WNBA fans get access to Crunch Time performances across the season

What moments matter most in a basketball game, where split-second decisions can mean the difference between winning and losing? WNBA Crunch Time is game-changing moments quantified when it matters most. To identify a total Crunch Time performance rating, Microsoft Azure is used to analyze fourth quarter game plays to highlight players who have the greatest impact on their team’s chances of winning based on the time left on the clock.

A comprehensive fourth quarter metric

Over the course of the quarter, every play matters whether it’s a free throw, steal, assist, rebound, or turnover—in giving a team its edge against an opponent. Crunch Time performance rating takes an array of statistics for each of these plays during a game and uses a sum of them to calculate an individual player’s unique performance rating. But unlike traditional box scores, a Crunch Time rating takes into account the plays that help close or widen the gap en route to winning a game, distilling them down to a comprehensive score.

Powered by Microsoft Azure technology, WNBA Crunch Time analyzes fourth quarter plays in particular to help quantify how players contribute to winning close games. It’s more than just the points at work. It takes into account a player’s stamina, perseverance, and teamwork on the court and establishes a standardized metric that can be used across all players and games. Anything above 50 would be considered a strong performance in WNBA Crunch Time, since estimates show that only 5% of players achieve scores at or beyond that level.

Grace under pressure

In one of the WNBA’s early 2021 season games, Jewell Loyd brings her team a win with a grand efficient performance featuring rebounds and assists.

Loyd drives in for an alley-oop layup, earning her 7.7 points towards her Crunch Time performance rating which a little under 6 minutes to play. She earns an additional 8.9 points with a spinning drive to help hold onto the lead at the 2:22 mark. Then with 11 seconds left on the clock, Loyd frees up, gets the rock, and drains a three-pointer, earning another 29.7 to help push the game to OT seconds later.

WNBA Crunch Time uncovers previously inaccessible data that brings fans closer to the action with a richer, deeper experience building a better understanding of what’s happening during the game.

Check out #WNBACrunchTime to explore more of this season’s Crunch Time performances.