Tuesday, September 23, 2008

In the Clutch

Swanny's Stats Page has a list of "Prime Time Performers". This is a list of statistical leaders in the WNBA, for the fourth quarter only.

Betty Lennox was sixth this year in fourth quarter points with 195 points, which probably doesn't mean much - Lennox is a leading scorer anyway and we'd expect her to score a lot of points in any quarter. Indeed, she certainly didn't have the highest field goal shooting percentage in the fourth quarter - that belongs to Janel McCarville, shooting an amazing 55.6 percent in the fourth.

On the other hand, if you're looking for poor fourth quarter shooters - then you'll find some Dream players. The worst fourth quarter shooter in terms of percentage is Iziane Castro Marques with 27.9 percent (19 for 68). Also in the top five is Ivory Latta with 32 percent (32 for 100). Ivory, however, makes up for her poor shooting with the second most assists in the fourth quarter with 37. Ticha Penicheiro edged her out with one extra assist at 38 for first place.

Ivory Latta and Betty Lennox also get a lot of steals. They are tied for fourth place (with Alana Beard, Tully Bevilaqua, and Taj McWilliams-Franklin) with 17 fourth quarter steals.

Alison Bales is tied for eighth (with Swin Cash and Ruth Riley) for most blocks with 11.

Betty Lennox is tied with Becky Hammon in eighth place for a dubious stat - most fourth quarter turnovers. Each of them have 25 turnovers in the fourth quarter. This category seems to "favor" people who handle the ball a lot, as Tina Thompson and Lisa Leslie lead in this category.

Can anything be gleaned regarding Atlanta's performance in the "clutch"? Well, first you'd have to define what "clutch" means in basketball. Furthermore, with 4 wins and 30 losses, Atlanta was very rarely in clutch situations. As a matter of fact, most of the time the other team had the game well in hand by the fourth quarter. Maybe we should call these "anti-clutch" statistics....

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