Lindsay Whalen's 20 point, 10 assist performance: A look at "potential assists"


One stat not kept on scoresheets is the potential assist (see link above) - passes a player made that led to a missed instead of made shots. In addition to her 20 points and 10 assists in the Minnesota Lynx' win last night, point guard Lindsay Whalen had eight "potential assists" last night (rough count in an interrupted NBA TV broadcast), four of which set up threes, which are more valuable than most 2 point assists. We don't really need more stats than that to know how good Whalen's performance was, but people seem to struggle with making point guards MVP candidates. We like to talk about point guard play in terms of points plus points they created (Whalen's assists led to 23 points last night). Her potential assists set up opportunities for 22 additional points. It's hard to make a persuasive basketball argument that she's not a top 5 MVP candidate.