Select Team

Elena Delle Donne’s Historic Start By the Numbers

Elena Delle Donne’s play during her first two WNBA seasons was All-Star worthy. Her play during her third season has been historic.

It’s only seven  games, but EDD appears to be blossoming into the superstar so many expected her to become since her days as a teenage prodigy.

Here are six numbers that tell the story of just how incredible Delle Donne has been over the first two weeks of the 2015 campaign — and help put her early career in perspective.

*All stats updated through games on 6/24

MORE: Race to the MVP (June 23)


31.6 Delle Donne’s current PPG average
At 31.6 points per game, Delle Donne is scoring at a historic pace — a pace similar to the one Maya Moore set in the early part of last season, when she finished with the third highest-scoring regular season in league history.

WNBA Single Season Points Per Game Leaders
Player Season PPG FG%
Diana Taurasi 2006 25.3 45%
Diana Taurasi 2008 24.1 45%
Maya Moore 2014 23.9 48%

 

What makes EDD’s stretch even more remarkable is her efficiency; a career 43% shooter entering the year, she’s made 55% from the field thus far, attempting 19.2 field goals per game while scoring at least 24 points in all seven games.


Delle Donne became the third fastest to 1,000 career points in league history

The top two: Cynthia Cooper (45 games) and Seimone Augustus (46 games).

Delle Donne surely would have reached the mark sooner had she not battled health issues last season, playing just 16 games and averaging 25.4 minutes per game.


Delle Donne’s career scoring average of 19.8 points per game ranks third all-time

Rounding out the top four: Cynthia Cooper (21.0), Diana Taurasi (20.1) and Angel McCoughtry (19.4).


308/328 Delle Donne’s career free throws made/attempted; her 93.9% accuracy is the highest in WNBA history

Want to know what a “fundamentally sound” player looks like? EDD may be the best of them all — and her skills are most evident at the foul line.

She has missed a total of just 20 free throws during her 53 career WNBA games, which makes her a deadly scorer considering how often she gets to the line. Her 9.9 free throw attempts per game this season would be an all-time record (ahead of Angel McCoughtry’s 8.7 in 2011), and she’s made 67-of-69 (97%) so far, including 34 straight.

To put that in perspective, the highest career free throw percentage in NBA history is Steve Nash at 90.43%.


44.4 Delle Donne’s player efficiency rating through seven games

Player efficiency rating, or PER, “is the overall rating of a player’s per-minute statistical production,” as ESPN defines it. The NBA average is 15.0, the WNBA’s all-time highest in a single season is 35.0 (Lauren Jackson, 2007) and just eight players in NBA history have topped 30.0 in a single season, led by Wilt Chamberlain’s 31.8 in 1962-63.

In other words: Delle Donne has been very efficient.


67.6 Delle Donne’s true shooting percentage, which would rank seventh best all-time for a single season

Not all made baskets are created equally, which led to the development of true shooting percentage, “a measure of shooting efficiency that takes into account field goals, 3-point field goals, and free throws,” according to Basketball Reference.

Delle Donne’s mark once again illustrates how accurate of a shooter she is. For comparison’s sake, Candice Dupree’s 70% true shooting in 2010 is the all-time WNBA high, Kyle Korver led the NBA this season at 70% (no surprise considering most of his shots are three-pointers), and MVP Stephen Curry ranked fourth at 63.8%.

All advanced stats via Basketball-Reference.com