Meadow Muffins of the Mind

The droppings of some guy's imagination.

Tag: Orlando

The Final Power Rankings and First Round Picks

Process here. Rankings there:

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Magic 59 23 104.631 (2) 96.214 (1) 1.75 3.166 (30) 13.333
2 Cavaliers 61 21 104.39 (3) 97.272 (8) 1.75 3.173 (29) 12.041
3 Suns 54 28 107.908 (1) 102.168 (19) 1.75 3.276 (25) 10.766
4 Spurs 50 32 102.717 (9) 97.59 (9) 1.75 3.532 (17) 10.41
5 Jazz 53 29 103.122 (8) 98.527 (10) 1.75 3.586 (13) 9.93
6 Thunder 50 32 101.459 (11) 97.188 (7) 1.75 3.584 (14) 9.604
7 Lakers 57 25 101.152 (13) 97.091 (5) 1.75 3.658 (10) 9.47
8 Hawks 53 29 104.132 (4) 100.085 (15) 1.75 3.381 (23) 9.178
9 Nuggets 53 29 103.777 (6) 100.105 (16) 1.75 3.63 (12) 9.051
10 Celtics 50 32 101.165 (12) 97.178 (6) 1.75 3.258 (27) 8.995
11 Blazers 50 32 103.569 (7) 99.894 (13) 1.75 3.415 (21) 8.84
12 Mavericks 55 27 102.457 (10) 98.973 (12) 1.75 3.472 (20) 8.706
13 Heat 47 35 100.305 (18) 96.849 (4) 1.75 3.219 (28) 8.426
14 Bobcats 44 38 97.408 (24) 96.389 (2) 1.75 3.411 (22) 6.18
15 Bucks 46 36 97.553 (23) 96.462 (3) 1.75 3.258 (26) 6.098
16 Rockets 42 40 100.13 (19) 100.907 (17) 1.75 3.928 (2) 4.901
17 Raptors 40 42 103.869 (5) 104.906 (30) 1.75 3.499 (18) 4.211
18 Bulls 41 41 96.563 (28) 98.573 (11) 1.75 3.568 (15) 3.308
19 Hornets 37 45 100.59 (16) 102.895 (22) 1.75 3.741 (7) 3.187
20 Grizzlies 40 42 100.398 (17) 102.932 (23) 1.75 3.739 (8) 2.955
21 Pacers 32 50 97.062 (26) 99.996 (14) 1.75 3.473 (19) 2.288
22 Warriors 26 56 100.65 (14) 104.321 (28) 1.75 3.897 (3) 1.977
23 Kings 25 57 98.103 (22) 102.032 (18) 1.75 3.868 (4) 1.689
24 Knicks 29 53 100.646 (15) 104.386 (29) 1.75 3.346 (24) 1.355
25 Sixers 27 55 99.066 (20) 103.097 (24) 1.75 3.546 (16) 1.265
26 Wizards 26 56 97.101 (25) 102.302 (20) 1.75 3.633 (11) 0.183
27 Clippers 29 53 96.693 (27) 102.357 (21) 1.75 3.866 (5) -0.048
28 Pistons 27 55 98.198 (21) 104.067 (26) 1.75 3.68 (9) -0.439
29 Timberwolves 15 67 94.652 (29) 104.233 (27) 1.75 4.111 (1) -3.719
30 Nets 12 70 94.115 (30) 103.745 (25) 1.75 3.786 (6) -4.094

A key caveat: With the last month being tanking/amateur hour and good teams being judicious with managing players – I suspect the Lakers and Cavaliers are undervalued. That said, still revealing as we get to the end:

  • The Magic have been the best team the second half of the year.  Took the season for Vince Carter to get integrated, and their defense was lazy earlier in the season.  However, back at #1, just like last year.  Their #2 offense is hard to say has dropped off at all.
  • The Cavaliers got off slow too, but rolled down the stretch save for preserving LeBron a bit.
  • Lakers really staggered to the finish.  They seemed to be shoo-ins for the best record for a while.  They can still right the ship, but with a scant 9 games separating the #1 and $#8 seed in the West who knows?

