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 17, 2015

WNBA: Slide for Stewie Race Got Even Tighter Among Top Contenders

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

Welcome to week number three of the Slide for Stewie race in which we go in the other direction from watching the playoff hunt to watching how the race for the four draft lottery positions is going, considering this is another stellar year – not so much in plentiful – but one in which the grand prize of the number one pick will offer the opportunity to select UConn senior Breanna Stewart from the same program that has had such number one picks to yield in the past as Sue Bird (pre-lottery), Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and Tina Charles.

Remember in this exercise everything is done in reverse so our standings charts below lists losses first and then wins since the losses are more important here.

And in each one of these posts, we make the statement here of rather than repeat the entire explanation for the tables below, if you are viewing this topic for the first time, then just go to the first week’s introductory coverage.

While Stewie seems the single focus on the next lottery, there’s always a chance some other star in college or overseas will breakout and become a high value to add to the mix like the multiple three pack of 2013 that produced Brittney Griner, Elena Delle Donne and Skylar Diggins who went 1-2-3 respectively from Baylor to the Phoenix Mercury, Delaware to the Chicago Sky, and Notre Dame to the Tulsa Shock, once known as the Detroit Shock and beginning next season will be the Dallas (nickname retention or new to be determined).

Although much suspense exists on the playoff end of the standings, the tightness of three bottom teams in the Western Conference and differential of the entire Eastern Conference keeps it all interesting though New York seems to making some separation from the top in the East.

Still, the Liberty are one or two key injuries or a slump away from suddenly sliding to the differential from a fourth place playoff spot or an official contestant for Stewie night coming soon after the season is over in terms of announcing how the order will go.

Once teams we’ve been looking at happen to land in the playoffs, the data below will be revised and also if need be, besides looking at how much impact games decided by five points or less had we will also revisit the schedules to add games that were influential through rallies from deep deficits to swing the outcome the other way.
In the past week out of fifteen games involving the nine teams in our lottery hunt only one, Atlanta’s 84-82 home loss to Western leader Minnesota Friday night, produced a narrow outcome though several others did have rallies per se.

The Seattle Storm, which was running away to get the best odds for fate’s blessing when the ping pong balls do their thing, played four overall games, three against others in the hunt, and went 2-2 on the week and 1-2 in the lotto group, where the San Antonio Silver Stars’ 2-0 rack up of losses, including one to the Storm Sunday night, enabled the Texans to draw closer.

Tulsa with its 10-game losing streak was starting to knock on the lottery door but applied the breaks Saturday in New York with a win over the Liberty.

The Los Angeles Sparks went 1-1 in both categories, enough for the moment to stay out of the lottery by 1.5 games.

Atlanta seems probable after a playoff appearance streak to end that run and the Dream are 4.5 games behind Seattle to gain better odds when the lottery show begins.

The Connecticut Sun went 2-1 overall loss vs. wins and 2-0 in the pack to drop a bit deeper on the lottery trail away from the postseason while Chicago went 2-1. New York at 1-2 and 0-2 followed by Indiana’s 0-2 moved both teams closer to the playoffs instead of getting in the lottery mix.

Looking at the week ahead, on Tuesday, Indiana visits Los Angeles, on Wednesday, Washington will be after a sweep of Minnesota following Sunday’s home win over the Lynx, while New York is in San Antonio.

On Friday, Atlanta is at New York, Washington is at Chicago, and Indiana is at Seattle while on Sunday, Chicago visits Washington, Los Angeles is at San Antonio, Atlanta is at Connecticut, and New York is at Indianapolis.

With all that said, here are the weekly lottery standings updates.

Slide For Stewie Standings
(Thru Sun., Aug. 16)

Team L W *-GBO *-GBL

Seattle 19 7 -- --
San Ant. 18 7 0.5 --
#Los Angeles 16 8 2.0 1.5
Atlanta 15 12 4.5 --
Conn. 12 12 6.0 -- --
#Chicago 11 15 8.0 2.0
Washington 9 14 8.5 2.5
Indiana 9 14 8.5 2.5
New York 7 16 10.5 4.5

*- 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

Minnesota 84, Atlanta 82
!-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
Atlanta 6-5
Washington 4-4
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 11-4
San Antonio 11-5
Seattle 10-7
Atlanta 10-8
Indiana 9-9
Chicago 9-13
Connecticut 8-11
Washington 7-11
New York 4-13

That’s it for now.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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