Scoring to Score in the WNBA

Posted on May 31, 2007 by

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Is scoring overvalued in other leagues besides the NBA? Kevin Pelton, one of my competitors in the True Hoop Stat Geek Smackdown, points out an interesting example from the WNBA (which he covers in addition to the NBA) that indicates a strong relationship between scoring and accolades in that league as well. 

WNBA.com publishes Rookie Rankings weekly, and this week’s leader is Ashley Shields of the Houston Comets. Shields has been inefficient (to say the least) so far, shooting 27.5% from the field and committing 13 turnovers in three games. What category (besides turnovers) does Shields lead rookies in? Scoring, of course, as she’s averaged 15.0 points per game. Other rookies have also struggled early in the season, but Shields seems like a poor choice when we consider the rest of her game in addition to scoring.Perhaps this is a good research topic: How does the evaluation of WNBA players differ from what we see in the NBA?  Do WNBA players have the same incentive to focus on scoring totals? 

By the way, I hope for more posts like this one, which was less than 300 words.  Yesterday’s post on Chris Paul was nearly 1,400 words, which is way too long.  Basically, the more I write, the higher my costs in time and effort. And the more I write, the fewer comments – and I assume readers – I see.  So basically, when I post 1,400 words I am behaving irrationally (raising my costs and lowering my benefits).  Such behavior might also be a good subject for future research. 

– DJ