Now for some quick picks for the first round (power ranking in parens) …

EAST:

Cavaliers (2) vs Bulls (18): Bulls played hard down the stretch, Rose is a terrific PG.  But Cavs defend the position well, and there is LeBron.  Cavs in 5

Celtics (10) vs Heat (13): Celtics after a 27-5 start, are a 23-27 team.  This is not a good team right now, though they have played in stretches.  Wade the best player on the floor.  Heat playing better D than Boston, but it’s a toss up.  Celtics in 7

Magic (1) vs Bobcats (14): Top 2 defenses in the league.  Alas the Magic have offensive skill.  Magic in 5.

Hawks (8) vs Bucks (15):  Hawks have been metsa metsa since a fast start.  However, their efficient size-based offense has been there all year.  Bucks are scrappy, tough defensively, but without Bogut the size match is too problematic.  Hawks in 6

WEST:

Lakers (7) vs Thunder (6): You read that right.  Thunder have the better body of work in terms of indicators even with 9 less wins.  Durant is a prime time scorer.  They are a good defensive club (7th).  The Lakers were the top defensive team when healthy though, and the wins and home court count for something.  If Kobe is ready and effective, they should advance.  But the Thunder will not be pushovers.  Lakers in 6

Nuggets (9) vs Jazz (5): Another upside down series.  Jazz hurt themselves badly slipping out of the home court position by getting whomped by Phoenix.  They have played better basketball than Denver all season, but Denver is still better against good teams (5th, Utah 11th).  And with home court, and Utah with an iffy Boozer, they get the edge despite their own myriad of issues.  Nuggets in 7

Mavericks (12) vs Spurs (4): Mavericks have been close game kings all season.  The Spurs have outpaced them in fundamentals most of the season.  Does this mean they will win?  Not sure.  Dallas won in 5 last year and the matchups favor them in a lot of places.  That said Manu is healthy, and we have not had that for a while.  Spurs in 6

Suns (3) vs Blazers (11):  Love this series.  Lots of matchups up front (Amare vs Aldridge), at the point (Nash vs Miller), subplots (Suns vs the slowest paced team in the game … will Roy be effective).  Suns have been the big overachievers in the league this season – their last two wins have been special.  They are as good offensively as ever.  Can they defend the paint though.  This could go any direction, but I just don’t think the Blazers have the offense without Roy at 90%.  Suns in 7

Week 22 NBA Power Rankings

Running out of weeks to play.  The playoff picture getting a bit more focused.  The NBA took a night off to let the college kids have their time, and boy did they.  So, now — rankings.

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Magic 54 23 103.713 (6) 95.914 (1) 1.773 3.267 (27) 12.839
2 Cavaliers 60 17 104.665 (2) 96.718 (7) 1.773 3.029 (30) 12.749
3 Spurs 47 29 102.671 (9) 97.506 (9) 1.704 3.584 (11) 10.453
4 Jazz 50 27 103.26 (8) 98.284 (10) 1.727 3.56 (14) 10.264
5 Suns 49 27 107.861 (1) 102.637 (23) 1.75 3.114 (29) 10.088
6 Lakers 55 22 101.294 (11) 96.823 (8) 1.727 3.77 (8) 9.969
7 Thunder 48 28 101.226 (12) 96.555 (5) 1.75 3.436 (19) 9.857
8 Nuggets 50 27 104.094 (3) 99.941 (15) 1.773 3.432 (20) 9.357
9 Celtics 48 28 100.901 (13) 96.616 (6) 1.704 3.345 (25) 9.334
10 Blazers 47 30 103.906 (5) 99.893 (14) 1.773 3.376 (24) 9.163
11 Hawks 49 27 104.001 (4) 100.115 (16) 1.704 3.409 (23) 8.999
12 Heat 43 34 99.965 (18) 96.422 (4) 1.773 3.508 (16) 8.824
13 Mavericks 50 27 102.106 (10) 99.447 (12) 1.727 3.552 (15) 7.938
14 Bobcats 40 36 97.01 (24) 96.108 (2) 1.75 3.615 (10) 6.267
15 Bucks 42 34 97.347 (22) 96.286 (3) 1.75 3.277 (26) 6.088
16 Rockets 38 38 99.689 (19) 100.882 (17) 1.75 3.952 (3) 4.51
17 Raptors 38 38 103.664 (7) 104.662 (30) 1.75 3.448 (18) 4.2
18 Grizzlies 39 37 100.66 (14) 102.277 (20) 1.704 3.577 (12) 3.664
19 Hornets 35 43 100.22 (16) 102.924 (24) 1.795 3.816 (7) 2.907
20 Bulls 38 39 96.552 (28) 98.94 (11) 1.773 3.427 (22) 2.812
21 Pacers 29 48 96.59 (27) 99.78 (13) 1.773 3.502 (17) 2.084
22 Warriors 23 53 100.499 (15) 104.281 (29) 1.704 4.02 (2) 1.942
23 Kings 24 53 97.795 (21) 101.817 (18) 1.818 3.82 (5) 1.615
24 Knicks 27 49 100.052 (17) 103.41 (25) 1.75 3.216 (28) 1.607
25 Sixers 26 50 98.484 (20) 102.482 (22) 1.75 3.432 (21) 1.184
26 Clippers 27 50 96.596 (26) 102.303 (21) 1.818 3.863 (4) -0.026
27 Wizards 23 53 96.693 (25) 102.046 (19) 1.75 3.564 (13) -0.039
28 Pistons 23 53 97.345 (23) 103.923 (28) 1.704 3.766 (9) -1.108
29 Timberwolves 15 62 94.647 (29) 103.848 (27) 1.773 4.172 (1) -3.256
30 Nets 11 66 94.028 (30) 103.845 (26) 1.727 3.818 (6) -4.272

