The WNBA recently announced that it would further upgrade its stats database by including video for select statistics. Users can now watch video of nearly every possession of the 2019 season, with a similar functionality for 2018 coming soon.
This is obviously a huge addition to the database, and certainly a welcome one for fans who have been waiting for the WNBA to integrate more video into its presentation. But with so much being available at once, it’s quite the rabbit hole to tumble down. Let’s look at a few ways we can use this new feature.
Video from box scores
What — or who — was the biggest story of All-Star Weekend? It was probably Fever guard Erica Wheeler, who won MVP honors along with the hearts of many thanks to an emotional postgame interview. Wheeler’s 25 points and seven made three-pointers were both game-highs.
Suppose we want to watch Wheeler’s performance again. Let’s first break open the box score from the All-Star Game.
Note: There are two different box scores available! Make sure you’re accessing it from WNBA Stats (under “Scores”), not the schedule tab. We want the one that has numbers in orange text.
If the number is in orange, you can view video for that specific stat. Since we want to watch each of Wheeler’s made baskets, click on the number for how many field goals she made (FGM). It will take you to a page that looks something like this:
There’s a lot going on here, but it’s exactly what we wanted. WNBA Stats generated video for what we asked and gave us a corresponding shot chart for good measure. Here’s the first of the video clips WNBA Stats gave us:
And ... that’s it! As long as you know what you’re looking for, it’s quite simple.
Video from play-by-play
OK, now what if we want to revisit a specific point in the game? We can do that too. If you click on “play by play” at the top of the box score, you’ll see that nearly everything is in orange, meaning that there is video for it.
How about a video of Liz Cambage making a three-pointer? That’s always fun.
You’d better get out on that, BG!
Keep in mind that this is also available for games that, you know, actually matter. As long as you’re accessing the box scores from the stats page, you’ll be able to do this for any game of the 2019 season.
Video from player pages
We can also bring up video of players straight from their respective pages. Remember that player pages can be retrieved by using the search bar in the upper-right hand corner of WNBA Stats.
Let’s use Allie Quigley as an example. Bringing up her player page, we see several stats in orange text. If we click on her 2.7 made three-pointers per game, we will get video of every three-pointer she’s made this season:
That’s just the tip of the iceberg! Playing around with the filters and different sections of the drop-down menu lets you view almost anything from this season. Here are a few more examples to get you started, hyperlinked to video outputs:
Courtney Williams shots from 16-24 feet
Teaira McCowan blocks vs. Dallas
Courtney Vandersloot assists in her past five games
Washington Mystics made three-pointers in wins
Las Vegas Aces offensive rebounds vs. Phoenix
Chelsea Gray made shots during the final five minutes of five-point games
A few hangups
Unfortunately, unlike its NBA counterpart, there is currently no way to download or embed video directly from WNBA Stats. We’ll see if this is something they add in the future; for now, there is a “share” button for each generated video that will give you an easily digestible URL for that output.
Another very minor issue is that some videos don’t exactly end where they’re supposed to. This seems to happen most often during video of rebounds. There’s not much you can do about this, unfortunately.
Even with these quirks, though, there’s more than enough fun to be had with the new video feature. The sheer number of ways you can narrow down a video search makes it tremendously useful, especially for writers looking to add some beef to their game recaps or analysis pieces. Two thumbs up!
All video embedded in this piece is courtesy of WNBA.com.