In case you missed it, the WNBA preseason tips off tonight (set your DVRs!) with a double header featuring New York, Chicago, Tulsa and San Antonio (quick, name all four team nicknames without looking them up!). Things are bound to get interesting on Tuesday, though, when the Lynx and Mystics play each other in a 20-minute scrimmage to test out some new rules. Well, not necessarily “rules”, per say. More like taking analytics and shoving them down your throat.
Mystics and Lynx are playing an “analytic scrimmage” Tuesday. Will be split into 2 10-minute periods. In 1st, midrange shots don’t count.
— Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) May 22, 2015
Daryl Morey probably has an analytics stiffie right about now, lost in a dream land devoid of Josh Smith’s ill-advised midrange jumpers. The second half of the scrimmage will reintroduce midrange shots, but switch things up, pace-wise.
In 2nd, there’ll be modified pacing rules. 20-sec shot clock, shot clock resets to 14 seconds on offenseive rebs, 1 timeout per team, etc. — Jorge Castillo (@jorgeccastillo) May 22, 2015
Why is the WNBA doing this? Because the WNBA, like the D-League, is where the NBA can tinker with new/exciting/insane/dumb rules that they’d never incorporate into the main product. Also, it might get a few more dozen eyeballs on a WNBA preseason game. But, this is how you garner interest: go all-in on the bonkers rule changes. A few years back, I went to the University of Washington campus to watch that bizarre experimental game played with 11-foot rims. 11-foot rims will never be a thing, but it was fun to see it and talk about it for, like, two days. This is just more of the same: rules that will never be implemented, but make for interesting chatter at the summer meetings.
Here’s the full breakdown of the rules for the scrimmage:
Also in that WNBA scrimmage: 20-second shot clock; shot-clock resets to 14 on offensive rebound. Here are rules: pic.twitter.com/7AyJljM7RE
— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) May 22, 2015