Round One Analysis
Inside the Numbers
By Matt Wurst, WNBA.com
September 7, 2005 - A look at some key stats, figures and numbers around the WNBA after one full week into the 2005 WNBA playoffs.
1 - There has 1 been one triple double in the 120 WNBA playoff games in history, that of Comets forward Sheryl Swoopes on Saturday night in Seattle.
2 - The Storm became the first team in WNBA history to win an opening game on the road, but drop the next 2 games at home in a best-of-three playoffs series..
4 - Just like the regular season, the Connecticut Sun had 4 players score in double figures in the first round. Lindsay Whalen, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Katie Douglas and Nykesha Sales all averaged more than 12.0 ppg while reserve Asjha Jones is just below the ten-point mark with 9.5 ppg over the first two games.
5 - Of all the teams that advanced in the first round, the Indiana Fever had the best turnover ratio, committing an average of 5 fewer turnovers than their opponents. Indiana's 7.5 turnovers per game was miniscule compared to the 12.5 turnovers they forced the Liberty to commit over the course of the two games.
6 - Traded at the regular season deadline for a chance to win that elusive WNBA title, Comets guard Dawn Staley is contributing to Houston's success despite not starting for the first time in her career. Staley may only be averaging 6 points per game, but she has hit big shots, played solid defense and always seemed to be out there at tense situations in the three games against Seattle.
7 - Between the Houston Comets and the Sacramento Monarchs, the two teams have played in 7 of the eight Western Conference Finals in history. The Comets have never lost, going 4-0 from 1997-2000 while the Monarchs are 0-3 in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
8 - The Shock may never know just how healthy All-Star forward Swin Cash was this season, returning around the All-Star break from a kneww injury and offseason surgery. During the regular season, Cash finished with 5.7 points per game and just 8 ppg in the playoffs.
8.5 - Filling in for the injured All-Star DeMya Walker, second-year forward Rebekkah Brunson averaged 8.5 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, both well above her regular season totals.
9 - 2004 WNBA MVP Lisa Leslie had a very strong second half of the 2005 regular season to propel the Sparks to the playoffs, yet mustered only 9 points per game for Los Angeles in the two-game loss to the Monarchs
10 - One of the reasons the New York Liberty had as much success as they did in the regular season was the play of converted point guard Becky Hammon. However, in two playoff games, Hammon committed 10 turnovers.
11 - Monarchs point guard Ticha Penicheiro has more than doubled her regular season scoring average, increasing her stat average from 5.7 ppg to 11 ppg so far in the playoffs.
12 - The only player to average a double-double in the first round, Indiana's Tamika Catchings had 12 rebounds per game in the opening series against New York.
13 - Like many high rise buildings and hotels, we're just going to skip number 13.
14 - In eight playoff games with the Storm last season, Fever guard Tully Bevilaqua averaged 2.8 points per game. As a starter in the playoffs for Indiana in 2005, Bevilaqua scored 14 big points in a Game One road win over the Liberty.
15 - In a Game Two win over Detroit, Sun guard Lindsay Whalen made 15 free throws on 17 attempts, both career-highs.
22.9 - The Seattle Storm shot a dismal 22.9 percent from 3-point range in the series against the Comets, going just 11-49. Betty Lennox was 3-12, Lauren Jackson was 4-13, Sue Bird was 2-15 and Iziane Castro Marques was 1-6.
39.5 - Talk about being in good shape, Detroit's Deanna Nolan averaged 39.5 minutes per game in the first round, having played 40 and 39 minutes each in the two games against the Sun. Unfortunately for Shock fans, Nolan can now take some time to rest.
50.5 - The second best defensive team in the regular season, the Indiana Fever surrendered only 62.5 points per game to their opposition. However, the Fever have turned it up even more in the postseason, holding the Liberty to an astonishingly low 50.5 ppg.
78 - The Monarchs were the best defensive team in the league, but have seen an offensive explosion in the playoffs, scoring nearly 10 points per game more in the playoffs than they did in the regular season. Their 78 points per game was tops in the first round.
452 - Sheryl Swoopes moved into second place in the all-time playoff scoring leaders with 452 career points in the postseason, still well behind the Sparks Lisa Leslie. Leslie's teammate, Mwadi Mabika surpassed Cynthia Cooper for third all-time despite only scoring two points in the two games.