Versus the best 10:

Rank Team W L Off Def Margin
1 Cavaliers 14 7 103.991 (1) 98.726 (3) 5.265
2 Nuggets 17 9 102.733 (3) 100.658 (9) 2.074
3 Lakers 15 12 97.273 (19) 97.215 (1) 0.058
4 Jazz 15 13 101.734 (4) 101.844 (11) -0.11
5 Magic 11 10 99.773 (6) 99.999 (6) -0.226
6 Thunder 10 15 97.072 (20) 98.387 (2) -1.316
7 Spurs 10 16 99.068 (10) 100.452 (8) -1.383
8 Celtics 10 12 98.047 (16) 99.583 (4) -1.536
9 Suns 10 13 103.402 (2) 105.325 (22) -1.924
10 Mavericks 14 15 99.404 (9) 101.711 (10) -2.307
11 Bobcats 10 15 96.764 (22) 99.832 (5) -3.068
12 Hawks 13 12 98.829 (11) 102.366 (14) -3.537
13 Rockets 12 19 98.659 (13) 102.21 (13) -3.551
14 Blazers 10 15 99.564 (8) 103.272 (17) -3.707
15 Grizzlies 12 16 99.751 (7) 104.802 (20) -5.051
16 Heat 7 17 97.331 (18) 102.615 (15) -5.284
17 Bucks 8 15 94.515 (28) 100.352 (7) -5.837
18 Pacers 5 18 96.068 (24) 102.173 (12) -6.106
19 Kings 5 25 97.582 (17) 103.842 (18) -6.26
20 Hornets 8 22 98.157 (15) 105.079 (21) -6.922
21 Knicks 3 19 98.326 (14) 106.958 (26) -8.631
22 Raptors 4 20 100.937 (5) 109.635 (30) -8.698
23 Bulls 8 14 93.965 (29) 103.155 (16) -9.189
24 Wizards 5 18 95.417 (25) 104.714 (19) -9.297
25 Sixers 4 20 98.703 (12) 108.308 (28) -9.605
26 Pistons 4 21 96.28 (23) 106.615 (23) -10.335
27 Warriors 3 26 96.876 (21) 108.376 (29) -11.5
28 Clippers 6 24 94.902 (27) 106.716 (24) -11.814
29 Timberwolves 3 27 95.037 (26) 107.029 (27) -11.992
30 Nets 2 23 92.045 (30) 106.89 (25) -14.844

Versus Middle 10:

