2016 WNBA season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
2016 WNBA season
League Women's National Basketball Association
Sport Basketball
Duration May 14 – October 20
Number of games 34
Number of teams 12
Total attendance 1,561,530[1]
Average attendance 7,655[1]
TV partner(s) ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NBA TV
Top draft pick United States Breanna Stewart
Picked by Seattle Storm
Season MVP United States Nneka Ogwumike (Los Angeles)
Eastern champions New York Liberty
  Eastern runners-up Chicago Sky
Western champions Minnesota Lynx
  Western runners-up Los Angeles Sparks
Finals champions Los Angeles Sparks
  Runners-up Minnesota Lynx
Finals MVP Candace Parker
WNBA seasons

The 2016 WNBA season was the 20th season of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Its regular season began on May 14 when the Indiana Fever hosted the Dallas Wings and concluded on September 18, with a Seattle Storm defeat of the Chicago Sky.

The playoffs began on September 21, with a new playoff format than in previous years. To increase the level of competition, instead of the top 4 seeds from each conference advancing, the 8 teams with the best overall records, regardless of conference, advanced.

The top 2 teams, in this case the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, each received a double bye to the semi-final round. The number 3 and number 4 seeds, in this case the New York Liberty and the Chicago Sky, received one bye to the second round. The playoffs began with the number 5 seed Indiana Fever facing off the number 8 seed Phoenix Mercury and the number 6 seed Atlanta Dream facing the number 7 seed, the Seattle Storm. The winners of those single elimination games, Phoenix and Atlanta, advanced to a second round of single elimination. The teams were reseeded so that the team with the worse overall record would play the number 3 seed and the other team would play the number 4 seed.

The second round of playoffs saw battles between Phoenix and New York in the first game and Chicago and Atlanta in the second game. The winners, Phoenix and Chicago respectively, went on to compete with the top two teams in the league, Los Angeles and Minnesota. Minnesota swept the Phoenix Mercury in 3 games. Los Angeles faced Chicago in 4 games, winning 2 at home, losing the third, and capitalizing on the 4th.

The finals was a classic western conference showdown between the defending champions, the Minnesota Lynx, and the Los Angeles Sparks. It was the Sparks' first finals appearance since 2003, and they were seeking their first win since 2002. LA won the first game 78–76 on a buzzer beater from forward Alana Beard. Minnesota bounced back to drop the Sparks 79–60 in game 2. Back at home in Los Angeles, the Sparks clinched game 3 with the final score of 92–75, making them one win away from the title. However, despite home court advantage, the Lynx stormed back to win game 4 at Staples Center, 85–79. In front of a sold out crowd in Minneapolis, the Los Angeles Sparks shocked the Minnesota Lynx in a 77–76 victory in game five on October 20. The 2016 WNBA Most Valuable Player and Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike had the game winning shot from an offensive rebound to put the Sparks ahead with 3.1 seconds remaining in the game. The Los Angeles Sparks clinched their third title in franchise history.

The league took a hiatus for much of August, allowing for the participation of its players in the 2016 Summer Olympics.

2016 WNBA Draft[edit]

Seattle Storm selected Breanna Stewart first in the 2016 WNBA Draft at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. The draft was televised nationally on the ESPN networks (Round 1 on ESPN2, Rounds 2&3 on ESPNU).[2]

Team standings[edit]

Source:[3]

Eastern Conference
Eastern Conference W L PCT GB Home Road Conf.
3 - New York Liberty 21 13 .618 - 10-7 11-6 11-5
4 - Chicago Sky 18 16 .529 3 11-6 7-10 8-8
5 - Indiana Fever 17 17 .500 4 8-9 9-8 8-8
6 - Atlanta Dream 17 17 .500 4 11-6 6–11 9-7
e - Connecticut Sun 14 20 .412 7 8-9 6-11 4-12
e - Washington Mystics 13 21 .382 8 5-12 8-9 8-8
Western Conference
Western Conference W L PCT GB Home Road Conf.
1 - Minnesota Lynx 28 6 .824 - 15–2 13–4 15–1
2 - Los Angeles Sparks 26 8 .765 2 14–3 12–5 11–5
7 - Seattle Storm 16 18 .471 12 10–7 6–11 7–9
8 - Phoenix Mercury 16 18 .471 12 11–6 5–12 6–10
e - Dallas Wings 11 23 .324 17 6–11 5–12 8–8
e - San Antonio Stars 7 27 .206 21 4–13 3–14 1–15

Notes

# – Playoff seed
e – Eliminated from playoffs

Playoffs[edit]

 
First round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 21)
Second round:
Single elimination
(Sept. 24 and 25)
Semifinals:
Best-of-five
(Sept. 28 – Oct. 6)
WNBA Finals:
Best-of-five
(Oct. 9 – 20)
 
              
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Minnesota Lynx
3
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
0
 
 
 
 
 
3
New York Liberty
94
 
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
101
 
5
Indiana Fever
78
 
 
 
8
Phoenix Mercury
89
 
1
Minnesota Lynx
2
 
 
 
2
Los Angeles Sparks
3
 
6
Atlanta Dream
94
 
 
 
7
Seattle Storm
85
 
4
Chicago Sky
108
 
 
6
Atlanta Dream
98
 
 
 
 
 
2
Los Angeles Sparks
3
 
 
4
Chicago Sky
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Note: Teams re-seeded after second round and semi-finals.

Semifinals
Team 1 2 3
1
Minnesota Lynx
113 96 82
8
Phoenix Mercury
95 86 67
Team 1 2 3 4
2
Los Angeles Sparks
95 99 66 95
4
Chicago Sky
75 84 70 75
WNBA Finals
Team 1 2 3 4 5
1
Minnesota Lynx
76 79 75 85 76
2
Los Angeles Sparks
78 60 92 79 77


Notable occurrences[edit]

On March 15, the WNBA announced a new league-wide sponsor, Verizon Wireless. The Verizon logo now appears on all jerseys except those of the Stars and Sun, and Verizon will receive significant branding in arenas, on jerseys, and in telecasts via commercials. Verizon will also sponsor the WNBA Playoffs,WNBA Finals, WNBA Tip-Off, WNBA Draft, and WNBA Inspiring Women Luncheon.[4]

On March 28, the WNBA introduced new jerseys for the 2016 season. All teams will no longer have a white home jersey. Teams will use the away jersey from the previous year or a secondary color-based alternate jersey. The Sparks and Stars already used their secondary colors for jerseys, and thus there will be no significant change. The jerseys include special patches commemorating the 20th season for the league, along with the three remaining original franchises, and also will show the WNBA Championships each franchise has won by displaying the trophies on the back collar of the jersey.[5]

The ESPN Networks will air 14 games (1 on ESPN, 13 on ESPN2) during the regular season and will air all playoff games. NBATV will show 42 games across the regular season.

On June 25, Becky Hammon's jersey no. 25 was retired by the San Antonio Stars after their game against the Atlanta Dream. Her jersey is the first to be retired by the Stars organization.

On July 15, Lauren Jackson returned to Seattle to see her jersey retired after the Storm defeated the Mystics. Her jersey was the first to be put in the rafters by the Seattle Storm organization.

Statistics[edit]

Individual statistic leaders[edit]

Season award winners[edit]

Player of the Week award[edit]

Player of the Month award[edit]

Rookie of the Month award[edit]

Postseason awards[edit]

Coaches[edit]

Eastern Conference[edit]

Western Conference[edit]

References[edit]