Thanks to someone else's careful reading, I have discovered up and cleaned up a couple of important errors in my original computations. I had two games with errors in the scoring columns that cascaded down those games into their +/- numbers skewing the results, and found around 25 games where Ashley Battle and Mandissa Stephenson were given incorrect calculations which threw off the totals. I used the overall team +/- to sanity check the data and got all 34 games to line up. Strangely I seem to be off by a single point when they roll up to the final numbers, but I haven't been able to track that down yet. My previous post has been updated with the correct numbers for raw +/-.
Per 40 Minute +/- Ratings (edited 10/24 to reflect corrections to player minutes and net40 Off Court computations)
It is difficult to assess the actual potential value of a big minute player from a minor contributer with the raw +/- ratings. A better view is to see how a contribution might play out over a 40 minute contribution (playing one full game.) This still does not adjust so much for players who get most of their time in garbage time, but gives us a little better perspective.
Suddenly the biggest contribution on the team come from Natalia Vodopyanova. She had very a strong line, but played considerably less minutes this past season than did raw leaders Sue Bird and Betty Lennox. Tanisha turns positive in this scenario, making her potential contribution to the team with increased minutes next year even more clear. Simone also turns up positive strengthening my case that she returns AGAIN next season. I struggle understanding why LJ turns negative numbers in this scenario. I simply cannot believe that the team would actually play better without her.
Judging by these numbers we could have had a very dominant lineup if we had played a starting five of Bird, Lennox, Vodo, LJ and JB. Press reports at the end of the season said that AD was not likely to bring Vodo back because of her inability to defend the SF position effectively in the WNBA. These numbers seem to contradict her assertion. We don't have insight into all that goes on in practice or on the bench, but these numbers seem to indicate that her value to the TEAM may outweigh her particular weakness. This alone may warrant Vodo another look, if not by Seattle, perhaps by another team...perhaps the Chicago Sky should be eyeing her for the expansion draft.