Week 1 NBA Power Rankings

With one week in the books, we are in a position to put together our first edition of NBA Power Rankings.  Now these rankings are cumulative over the season.  I thought of, like John Hollinger does, trying to add a factor in to emphasize recent results, but any choice (time interval) would be arbitratry.  Best to stick with the tried and true basic method.  One caveat – I do data entry as close to the games finishing as possible, so if later corrections are made by the league, my rankings might not capture them.  Anyway, the methodology:

Real Offense = Points per possession times the league average number of possessions per game, denoted in table by Off, with the rank in parentheses

Real Defense = Points per possession allowed times the league average number of possessions with a twist … instead of how many FTs a team had scored against it, I take the league FT% and apply it to the FT attempts allowed … a team does not get credit for luck, denoted as Def

Possessions = FGA + 0.44 * FTAs + Turnovers – Offensive Rebounds … this is familiar from the Hollinger stats on ESPN

MarginA: Real Offense – Real Defense

Road factor: Assume that being on the road is a 3.5 point handicap over a regularly paced game.  So the percentage of road games times 3.5 is the road factor. Denoted as Road

MarginB = MarginA + Road Factor

ScheduleA = first component of strength of schedule.  The average MarginB of a team’s opponents

ScheduleB = the other component of strength of schedule.  The average ScheduleA of a team’s opponents.

SOS in table is strength of schedule = ScheduleA + ScheduleB

Overall Rating = MarginB + ScheduleA + ScheduleB

With the methodology cleared up, the ratings through November 3

# Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Celtics 4 0 106.646 (7) 86.106 (1) 0.875 3.264 (18) 24.68
2 Heat 3 0 103.439 (11) 87.638 (2) 1.167 1.614 (26) 18.582
3 Magic 3 0 115.83 (1) 105.683 (23) 2.333 2.562 (22) 15.041
4 Rockets 3 1 104.258 (10) 98.384 (11) 2.625 5.833 (5) 14.331
5 Sixers 2 1 110.012 (3) 104.035 (21) 2.333 5.505 (6) 13.815
6 Nuggets 3 0 113.359 (2) 102.838 (20) 1.167 2.032 (23) 13.72
7 Mavericks 2 1 95.168 (23) 90.411 (4) 2.333 5.153 (8) 12.243
8 Wizards 2 1 106.654 (6) 100.04 (13) 2.333 3.003 (20) 11.95
9 Hawks 2 1 105.092 (9) 100.696 (15) 1.167 5.158 (7) 10.72
10 Blazers 2 2 99.207 (15) 97.857 (10) 1.75 6.712 (3) 9.813
11 Cavaliers 2 2 98.186 (18) 94.055 (8) 1.75 3.785 (16) 9.666
12 Thunder 2 1 95.878 (20) 90.475 (5) 1.167 2.712 (21) 9.282
13 Suns 3 0 109.594 (4) 100.846 (17) 1.167 -1.721 (30) 8.194
14 Lakers 2 1 96.414 (19) 93.859 (7) 0 4.99 (10) 7.545
15 Bucks 1 1 90.969 (28) 91.754 (6) 1.75 6.051 (4) 7.015
16 Spurs 2 1 105.965 (8) 101.293 (18) 1.167 0.898 (28) 6.737
17 Raptors 1 2 106.783 (5) 108.085 (29) 1.167 4.755 (12) 4.62
18 Pistons 1 2 95.286 (22) 96.263 (9) 2.333 1.935 (24) 3.291
19 Bulls 1 2 92.576 (27) 102.827 (19) 2.333 9.154 (1) 1.235
20 Clippers 1 4 95.328 (21) 99.239 (12) 1.4 3.441 (17) 0.93
21 Hornets 1 3 99.327 (14) 105.459 (22) 2.625 3.141 (19) -0.365
22 Jazz 1 2 101.53 (13) 108.021 (28) 1.167 4.579 (13) -0.745
23 Knicks 1 3 98.838 (16) 105.9 (25) 1.75 4.34 (14) -0.972
24 Bobcats 2 2 82.014 (30) 89.969 (3) 1.75 4.76 (11) -1.446
25 Timberwolves 1 3 94.422 (24) 100.717 (16) 1.75 1.386 (27) -3.159
26 Kings 1 3 98.234 (17) 105.852 (24) 2.625 0.276 (29) -4.718
27 Pacers 0 2 94.219 (25) 107.794 (27) 1.75 7.036 (2) -4.789
28 Warriors 0 2 93.903 (26) 105.925 (26) 1.75 5.144 (9) -5.128
29 Nets 0 4 88.859 (29) 100.687 (14) 2.625 3.925 (15) -5.277
30 Grizzlies 1 3 102.96 (12) 113.076 (30) 1.75 1.894 (25) -6.471

Obviously the takeaway from this is that its early. However, the Celtics defensive form seems back to 2008 levels, or at least reasonably close. The big surprise of course is the Rockets, who are 3-2 against very quality opponents. They do it with mirrors and Darryl Morey knows how to find random dudes and Rick Adelman is a very underappreciated coach. This might last in some form. Maybe not 50 wins, but still 45 wins with this outfit is something.

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