Rank Team W L Off Def Margin
1 Magic 21 9 104.326 (4) 95.037 (2) 9.288
2 Jazz 16 8 103.995 (7) 95.464 (4) 8.531
3 Cavaliers 19 9 101.382 (14) 95.619 (5) 5.763
4 Thunder 15 10 101.391 (13) 95.824 (6) 5.567
5 Celtics 16 10 102.03 (11) 96.765 (7) 5.265
6 Hawks 15 9 104.282 (6) 99.208 (12) 5.074
7 Blazers 16 10 105.598 (1) 100.782 (15) 4.816
8 Spurs 16 10 102.608 (9) 98.288 (9) 4.32
9 Mavericks 16 7 104.786 (3) 100.954 (17) 3.832
10 Nuggets 15 10 104.303 (5) 100.763 (14) 3.54
11 Lakers 17 9 101.551 (12) 98.561 (10) 2.99
12 Suns 14 11 105.404 (2) 102.725 (25) 2.679
13 Heat 14 14 97.833 (20) 95.37 (3) 2.463
14 Bobcats 11 12 96.394 (23) 94.496 (1) 1.898
15 Bucks 13 11 98.589 (17) 96.886 (8) 1.703
16 Grizzlies 8 14 96.796 (22) 98.629 (11) -1.833
17 Rockets 9 12 98.865 (16) 100.937 (16) -2.072
18 Warriors 8 19 102.735 (8) 105.252 (30) -2.517
19 Hornets 10 12 99.107 (15) 101.673 (21) -2.566
20 Raptors 12 11 102.396 (10) 104.966 (29) -2.57
21 Knicks 9 19 98.554 (18) 102.553 (23) -4
22 Kings 7 17 98.215 (19) 103.043 (26) -4.828
23 Sixers 10 17 96.127 (26) 101.04 (18) -4.913
24 Bulls 10 16 95.63 (27) 100.658 (13) -5.028
25 Wizards 7 22 96.225 (25) 101.263 (19) -5.038
26 Clippers 8 17 97.372 (21) 102.558 (24) -5.185
27 Pistons 7 19 96.271 (24) 103.158 (27) -6.886
28 Pacers 7 23 95.236 (28) 102.265 (22) -7.029
29 Timberwolves 3 23 92.569 (30) 101.548 (20) -8.979
30 Nets 4 22 94.548 (29) 104.478 (28) -9.929

Versus the Bottom 10:

Rank Team W L Off Def Margin
1 Heat 22 3 104.914 (11) 91.584 (1) 13.33
2 Suns 25 3 113.59 (1) 100.426 (24) 13.164
3 Spurs 21 3 106.58 (5) 93.585 (3) 12.995
4 Magic 22 4 106.155 (7) 93.658 (4) 12.497
5 Cavaliers 27 1 108.459 (3) 96.303 (14) 12.156
6 Lakers 23 1 105.371 (8) 94.56 (9) 10.811
7 Blazers 21 5 106.413 (6) 95.749 (12) 10.664
8 Hawks 21 6 108.52 (2) 98.875 (20) 9.645
9 Thunder 23 3 105.01 (10) 95.515 (10) 9.495
10 Celtics 22 6 102.073 (18) 94.211 (6) 7.862
11 Jazz 19 6 104.255 (13) 96.97 (15) 7.285
12 Mavericks 20 5 102.712 (17) 95.552 (11) 7.16
13 Nuggets 18 8 105.228 (9) 98.479 (18) 6.749
14 Raptors 22 7 106.904 (4) 100.379 (23) 6.525
15 Bucks 21 8 98.589 (24) 92.536 (2) 6.053
16 Warriors 12 8 102.829 (16) 97.023 (16) 5.806
17 Bulls 20 9 99.236 (22) 94.333 (7) 4.902
18 Pacers 17 7 98.781 (23) 94.39 (8) 4.391
19 Bobcats 19 9 97.721 (27) 94.18 (5) 3.541
20 Rockets 17 7 101.713 (19) 99.138 (21) 2.576
21 Sixers 12 13 100.831 (20) 98.641 (19) 2.19
22 Grizzlies 19 7 104.893 (12) 102.717 (30) 2.176
23 Hornets 17 9 103.485 (14) 101.577 (27) 1.908
24 Clippers 13 9 98.01 (26) 96.13 (13) 1.88
25 Knicks 15 11 103.11 (15) 101.341 (26) 1.769
26 Kings 12 11 97.632 (28) 98.041 (17) -0.409
27 Wizards 11 13 98.442 (25) 100.479 (25) -2.037
28 Pistons 12 13 99.5 (21) 101.992 (28) -2.492
29 Nets 5 21 95.385 (30) 100.368 (22) -4.984
30 Timberwolves 9 12 96.612 (29) 102.208 (29) -5.596
  • As the Heat have surged lately – up to 43-34 and in good position for the #5 spot in the East, especially with Andrew Bogut’s horrific injury for the Bucks – one appreciates the Heat being the best team against the worst.  They have cleaned up against the dreck – and that has kept them going.
  • The Nets, barely 1 point behind Minnesota – have surged … 11-66 is terrible but Minnesota might actually be as bad.
  • A new number one.  Orlando and Cleveland have taken turns pulling away from the rest of the league – right now with Cleveland having some blah victories and a loss in Boston, Orlando has surged to the top.  The Lakers slippage, including beatdowns by Atlanta and San Antonio have given them a lot of work to do.

