Tina Charles is an Offensive Island

Tina Charles needs real help on the offensive end. Kia Nurse may be the answer.

2012 WNBA MVP Tina Charles is one of the league's best players. She was tied for third place in the WNBA for points per game last season. And she was 4th in the league in rebounds per game with 9.4. But she also averaged three more shot attempts per game than anyone else in the league. She took 25.2% of all of Liberty's shots in 2017, while the next closest players, Jewell Loyd and Maya Moore took 22% and 20.2% of all of their teams' shots. Every other player with the most shots on their team took anywhere between 15-19% of their teams' total shots. Tina Charles led the league in usage percentage last season. Her 17.4 FGA per game last season was 39% higher than the second most attempts on the team, Sugar Rodgers at 10.7.

So far, 2018 is no different. Tina Charles is taking the biggest percentage of her team's shots at 27.69%, which is the biggest percentage league-wide. Breanna Stewart is in second place at 25.3%, while Maya Moore is in third place at 24%. The rest of the league leaders are shooting anywhere from 15 to 23% of their team's total shots. Tina Charles is leading the league with 19.7 field goal attempts per game. That's literally 9 more shots, almost double what second place Kia Nurse is averaging at 10.7 FGA per game. Her usage percentage again leads the league at 35%, while no one else in the league is at or above 30%. The margin between her 19.7 FGA and Nurse's second most attempts is a bigger margin than any other team in the league. 

Beyond the numbers, Charles is the outright leader and most important player for the New York Liberty. And despite having the third best record in the regular season in 2017, the Liberty were 9th in field goal percentage, 9th in total assists, 8th in offensive rating, and 9th in total points. The team has to find better 2nd and 3rd scoring options for Charles. They need a 2nd or 3rd star on this team. They need more consistent offensive output across the roster. The main rotation of players for the Liberty: Sugar Rodgers, Epiphanny Prince, Shevonte Zellous, Kia Vaughn, Kiah Stokes, Bria Hartley, and Brittany Boyd are at this point all good players. Some players are slightly better than others depending on the game. But Rodgers and Prince are the closest teammates Charles has that one could consider "stars". 

So far this season, the player who stands out as a possible star to shine alongside Charles is rookie Kia Nurse. She is averaging 14 points off the bench, which is a team second-best behind Charles. Those 14 points per game are also third-best among all rookies, right behind Las Vegas' A'ja Wilson and Indiana's Kelsey Mitchell. She is yet to start a game, but I won't be surprised to see her starting sooner than later, as she is actually averaging 27 minutes per game, which is just as many and sometimes more than what actual starters on the team are getting. Nurse was picked 10th in a deep draft, and although points aren't everything, she is currently averaging more points than 7 players picked ahead of her. Part of that, I believe, comes down to my original point that the statistics clearly show: Tina Charles takes a lot more shots and puts up a lot more points than anyone else on the team. So Nurse coming in as a rookie off the bench and immediately making an impact offensively does not surprise me at all. I believe she can be a very good guard in this league, and a very important player for the Liberty in coming years. 

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