August 2, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Aug. 2, 2022: Second-half WNBA shooting trends

What happens to Fever with Kelsey Mitchell out?

It’s Tuesday. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the daily Watch List and some shooting trends. Day 74 of the WNBA season is here, featuring a couple of key matchups: New York faces a pair of must-wins as it hosts Los Angeles for a back-to-back, while a surging Washington once again hosts Las Vegas in the night’s premier matchup. And those two storylines provide the backdrop for something I’ve been watching for some time: second-half turnarounds.

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We are now three weeks into the post-All-Star break portion of the W season, just long enough to start finding real trends to overreact to. Namely, I want to know, who has turned around their season the most since the break?

  1. Veronica Burton (65.4% true-shooting since the break, 41.3% before) — shooting 17.4 percentage points better from the field and 34.2 better from three
  2. Kayla Thornton (70.2% since, 51.9% before)
  3. Sami Whitcomb (66.5% since, 50.1% before) — shooting over seven percentage points better from both the field and from three, and is 7-for-7 from the line
  4. Kelsey Plum (72.1% since, 57.9% before)
  5. DiJonai Carrington (62.8% since, 48.6% before) — shooting over 25 percentage points better from the line
  6. Chennedy Carter (61.2% since, 49.0% before) — among other improvements, shooting 35.7 percentage points better from three
  7. Rachel Banham (66.5% since, 54.7% before) — shooting 13.6 percentage points better from three on over 5.1 attempts per game
  8. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (62.9% since, 51.1% before)

And, because I am forever a hater, who has dropped off since the break?

  1. Han Xu (46.0% true-shooting since the break, 63.1% before) — shooting just 37.5% from the field since the break
  2. Dearica Hamby (43.0% true-shooting since the break, 58.5% before) — shooting just 6.3% from three since the break
  3. Shey Peddy (47.0% true-shooting since the break, 58.4% before) — shooting 14.6 percentage points worse from three
  4. Marina Mabrey (40.1% true-shooting since the break, 50.7% before)

All stats per WNBA Advanced Stats

Of the players who’ve improved, Whitcomb, Banham, and Walker-Kimbrough are all in contract years, and have greatly helped their future earnings over the past month. On the other hand, Han, Peddy, and Mabrey are all free agents this winter, and may be looking at some smaller offers than they might’ve had back in July.

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But first, read:

Watch List, Tuesday, Aug. 2

(All times in Eastern, Game Of The Day in bold)

Phoenix @ Connecticut, 7 p.m., NBA TV (Local: Bally Sports Arizona Extra, NESN+)

Los Angeles @ New York, 7 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Local: YES App)

Las Vegas @ Washington, 7 p.m., Facebook (Local: My LV TV, Monumental/NBC Sports Washington)

Dallas @ Chicago, 9 p.m., CBS Sports Network (Local: Bally Sports Southwest Extra, CW 26)

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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