It’s no secret that advanced analytics have emerged to increasingly dictate how NBA teams operate in recent years. Analytics, basically numbers dissecting and uncovering different aspects of the game, were first met with resistance but their acceptance throughout the league is obvious. Front offices across the sport have analytics departments and a few teams are even headed by analytics-centric general managers. For further evidence, all one needs to do is look at the final four teams remaining in the playoffs.
But the NBA hasn’t done what a couple WNBA teams are set to do on Tuesday. The Washington Mystics and Minnesota Lynx are scheduled to play what is being billed as an “analytic” scrimmage at 2 p.m. at Verizon Center after a “normal” scrimmage at 1 p.m. Owner Ted Leonsis, also owner of the Wizards, will be available to the media before the scrimmages to discuss the unique event.
The analytic session will consist of two 10-minute periods with different rules. The first period will be played with “modified location scoring” that will completely negate midrange field goals — the least efficient shot in basketball. Made midrange jumpers will not count. Instead, they will result in a loss of possession. The second period will feature “modified pacing rules,” notably a 20-second shot clock.
The scrimmage will be played after the two teams’ NBA counterparts — the Wizards and Timberwolves — finished third and fourth in total midrange jumpers attempted during the regular season. The Mystics open their season on the road onJune 5 against the Connecticut Sun.
Below are the unusual rules for the contest:
First Period: Modified Location Scoring
— Shots only count from three-point range, paint and extended low block.
— Midrange shots do not count (made shots from midrange will result in loss of possession).
Second Period: Modified Pacing Rules
— A 20-second shot clock.
— The shot clock resets to 14 seconds following offensive rebounds.
— One point automatically granted on all two-point free-throw situations, with one free throw taken for additional point.
— Two points automatically granted on all three-point free-throw situations, with 1 free throw taken for additional point.
— One free-throw is taken for an additional point if a player is fouled following a successful basket.
— One timeout per team.
— One ball advance per team (stop play and advance ball to the 28-foot mark in the front court).