Week 12 NBA Power Rankings

The day after the NBA’s salute to Martin Luther King (as Charles Barkley pointed out, for all he meant to American, how many people realized he did not even see his 40th birthday), the rankings.  Here is the formula.  Here are the results:

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Cavaliers 31 11 104.054 (4) 96.332 (5) 2.083 3.014 (27) 12.819
2 Celtics 27 12 102.533 (9) 95.392 (3) 1.885 2.632 (29) 11.658
3 Spurs 25 15 103.495 (7) 97.242 (7) 1.488 3.076 (25) 10.816
4 Lakers 32 9 101.118 (12) 94.929 (1) 1.28 3.33 (22) 10.8
5 Magic 26 15 102.233 (10) 97.141 (6) 1.963 3.235 (24) 10.291
6 Hawks 26 14 104.345 (2) 99.929 (17) 1.663 3.557 (16) 9.636
7 Mavericks 27 14 101.462 (11) 98.126 (9) 1.793 4.107 (4) 9.236
8 Nuggets 26 14 104.225 (3) 99.46 (14) 1.663 2.61 (30) 9.038
9 Thunder 23 18 99.401 (19) 96.199 (4) 1.707 4.057 (5) 8.966
10 Suns 24 18 106.478 (1) 103.523 (28) 1.917 3.955 (7) 8.826
11 Blazers 25 17 103.792 (6) 100.308 (18) 1.583 3.387 (20) 8.455
12 Jazz 23 18 100.604 (13) 99.045 (11) 1.622 4.109 (3) 7.29
13 Heat 20 19 100.204 (14) 99.185 (12) 1.615 4.405 (1) 7.038
14 Rockets 23 18 99.611 (18) 99.396 (13) 1.963 4.332 (2) 6.51
15 Bobcats 20 19 96.07 (25) 94.975 (2) 1.615 3.639 (14) 6.348
16 Raptors 21 20 104.014 (5) 104.84 (30) 1.878 3.939 (8) 4.991
17 Grizzlies 22 18 102.641 (8) 103.381 (27) 1.75 3.694 (13) 4.704
18 Clippers 18 22 98.69 (22) 99.83 (16) 1.575 3.513 (18) 3.948
19 Knicks 17 24 99.366 (20) 100.466 (19) 1.707 2.964 (28) 3.572
20 Hornets 21 19 99.642 (17) 101.588 (20) 1.838 3.288 (23) 3.179
21 Bucks 16 23 95.271 (27) 97.657 (8) 1.885 3.443 (19) 2.942
22 Kings 15 25 99.984 (15) 102.686 (23) 1.663 3.575 (15) 2.535
23 Sixers 13 27 99.7 (16) 103.038 (25) 1.838 3.348 (21) 1.848
24 Wizards 14 26 98.42 (23) 101.969 (21) 1.838 3.547 (17) 1.836
25 Warriors 12 27 99.046 (21) 103.211 (26) 1.885 3.749 (11) 1.468
26 Bulls 18 21 94.28 (28) 98.28 (10) 1.615 3.723 (12) 1.338
27 Pacers 14 26 95.284 (26) 99.826 (15) 1.75 3.053 (26) 0.262
28 Pistons 14 26 96.304 (24) 102.286 (22) 1.838 3.908 (9) -0.236
29 Timberwolves 9 33 93.536 (29) 102.973 (24) 1.75 3.752 (10) -3.935
30 Nets 3 37 91.536 (30) 103.842 (29) 1.838 4.001 (6) -6.467

Some insights as the Nets continue their 6 WIN pace:

