2013 WNBA season preview primer

Christian Petersen

Over the past few years I've laid out a framework of statistics that I plan to use for team-by-team previews of the WNBA season. There will be a few tweaks in how I've conceptualized things this year so here's a primer for your reference.

For the past two years, I've previewed the WNBA season by breaking each team down by the following categories:

  • Balance: How well a team "fills" the Four Factors relative to opponents.
  • Versatility: Range of styles of play on the roster.
  • Complementarity: How well the players' tendencies complement each other.
  • Depth: Both the quality of players on their roster and number of players they have to fill the various roles on the court.
  • Strengths/weaknesses: Looking at Four Factors strengths and weaknesses based on offseason gains and losses.

All of that is described in depth with charts in last year's framework post, which you can see by clicking here.

This year I'm going to make a few small tweaks:

  • Player quality: The site with WNBA RAPM ratings has unfortunately died so I don't have updated ratings for those, which means I can use those to measure "quality". That makes PER and Win Shares found at Basketball-Reference the most easily accessible metrics and I'm going to use the MVP rating that I've used in the past as well. For a description of that, click here.
  • Playing styles: Way back in 2010, I broke players down into playing styles and then evaluated how strong they were relative to their style of play. You can click here to see that. I'm going to do that again, but rather than break players down into subcategories (some of which had less than 10 players) I'm going to stick to the few broad categories: distributor, interior, mixed/utility, and perimeter.
  • Draft summaries: I never really got around to doing a final analysis of the 2013 WNBA Draft, so I'm just going to fold a lot of that into these team-by-team previews (which, I suppose, is more efficient because we now have some general idea who will end up making rosters). I will include the player similarities there for any that are relevant to try to project what some key rookies might contribute. For more on what that looks like, click here.

For the most part we've kept track of the major transactions for every team throughout the offseason so I'm going to have less on that and more about the composition of the roster as it looks to stand currently. Click here for all of our team-by-team offseason coverage (for which thewiz06 deserves ample credit for maintaining while the rest of us were focused on college).

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