An argument for why Elena Delle Donne should be from the WNBA

An argument for why Elena Delle Donne should be from the WNBA Originally appeared NBC Sports Washington

Elena Delle Donne She hasn’t made the All-WNBA team this season, the first time she hasn’t in action since 2017. In fact, the Mystics didn’t make it to the first or second team despite the team finishing fifth in the league.

But Delle Donne’s year presented an interesting case for voters of all leagues. With 11 games lost – just shy of a third of a 36-game season – how should it be taken into account in calculating the vote? If her averages are carried out throughout the entire season, there is no denying that she is in the top ten. Does losing so much time mean that one is not worth making two lists of five people?

Apparently voters made their statement when the results were announced Thursday night.

Here’s a case of why they are wrong.

Let’s look at the simple stats first. This season, the two-time MVP has averaged 17.2 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game. Overall, all of these numbers are low for Delle Donne’s standards apart from the passes which pegged a career high.

But if you were to look all over the league, there are only five players who have averaged 17 points, over 6 rebounds, and over 2 assists per game this season, according to across schedule. The Four Unnamed Daily Dawn (Aga Wilson, Brianna StewartAnd the Sabrina Ionescu And the Nika Ogomec) on the All-WNBA Team.

It also finished in the top 10 in the league in terms of points per game, blocks per game and free throw percentage.

At least, these numbers show why they should be taken into account. Diving into advanced stats shows that not only do you have to be on the All-WNBA team, you have to be on the first team.

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There are now many different metrics that allow players to be evaluated beyond just traditional points, rebounds, field goal percentage, etc. One of the best metrics for determining a player’s overall value on the field is the player’s performance rating. Well, Delle Donne was third in the WNBA with a score of 25.4, behind two runaway candidates in MVP Wilson and Stewart (per basketball reference).

Winning Shares is another metric available for player rating (an estimate of the number of “wins” a player has contributed during the season). Dele Don ranked 10th in the league – despite missing 11 games! – With 4.4 wins (per basketball reference). On average, 34 games over from a potential 36-game schedule, it jumps to fourth (!) in the league with 6.0 winning stakes, again behind Wilson and Stewart and sixth player of the year. Briona Jones.

There is also the net rating, which affects the attack and defense ratings collectively, as it took fourth place in the league – behind Jonquil Jones (first team), Wilson and Chelsea Gray (per WNBA).

These players grouped with Delle Donne in these categories have had some of their best seasons in the WNBA this year.

But then there’s the factor of missing out 11 games to rest as she re-acclimatized her body once again to the WNBA. Those 11 games she missed further support this argument. And how Mystics fared without it is why I got the 32-year-old on my MVP ballot.

When Delle Donne was on Earth, Washington was a great 18-7 (.720). Like we’ve done with the other stats, carry that over the season and it’s 26-10, tied for first in the league. Washington beat aces three times, sky, sun and storm when she got dressed.

Without her, the Mystics were 4-7 with Sparks losing and a 12-point defeat of Liberty being the leader.

Just imagine how different the season and narrative would have been if Washington had a home yard during the WNBA Finals.

The difference between playing it and not playing it was stark. Washington was an entirely different team when the opponents’ defenses managed to turn their ears back and attack the Mystics’ attack, knowing that Daily Dawn wasn’t around. Lulls and gaps in scoring hit the team several times and gave flashbacks for 2020 and 2021.

Certainly, at some point there will have to be an end to players being considered for end-of-season prizes who haven’t played the entire season. There can’t be someone playing 10 games and being named to the first team because the averages are off the charts. This cut is at the discretion of each voter, and is not imposed by the Federation in all areas.

But that break is probably somewhere between playing 25 vs 30 games. after every thing, Skylar Diggins Smith (first team) and Sylvia Fowles (second team) both missed six matches. Both were diminished by the Daily Dawn’s advanced metrics. Somewhere in the five-game difference that’s the answer.

Perhaps, too, the elite standard that Delle Donne established during her nine-year career has already hurt her. If she plays less than expected, it doesn’t matter if she has a top ten season compared to the rest of the league. Everyone expects more from the player who became the only WNBA member at the club 50-40-90 in 2019. That’s the handicap.

One of them must be the reason why Dele Donne has not been considered one of the top 10 players in the league this season by many league voters. Because if you look at the numbers, there will be no doubt.

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