  • Obviously the Magic’s latest struggled were highlighted with their national TV loss to the Lakers last night.  However, just like last season, the analysis of the Magic was more or less wrong.  Last year, writers talked about Turkoglu and three pointers – but the story was really the top ranked defense in the league on a possession basis.  This year, 6th is still good, but it is a distinct step down – and it has shown.
  • After last years decrepit bottom of the Western Conference, it is kind of amazing that only the Timberwolves and Nets are shaping up as restaurant quality bad.  Yeah the Warriors and Sixers show stinkage, but it feels like 30 win stink, and certainly not the rancid smell coming off the Nets. (BTW: the Nets are not nearly untalented enough to be a 6 win team – that is why the Sixers 9-73 season is so amazing, it is hard to be that unlucky)
  • Thunder’s huge win at Atlanta last night get them to not just 23-18, but one with a good defense, which seems to portend better for postseason success.  Kevin Durant’s crazy natural scoring ability might be just enough offense to be a dangerous 1st round floater if they get in.  Both conferences bottoms are hypercompetitive this year – everyone (including me) thought the West’s Top 9 were an iron lock, but a LOT of teams had a right to dream.

Game 13: Magic 83, Celtics 78

Well, it is hard to get inspired to write a hell of a lot about this exercise in frustration, but some thoughts:

  • The Magic had the best defense in the league a year ago, so this effort is not a surprise on the face.  78 points in 93 possessions is certainly good work.  But really when a team shoots 34.5%, it is hard to compliment the defense fully.  Celtics missed a ton of open shots.  Rasheed Wallace went 0-7 from 3 point land, but they were all good shots, they just didn’t go in.
  • Rondo did not have a significant impact on the proceedings which was a disappointment.  In some cases, when the defense plays way off of him (as they do often since he cannot shoot), he has to find a better contingency plan … and he has to figure out the shoot vs not shoot thing a little better.
  • Magic are a good team.  Carter came up big in the 4th, but was 10-29 overall.  It is hard to get too enthused about their wall to wall effort.  Overall though, it’s clear they are a threat.
  • Garnett getting better each game, or at least less ginger.  They are doing a good job pacing him.  He will never be MVP level again – but he is still a stalwart.

Week 3 NBA Power Rankings

Without further adieu, the power rankings after Week 3.  Click here for the methodology:

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Celtics 8 3 103.066 (5) 91.795 (2) 1.591 1.494 (26) 14.356
2 Hawks 9 2 105.353 (3) 97.533 (14) 1.909 4.581 (10) 14.311
3 Blazers 8 4 100.281 (14) 92.745 (3) 2.042 3.416 (18) 12.994
4 Nuggets 7 3 102.934 (7) 97.435 (13) 2.45 4.232 (12) 12.181
5 Heat 7 2 100.25 (15) 91.617 (1) 0.778 2.297 (24) 11.708
6 Rockets 6 4 100.568 (12) 96.234 (11) 2.1 5.051 (6) 11.485
7 Mavericks 8 3 100.786 (11) 94.508 (9) 2.227 2.907 (19) 11.412
8 Lakers 7 3 97.774 (19) 94.437 (8) 1.05 5.837 (3) 10.224
9 Cavaliers 7 3 100.438 (13) 94.345 (7) 1.75 2.135 (25) 9.979
10 Thunder 5 5 94.995 (24) 93.356 (6) 1.75 5.027 (8) 8.416
11 Suns 9 2 106.164 (2) 103.209 (24) 2.227 2.454 (23) 7.636
12 Spurs 4 4 104.101 (4) 102.903 (22) 1.313 5.075 (5) 7.585
13 Pacers 4 3 97.699 (20) 96.435 (12) 1 5.047 (7) 7.311
14 Bucks 5 3 97.398 (22) 93.126 (5) 1.313 1.01 (29) 6.595
15 Kings 5 4 103.013 (6) 101.945 (21) 1.556 3.953 (15) 6.576
16 Raptors 5 5 108.138 (1) 107.2 (30) 2.1 3.515 (16) 6.554
17 Magic 8 3 101.556 (9) 97.542 (15) 1.591 0.787 (30) 6.391
18 Pistons 5 5 99.482 (16) 98.652 (17) 1.75 2.59 (21) 5.17
19 Bulls 5 4 90.969 (27) 92.872 (4) 1.556 5.418 (4) 5.071
20 Clippers 4 7 97.427 (21) 97.63 (16) 1.273 2.616 (20) 3.686
21 Jazz 4 6 100.961 (10) 104.285 (26) 2.1 4.909 (9) 3.685
22 Wizards 2 7 94.845 (25) 100.91 (19) 1.944 5.955 (1) 1.834
23 Hornets 3 8 98.446 (18) 106.174 (28) 2.227 5.908 (2) 0.407
24 Warriors 3 6 101.87 (8) 105.326 (27) 1.944 1.306 (28) -0.205
25 Sixers 4 6 98.733 (17) 102.964 (23) 1.75 1.399 (27) -1.082
26 Bobcats 3 7 87.227 (29) 94.881 (10) 1.75 4.344 (11) -1.56
27 Grizzlies 2 8 96.907 (23) 106.894 (29) 2.1 4.091 (13) -3.796
28 Knicks 1 9 94.187 (26) 103.367 (25) 1.05 3.488 (17) -4.642
29 Timberwolves 1 10 87.967 (28) 101.225 (20) 1.591 3.992 (14) -7.676
30 Nets 0 10 86.671 (30) 99.157 (18) 2.1 2.581 (22) -7.806

