Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, August 10, 2015

WNBA: Little Change in Slide for Stewie Standings Though New Procedure for Lotto Teams


Guru’s note: The following post and ensuing posts to come on the topic are offered for entertainment purposes only and written tongue in cheek because, well, because the subject exists and so for those poised to look at things that way, this running commentary between now and the final standings are offered as an aid.

By Mel Greenberg

Well it was a week of interesting developments since we posted the first in our series of the reverse race slide for Stewie, looking to see who has the best chance to land UConn star Breanna Stewart once the lottery participants and order are determined for next April’s WNBA draft.

Rather than repeat the entire explanation for the tables below, if you are viewing this topic for the first time, then just go to last week’s introductory coverage.

There are some things different this time than three years ago when three premium top picks were to be had. This time around only one such person exists now barring some stellar performance developments this winter among the senior collegiate class or news of potential WNBA talent existing overseas.

Coincidentally, one thing that did happen just two days after we began this satirical look is the league announced a change in how the order will be determined within the group.

The current in-season records still determine the participants so there is no need to adjust anything now – that will happen after all four teams – the two in each division – who do not make the playoffs drop into the pool.

But once all four are determined, then their overall records of the past two seasons will be combined to determine the odds.

When all is said and done, the luck of the drop of the ping pong balls will still ultimately determine the 1-4 except the team with the worst combined two-year record if not landing with the first or second pick will be guaranteed the third pick.

By the way there were no quotes within the league announcement on the new procedure but a source within the league told the Guru the alteration was voted on a while ago, should have been ratified since then and for whatever reason the home office decided to make the change public last week.

Two years ago Washington with the worst record but landing the fourth pick would have benefitted with the third pick, which would have landed Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins, who went to Tulsa.

This time, the worst guaranteed the third pick does not offer as great a prize but things can change.

Also, as we go, as soon as teams heading in the other direction toward the postseason get there, they will be dropped from this mix and there will be a re-adjustment, but for now the entire East is included because as great a renaissance season as the New York Liberty are having in the top spot as the Monday pause in the schedule arrives, they are still one bad streak or injury-hampering event from falling since only 3.5 games separate them from the fifth-place Connecticut Sun.

The oddity of the overall records right now continues to have the three bottom West teams ahead of everyone in the East but one of them will have to go into the playoffs and in the past seven days the with the return of former Tennessee All-American Candace Parker, the Los Angeles Sparks began to win a little and moved .5 games in front of the San Antonio Silver Stars toward the postseason.

Also, the Atlanta Dream continue to experience a nightmare and are more on a rebuilding lottery-bound mode then where they have been in recent seasons in the playoffs.

Eight games were played against each other within the lottery contenders and all were definitive in their outcomes except for Washington’s rally at home last Wednesday to grab a 66-63 win in the Verizon Center, which was the only game of five points or less any one them experienced.

If the season ended right now and the Stars landed Stewie we could point to that rally as influential since San Antonio fell below the playoff bar since our last report.

Also, we're also mindful that the season-injury to Diggins last month could continue to impair Tulsa and if the Shock fall closer to lottery land they will be added to the group.

For the week against each other – games against sure playoff teams are not counted for now in our exercise unless they involved outcomes of five points or less – in reverse loss-and-win, Los Angeles was 0-0 playing teams above the bar, Atlanta went 1-0, Seattle, the front-runner, went 1-0, San Antonio went 2-1, Chicago went 1-1, Connecticut went 1-2, New York went 0-1, Washington went 1-2, and Indiana went 1-1.

Next week we will sum the seven days with the overall loss-win in that period among the lottery group. For now, here are the updated numbers.

First comes the lotto hunt with the rightful normal standings records but with overall games behind the worst and games behind the lottery listed.

Slide For Stewie Standings
(Thru Sun., Aug. 9)

Team W L *-GBO *-GBL

Seattle 5 17 -- --
San Ant. 7 16 1.5 --
#Los Angeles 7 15 2.0 0.5
Atlanta 8 14 3.0 --
Conn. 11 10 6.5 -- --
#Indiana 12 9 7.5 1.0
Chicago 14 9 8.5 2.0
Washington 13 8 8.5 2.0
New York 14 6 10.0 3.5

*- GBO is Overall Games Behind Worst Record. GBL is Games Behind Lottery Slot
#-Top Team Below Lottery Cut in Each Division

Results Five Points Or Less
Most Recent at Top
!-Games Against Other Lottery Contenders


!-Washington 66, San Antonio 63
!-Chicago 71, Washington 68
!-Los Angeles 80, San Antonio 78
Phoenix 71, Atlanta 68
!-Connecticut 67, Seattle 66
Phoenix 89, Chicago 87, ovt.
Connecticut 78, Minnesota 77
!-Indiana 75, Connecticut 73
New York 81, Seattle 77
!-Chicago 97, Atlanta 92
Los Angeles 75, Phoenix 70
!-Atlanta 76, Los Angeles 72
Indiana 83, Tulsa 80
!-New York 79, Washington 76
New York 75, Phoenix 73
Phoenix 94, New York 91
Los Angeles 98, Tulsa 93
!-Chicago 77, Connecticut 74
Tulsa 93, Seattle 89
!-San Antonio 73, Seattle 71
!-Atlanta 72, Washington 79
!-Connecticut 80, Los Angeles 76
San Antonio 76, Phoenix 71
!-Chicago 100, Atlanta 96
!-Washington 84, Los Angeles 80
!-Atlanta 74, Chicago 73
!-Atlanta 64, Washington 61
Indiana 77, Phoenix 74
!-Connecticut 67, Chicago 65
!-Atlanta 72, San Antonio 69
!-Connecticut 75, Atlanta 70
!-Washington 67, New York 62
!-Washington 73, Connecticut 68
Phoenix 76, San Antonio 71

Reverse Overall Performance in Close Games

Team L W

Seattle 4-0
Los Angeles 4-3
San Antonio 4-2
Washington 4-4
Atlanta 4-5
Connecticut 3-3
Chicago 3-4
New York 1-3
Indiana 0-3

Reverse Close Game Performance Against Other Lottery Contenders

Team L W

Washington 4-3
Seattle 3-0
San Antonio 3-1
Los Angeles 3-1
Connecticut 3-3
Atlanta 3-5
Chicago 2-4
New York 1-1
Indiana 0-1

Reverse Overall Performance Against Other Lottery Contenders

Team L W
Los Angeles 10-3
San Antonio 10-5
Atlanta 10-7
Seattle 9-5
Indiana 9-8
Connecticut 8-9
Washington 7-10
Chicago 6-12
New York 4-11

That’s it for now.

-- Mel








- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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