WNBA Player of the Week Awards Go To Tamika Catchings & Candace Parker

Jun 18, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker (left) is defended by Washington Mystics center Michelle Snow (2) at the Staples Center. The Sparks defeated the Mystics 101-70. Photo by Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE.

The WNBA announced earlier today that forwards Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks were named the WNBA's Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played from June 18-24.

The award moves Catchings into second place in league history with 16 Player of the Week awards behind All-Time leader Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm (19).

Despite sitting out a game due to injury, Parker "...finished the week as a dominant figure in Western Conference player rankings", according to the WNBA release, leading the conference in rebounds (10.3 rpg) and blocks (4 bpg), while ranking third in scoring (19.7 ppg).

Coincidentally, Catchings and Parker also sit atop Ed Bemiss' WNBA player rankings at National Sports Rankings.

Rank Rating Player Team

Tamika Catchings
Indiana Fever
Sylvia Fowles
Chicago Sky
Angel McCoughtry
Atlanta Dream
Candace Parker
Los Angeles Sparks
Epiphanny Prince
Chicago Sky
Sophia Young
San Antonio Silver Stars
Taj McWilliams-Franklin
Minnesota Lynx
Rebekkah Brunson
Minnesota Lynx
Tina Charles
Connecticut Sun
Seimone Augustus
Minnesota Lynx
DeWanna Bonner
Phoenix Mercury
Maya Moore
Minnesota Lynx
Cappie Pondexter
New York Liberty
Katie Douglas
Indiana Fever
Nneka Ogwumike
Los Angeles Sparks
Tanisha Wright
Seattle Storm
Sancho Lyttle
Atlanta Dream
Crystal Langhorne
Washington Mystics
Kristi Toliver
Los Angeles Sparks
Lindsay Whalen
Minnesota Lynx

Top 20 WNBA player rankings from National Sports Rankings (through 6/23/12).

I'm listing the top 20 this time to make a point: the Minnesota Lynx have their entire starting five in the top 20 while Catchings and Parker lead their respective conferences.

As mentioned last week, these numbers are still a work in progress but are one of few player metrics now updated weekly in their entirety and available extending back to 2001.

Although he has not yet made the formula public at this stage, he has offered the following explanation.

I take box score stats for each player, compare them to their teams totals and them adjust them on a league scale based on how well their team is doing. To be highly ranked a player must be accountable for a high pct of their team’s stat totals in different categories and their team must be playing well. It’s how big of impact they have on their own team and then how it’s helping that team perform overall in the league.

If that strikes you as similar to the WNBA's recently released PIE statistic, that's because it is similar conceptually though the two are different.

We both compare the players stats to the team stats in some fashion.

I take the stats I find important (not all stats and not as many as the PIE formula), and I use those numbers and compare them to their team's total numbers. I want to know what kind of impact, statistically, a player is having on their own teams box score throughout the season. I then take the total of all the stats and the percentages, I use, and then I add in their overall team rating. That will give me the overall rating for the player.

You'll find that a player may average less points, rebounds, steals, etc... and be ranked higher than someone else. That's because I factor in the team's league success not the just the players INDIVIDUAL stats. Overall team success is just as important in my formula as a player's individual stats. If my formula is accurate, and I think it is, a good player with modest stats on a successful team like Minnesota, would have better stats on a below average team.

For example if Maya Moore played for Washington she may average 5-7 more points a game, more rebounds, and other stats. Her individual totals would go up but her team's success wouldn't equal Minnesota's success. Her "rating" wouldn't go up as Washington's success and team rating, although better, wouldn't be good enough to push her above where she's currently placed.

His point might be exemplified this week by Taj McWilliams-Franklin sitting above Tina Charles on the list above...as well as all but six other players in the league. Obviously, her standing is buoyed by the success of the 12-1 team she plays on, but she's also a well-rounded player on a good team who ranks in the top 20 in five major categories, which - depending on how things are weighted - could obviously boost her standing.

Feel free to check out the rankings and offer up your thoughts in the comments.

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