Some observations:

  • Considering that the Boston Celtics got off to a 27-3 start a year ago, and the Cavaliers went 66-16 last season, that there is not only no unbeaten team, but no 1-loss team at this juncture is a little amazing.  The Celtics dominated the first two weeks of the rankings with excellent defense, but have faded a bit – and their ranking gap has closed to a virtual tie with the Hawks, and that is with a significant gap in strength of schedule.
  • The Hawks have been excellent so far, most notably due to their 3rd ranked offense.  Their offensive deep dive stats reveal a team that shoots the ball well yes (5th overall), though an average 3 point shooting team – but where they separate themselves is their offensive rebounding (5th) and lack of turnovers (3rd).  Basically, they have been an excellent ball retention team – and their size all over the court impacts it – and so the solid shooting shines through.
  • The Raptors are almost the perfect mathematically … dead last in defense, tops in offense, and thusly near exactly in the middle overall.
  • The Rockets are ever the chic surprise team, and at #6 they continue to surprise.  But if someone would have told me that the Sacramento Kings would be in the top half of the leage at any point of the season – especially without Kevin Martin for a stretch – I’d have laughed.  It helps to have a competent NBA coach.
  • The Magic and the Spurs are not where they need to be defensively to be a true contender yet (15 and 22 respectively).

Week 2 NBA Power Rankings

If you want the methodology, go back to Week 1:

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Celtics 7 1 103.531 (7) 87.765 (2) 1.75 0.844 (29) 18.359
2 Heat 5 1 101.608 (13) 91.216 (4) 1.167 3.471 (16) 15.029
3 Rockets 4 2 103.308 (8) 96.995 (11) 1.75 6.575 (2) 14.638
4 Lakers 6 1 101.267 (16) 94.329 (8) 1 5.551 (5) 13.49
5 Blazers 4 3 101.749 (12) 96.188 (10) 1 6.601 (1) 13.162
6 Mavericks 4 2 101.593 (14) 94.242 (7) 1.75 3.505 (14) 12.606
7 Nuggets 5 2 106.883 (3) 100.163 (15) 2.5 2.792 (21) 12.012
8 Hawks 5 2 104.938 (6) 100.19 (16) 2 4.796 (8) 11.543
9 Thunder 3 3 95.693 (23) 92.266 (6) 1.167 6.568 (3) 11.162
10 Suns 7 1 106.563 (4) 102.543 (20) 2.625 3.071 (20) 9.716
11 Cavaliers 4 3 98.068 (19) 91.808 (5) 1.5 1.925 (27) 9.685
12 Magic 5 2 105.351 (5) 103.003 (21) 2 2.293 (26) 6.642
13 Spurs 3 3 107.107 (2) 106.852 (28) 1.75 3.761 (12) 5.765
14 Bucks 3 2 90.176 (28) 86.328 (1) 2.1 -1.071 (30) 4.877
15 Raptors 3 4 111.23 (1) 111.922 (29) 2 3.361 (18) 4.669
16 Bulls 4 2 91.286 (26) 95.196 (9) 1.75 6.366 (4) 4.205
17 Clippers 3 5 97.808 (20) 97.828 (13) 1.313 2.329 (25) 3.62
18 Hornets 3 5 100.643 (17) 104.083 (24) 2.188 4.773 (9) 3.521
19 Pistons 3 4 97.447 (21) 98.78 (14) 2 2.519 (23) 3.186
20 Wizards 2 5 96.18 (22) 100.579 (17) 2 5.491 (6) 3.091
21 Pacers 2 3 93.661 (24) 97.561 (12) 1.4 5.407 (7) 2.908
22 Kings 3 4 103.213 (9) 105.374 (26) 2 2.409 (24) 2.248
23 Jazz 3 4 100.17 (18) 103.915 (23) 1.5 4.185 (10) 1.94
24 Bobcats 3 3 87.241 (30) 90.962 (3) 1.75 3.715 (13) 1.745
25 Sixers 3 4 102.321 (10) 106.595 (27) 1.5 2.557 (22) -0.217
26 Warriors 2 4 101.337 (15) 104.678 (25) 1.167 1.563 (28) -0.612
27 Knicks 1 7 93.633 (25) 101.824 (19) 1.313 3.114 (19) -3.765
28 Grizzlies 1 6 102.18 (11) 112.154 (30) 2.5 3.493 (15) -3.981
29 Timberwolves 1 7 90.867 (27) 103.771 (22) 1.75 4.06 (11) -7.094
30 Nets 0 7 88.598 (29) 101.638 (18) 2 3.369 (17) -7.671

