Maya Moore Lynx or the Taurasi-Taylor Mercury, I'm struck by the fact that players like Moore & Taurasi are more well rounded than your typical A-list NBA player.

I'm cautious though about saying the WNBA was ever developmentally ahead of the NBA in terms of tactic refinement. The closest thing that comes to mind for me was that Cynthia Cooper was essentially a 2010s type of superstar back in the '90s at a time when no one really like her existed in the NBA. However, that wasn't a league-wide thing, that was Cooper coming back from Europe where 3-point shooting was more advanced than in the US, and as a result just burning through the WNBA that wasn't remotely prepared for someone like that.

(Tangent: People sometimes bring up about Cooper "Yeah but she wasn't even the best player on USC", not realizing that back in her USC days there was no 3-point line in women's college basketball. The reason why Cooper went so under the radar for so long in the US - never allowed to be the focal point of the US Olympic teams - is because they were still largely thinking like it was still 1984 until Cooper shocked the WNBA becoming by far the best player despite not even being classified as a franchise cornerstone initially.)
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#78 » by Doctor MJ » Fri Oct 8, 2021 7:51 pm

bisme37 wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
bisme37 wrote:So uhh I guess my pick of Connecticut winning the title didn't exactly work out.


Amazing how quick things can turn around, eh?

We'll see it how it all plays out, but I'm reluctant to say that this Chicago team is now a juggernaut. While I understand that the addition of Parker makes the Sky sound like a super-team, they still don't look like one to me. Feels to me more like the Sun's regular season dominance didn't translate to the playoffs like you'd hope and expect.


It's hard to evaluate the Sun now. I saw them as the dominant team they were in the RS but they didn't even win a playoff series. Got to the semifinals simply because of getting byes in the first two rounds. So who knows what this team really was?


In their defense, this is a team that almost won the title in 2019, so I think it's way too soon to write them off...but they have some stuff to figure out. Seeing the best regular season WNBA team get beat by a .500 opponent is far, far outside of the norm for that league.
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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#79 » by TheRealKaboom » Fri Oct 8, 2021 7:54 pm

The WNBA has been completely subsidized since its inception 25 years ago.

Why?

Because you can't force people to watch something they don't want to watch.

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Re: WNBA Playoffs 

Post#80 » by 5paceman » Fri Oct 8, 2021 8:01 pm

Doctor MJ wrote:
5paceman wrote:
Doctor MJ wrote:
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.


I think there is more value going into the post in WNBA vs NBA. A center can do work without virtually every player on the court being a 6'7+ super athlete. With the offenses and ball movement, you might have said the NBA was previously behind the WNBA.


I think there's some truth in what you say about essentially the geometry of women's basketball on a 10 foot hoop compared to men's basketball, but I also see evidence that they are overestimating the effectiveness of post offense in ways that remind me of where we were with the NBA not too long ago.

Re: "With the offenses and ball movement, you might have said the NBA was previously behind the WNBA." Interesting thing to discuss.

I think what I'd say is that I think the WNBA has always been more egalitarian in its shot allocation than the NBA, and when I see really great passing teams like the Maya Moore Lynx or the Taurasi-Taylor Mercury, I'm struck by the fact that players like Moore & Taurasi are more well rounded than your typical A-list NBA player.

I'm cautious though about saying the WNBA was ever developmentally ahead of the NBA in terms of tactic refinement. The closest thing that comes to mind for me was that Cynthia Cooper was essentially a 2010s type of superstar back in the '90s at a time when no one really like her existed in the NBA. However, that wasn't a league-wide thing, that was Cooper coming back from Europe where 3-point shooting was more advanced than in the US, and as a result just burning through the WNBA that wasn't remotely prepared for someone like that.

(Tangent: People sometimes bring up about Cooper "Yeah but she wasn't even the best player on USC", not realizing that back in her USC days there was no 3-point line in women's college basketball. The reason why Cooper went so under the radar for so long in the US - never allowed to be the focal point of the US Olympic teams - is because they were still largely thinking like it was still 1984 until Cooper shocked the WNBA becoming by far the best player despite not even being classified as a franchise cornerstone initially.)


I believe you are on the money and certainly know more about the WNBA than me. I think about the egalitarian shot allocation when a lot of NBA teams were ISO heavy, but you are right, doesn't mean they were developmentally ahead in terms of tactics.

*For those interested, Mercury vs. Aces game 5 on epsn2 tonight.

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