Sports Reference Blog

WNBA Season Starts Today! Check Out Basketball-Reference for Stats & New Features

Posted by Jonah Gardner on May 24, 2019

After a long offseason, the WNBA is returning for its 23rd season! The league's already been heating up with a dramatic trade that sent Liz Cambage, last year's leader in points per game, to the Las Vegas Aces, where she'll team up with Rookie of the Year A'ja Wilson. Will it be enough to overcome the reigning champion Seattle Storm, who will be without league MVP Breanna Stewart, and the Washington Mystics, who will attempt to avenge their 3-0 sweep last season in their third season with Elena Della Donne?

Basketball-Reference has long maintained a WNBA section with player stats, team data, and much more. However, with the season starting, we wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some of the more exciting features of our WNBA coverage, as well as pointing out some new things that have been added within the last year or so.

WNBA Play Index

Last summer, we also rolled out our first Play Index tool for the WNBA. For the uninitiated, the Play Index is an advanced search engine that allows you to look up more complex statistical achievements, leaderboards, and fun facts, going beyond the standard lists like Points per Game Leaders.

The first Play Index tool for the WNBA is the Player Season Finder, an extremely powerful way to look up player achievements and search for comps. You can specify different ages, years in the league, positions, and more in order to better put someone's current stats in context. For example, here's a list of the WNBA's top scorers through their age-24 season:

Query Results Table
Rk Player From To Tm PTS
1 Lauren Jackson 2001 2005 SEA 2853
2 Tina Charles 2010 2013 CON 2243
3 Seimone Augustus 2006 2008 MIN 2104
4 Candice Dupree 2006 2009 CHI 2100
5 Jewell Loyd 2015 2018 SEA 2055
6 Breanna Stewart 2016 2018 SEA 2019
7 Chamique Holdsclaw 1999 2002 WAS 1969
8 Diana Taurasi 2004 2006 PHO 1965
9 Angel McCoughtry 2009 2011 ATL 1863
10 Nneka Ogwumike 2012 2015 LAS 1857
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/9/2019.

And here's who had the most seasons averaging double-digit points and rebounds:

Query Results Table
Rk Player From To Tm Lg Count
1 Sylvia Fowles 2011 2018 TOT WNBA 6
2 Tina Charles 2010 2013 CON WNBA 4
3 Cheryl Ford 2003 2007 DET WNBA 3
4 Yolanda Griffith 1999 2001 SAC WNBA 3
5 Lisa Leslie 1998 2003 LAS WNBA 3
6 Chamique Holdsclaw 2002 2003 WAS WNBA 2
7 Candace Parker 2010 2015 LAS WNBA 2
8 Cindy Brown 1998 1998 DET WNBA 1
9 Rebekkah Brunson 2010 2010 MIN WNBA 1
10 Jonquel Jones 2017 2017 CON WNBA 1
11 Natalie Williams 2000 2000 UTA WNBA 1
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 5/9/2019.

Advanced Stats

However, our coverage doesn't stop with just the traditional box score stats. We've got the full range of advanced stats that you'd expect from a site as nerdy diligently committed to advancing our knowledge of the game as ours. That includes all-inclusive stats like Player Efficency Rating (PER), Offensive/Defensive Rating, and Win Shares, which help measure a player's overall contribution to the game, advanced shooting stats like True Shooting Percentage (TS%) and Effective Field Goal Percentage (eFG%), which account for different shot values better than traditional FG%, and rate stats like Usage Percentage and Assist Percentage, which help show a player's contribution on the floor while neutralizing the effects of things like pace and minutes.

These stats are on every player page, and they're also available in the Play Index for your advanced research needs. With the addition of gamelogs, we also have Game Score, an advanced stat similar to PER that measures a player's performance in a single game.

All-Star Rosters and League Awards

We've got the full list of award winners (MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, All-WNBA, etc) and All-Star Game rosters for every season in WNBA history.

Team Stats

In addition to stats for individual players, we've got sortable tables of stats for the teams as well. Particularly of note: Offensive Rating, Defensive Rating, and Pace!

WNBA Linker

If you're a blogger, you should check out our Linker program! For 2019, we've added compatibility with our WNBA player pages. Using the linker is extremely easy. Just bookmark it and every time you write a blog post, click the bookmark. The linker will automatically turn every player name into a link to their Basketball-Reference page. Then, when you publish the post, a link to the blog will show up in the player news section on their B-Ref page. Check out our site for more info and learn how to sign up!

We're also constantly working to improve our coverage. In fact, we have a couple of very exciting things in development that we should be able to announce quite soon. In the meantime, if there's anything you want to see in our WNBA section, send us an email or hit us up on Twitter.

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