Some observations:

  1. The Nets stink.  They had a dead tired motivation-less Celtics team in, had a chance to win and still let it get away.
  2. The Magic, who were the top defensive team a year ago using these sorts of metrics, are a paltry 21st so far.  It’s an underreported story, but their defense is why they won a year ago.
  3. The Warriors only moved up to 26 on the strength of a 146-105 pasting of fellow dreck Minnesota.
  4. The Celtics still #1, but the defense slipped to #2.  The Suns diced them up good last Friday, and hopefully it’s tired legs (4 games in 5 nights) and not something larger.
  5. Suns obviously a huge surprise.  Their #10 ranking is really due to the #20 defense.  That said, an adequate defense has been good enough for their really good teams – so maybe this is not so bad.
  6. The Rockets still in the Top 5.  Incredible.

NBA Finals Preview

Coming off of their astonishing upset of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic get to face the Los Angeles Lakers for the NBA title.  The Lakers of course are old hat.  This is the franchise’s 30th trip to the Finals and this bunch was the runner up to my beloved Celtics in the 2008 Finals.  Oh, that never gets old!

Anyway, with Game 1 on us as this is being typed and with the news of Jameer Nelson’s activation, things may have changed a bit.  Nelson is not 100% clearly, but he still averaged 28 points per game against the Lakers – he will help.  Otherwise, a quick breakdown:

CENTER – Dwight Howard vs Andrew Bynum … big edge to Orlando. Howard was magnificent in the last round, Bynum has been inconsistent all playoff long

POWER FORWARD – Rashard Lewis vs Pau Gasol … double sided mismatch.  Lewis will take Gasol way further than he wants to be, shooting threes at an insane clip.  However, Gasol can punish him down low.  Of course, the Lakers often forget to get him the ball, so could go either way.  Small edge Lakers in theory.

SMALL FORWARD – Hedo Turkoglyu vs Trevor Ariza … Ariza is a good complementary piece, but Turkoglu at 6’10” provides interesting matchup problems, he gets the edge

POINT GUARD – Rafer Alston vs Derek Fisher … Fisher has been lousy most of the postseason … Alston is wildly inconsistent, but hey, he has played big … edge to Magic but not by much

SHOOTING GUARD – Courtney Lee vs Kobe Bryant … edge Lakers

BENCH – Magic have gotten more production in the playoffs from Marcin Gortat, Mikael Pietrus and possibly Jameer Nelson.

BOTTOM LINE – the Lakers have some down low edges in depth and with Gasol.  They COULD punish the Magic, and that might be their modus operandi.  The Magic will shot a lot of 3s and if Howard plays well then there will be some openings.  But ultimately the 2-3-2 hurts the Magic.  Their home court edge is contingent upon beating LA three times in a row which is a very tall order against anybody.  Thus they might have to win twice in LA to win the title and that might be too much to ask.

Lakers in 7

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers