There’s no hotter team in the WNBA than the Washington Mystics. They’ve won three straight games — all on the road — and none of those wins has been particularly close. Washington’s streak began with a 29-point blowout of the Sparks, followed by 23-point and 16-point victories against the Aces and Dream, respectively.
This is, obviously, impressive enough on its own, but we can learn more. Let’s use WNBA.com’s new stats page to put into perspective how dominant Washington has been as of late.
Sortable team stats
First, let’s look at where the Mystics rank statistically compared to the rest of the WNBA. To do this, open the nav bar, go to “Teams” and then “General.” For the purpose of this article, we’ll look at the league’s advanced stats. But there are plenty of other ways to compare the WNBA’s teams, such as traditional stats (think points per game), scoring breakdowns and opposing team stats.
You should get something like the following image. To get a very quick and easy idea of how a team is performing, you can look at its Net Rating (also known as efficiency differential, which is the team’s margin per 100 possessions). Adjusting for possessions is always a good idea, as it accounts for factors such as pace and minutes played. A team that plays faster will generally score and allow more points per game, for example, simply because there will be more possessions in its games.
As you can see, Washington is currently leading the WNBA in Net Rating, outscoring its opponents by an average of 14.4 points per 100 possessions. That’s very, very good. If we sort the teams by clicking on those other metrics, we will see that the Mystics are also leading the WNBA in:
- Assist to turnover ratio
- TOV% (percentage of possessions ending with a turnover — obviously, a lower number is better)
- eFG% (effective field goal percentage, which accounts for three-point shots being worth more than two-point shots)
- TS% (true shooting percentage, which accounts for both three-point shots and free throws)
- PIE (no, not the kind you eat — it’s an all-in-one estimation of a player’s individual contribution. See the glossary for more details.)
So, yes, the Mystics have been outstanding, especially on offense. But we want to know how good they’ve been during this win streak they’re on, which we’ll do next.
Sorting stats by date
Near the top of the table, you’ll notice an option titled “Advanced Filters.” Clicking on it will bring up a whole bunch of ways to further narrow your query. In this case, we’ll enter the date range we want (which begins on June 18, the date the Mystics walloped the Sparks) and click “Run It” for a revised table.
A Net Rating of 28.1. Yeah, that’ll win you some games.
Now, the comparative merits shrink considerably here, mainly because three games (or even fewer than that, in most teams’ cases) is a tiny sample size. With that in mind, we can also look at the team’s stats in a vacuum by clicking the nav bar, going to “Teams,” “All Teams” and then the team we want to look at. From there, we can choose to view “Advanced” stats and get the same data:
That looks a little cleaner. You’ll notice that this page lists splits such as home/road, wins/losses, month and days of rest. As the WNBA season progresses and our sample size grows, this data can become quite useful.
To wrap things up, let’s look at how the Mystics’ roster has performed during their win streak.
Player stats by team
Just as with team stats, there are several ways to go about this. WNBA Stats offers a “Sortable Player Stats” section, and you can also view a roster’s stats on that team page. Since we’re already on the Mystics’ page, we’ll take that avenue this time. Click “Profile” and then “Players.”
The table you’ll get can be filtered by date range, just like before.
Not surprisingly, Elena Delle Donne has been terrific during the Mystics’ win streak, but as these numbers show, players like Ariel Atkins and Tianna Hawkins have really stepped it up. While Natasha Cloud has struggled shooting the ball, she’s done a great job taking care of it, averaging six assists and just 1.3 turnovers per game. And of course, most of the Mystics have sterling box plus/minus values; that tends to happen when you’re constantly winning by so many points.
There you have it: an in-depth look at Washington’s current winning streak using both team and player statistics. Is there a section of WNBA Stats you’d like to see us explore next? Let us know in the comments!