I have finally finished the +/- ratings for the Storm this past season. For those who are not familiar with this rating, it is a fairly commonly used measure of what impact a player has on their teams play. You calculate the number of points scored by the team while the player is on the floor and you also calculate the number of points scored by the opponent while the player is on the floor, and their rating is the difference between those numbers. A positive rating shows how many points their team outscored the opponent when they were on the floor.
The second set of ratings is how well the team plays when the player is off the floor. The same two numbers are calculated for the team and the opponent when the player is off the floor and the difference shows how the team performed against opponents without the player. A negative rating here shows that the team was outscored by their opponents when the player was not on the floor.
The final set of ratings is sometimes known as the Roland Rating for Roland Beech who calculates this number for NBA players at 82games.com. This rating computes the per 48 minute ratings and then computes the difference of the first two ratings together. A player with a positive on floor rating and a negative off floor rating earns a high Roland Rating since the team performs well with them on the floor and poorly with them off the floor. I will be posting the per 40 minute numbers as well as the Roland Rating later this week.
2005 Storm Player Ratings (Edited 10/24 to fix errors)
I was really surprised by the final numbers. I was not as surprised by Zara being at the bottom of this list, but the huge gap in performance between Bird and Zara reinforces for me how much the Storm need to strengthen their backup point guard position next season.
Suzy's ratings also surprised me. Obviously she was not a problem offensively, her other numbers are too strong in that area to lead me down that path. Clearly her defense could use even more work than I had originally thought. Granted, since she is generally substituting for Lauren and JB, I expect the her to not show fantastic off-court numbers since the players she is replacing are such high quality, however, she will need stronger on court defense to raise her overall rating.
The other big surprise for me was how poorly Tanisha shows over the full year. While she is a solid defensive player who has grown her offense over the course of the season, her numbers were hurt by some seriously poor showings in a number of games. Despite some assertions that Betty hurt the Storm defensively, these numbers say the team did much better offensively with Betty and without Tanisha, moreso than the other way around. Her rating actually dropped as she earned more minutes in the second half of the season.
Vodo's strong showing compared to Izzie's makes me wonder why she saw such limited minutes, though her strong numbers were during a solid midseason stretch and dropped considerably over the remaining season.
Among the expected results were a strong showing from JB. She more than stepped into the role vacated by Kamila Vodichkova's exodus to Phoenix. Her importance to the team offensively and defensively is clear. Her ratings dropped off in the last few weeks of the season, but she was dominant in the early in the season. Sue was the inverse, starting off strong, but falling off early and ending the season with some amazing numbers.
I am not fooled by LJ's middle of the pack numbers. For one, the post was the strongest that it has been for the Storm off the bench. JB would often sub in for LJ with Suzy already on the floor, leaving less of a whole in the front court than we have ever seen. Additionally, she is almost NEVER off the court, so her on-court numbers are clearly skewed by the other players on the floor with her, moreso than a player who actually rotates out for more than a minute per game.
As far as AD's cuts for the season...there were only three players who presented a negative on-court statistic in their limited minutes, and they were Zara, Ashley Battle (-1) and Mandissa Stevenson (-6), two of whom were cut early in the season. I am not sure we see Francesca back next year for this very reason.
These numbers merely reinforce what we already know about this team. The biggest weaknesses for the year were at the SF position and the backup PG position. I expect these to be the two areas AD attempts to bolster in the offseason.
Monday I will take a look at the Net40 ratings, or the values per 40 minutes each player acheived. This will alter the ratings for players who see less time. We expect them to have smaller numbers than the big minute players in the raw ratings.