I have finally caught up and pulled all of the 2006 data together. I will post it over the next few days.
The first point of interest is one more first for the 2006 season. It was a first for the 24 second shot clock, it was a first in having two rookies average more than 20 points per game and it was the first time the team with season's best Offensive/Defensive Rating differential did not win the WNBA Finals. In fact, the number two team didn't even make the playoffs.
Best Offensive Teams (Points per 100 Possessions)
Phoenix Mercury: 109.23
Washington Mystics: 103.22
Connecticut Sun: 102.92
Seattle Storm: 101.96
Sacramento Monarchs: 99.63
Best Defensive Teams (Points per 100 Possessions)
Indiana Fever: 91.38
Connecticut Sun: 92.72
Detroit Shock: 92.77
Sacramento Monarchs: 94.40
LA Sparks: 94.69
Best Overall Teams (Offensive - Defensive)
Connecticut Sun: +10.20
Phoenix Mercury: +6.24
Detroit Shock: +5.56
Sacramento Monarchs: +5.22
Indiana Fever: +4.70
Every year since the league was founded, the team with the best differential won the championship. This year the # 3 team eliminated the #1 team in the Eastern Conference finals. The #2 team failed to record enough wins (they were a game short) to make the playoffs in the West. I suppose this indicates the impact of pace on this way of predicting the post season. When Phoenix was on, they were putting up a LOT of points. Their margin of victory in wins was fairly high, but that didn't translate to wins in a game by game situation over the course of the season. The worst teams of the year were just bad. The New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx were in rough shape and were at the bottom of all categories.
The ever talked about parity factor is likely coming in to play. The best teams are very close in capability. A few injuries over the season may make the season numbers not look so grand, but the players return to make a playoff run. Perhaps that great team during the regular season has reached a point of injury to key players by the time the post season kicks into gear. The key is going to become doing well enough to make the playoffs (do you hear me Phoenix?) and then the playoffs will truly be a new season.
Tomorrow I will look at some of the Storm numbers including my +/- statistics.