2011 NBA Power Rankings – Week 16

The Heat continue to lead – but really at this point it is hard to say their lead (less than 2 points) is significant at all.  Really, where the fun is taking place is at the bottom of the playoff races.  As always, the methodology can be found here:

Rank Team W L Off Def Road SOS Rating
1 Spurs 46 9 103.857 (2) 95.95 (7) 1.782 1.643 (22) 11.332
2 Heat 39 15 103.568 (3) 95.419 (4) 1.88 1.288 (29) 11.317
3 Celtics 39 14 100.071 (13) 93.243 (2) 1.585 1.78 (16) 10.194
4 Lakers 38 18 103.549 (4) 97.208 (9) 1.813 1.561 (25) 9.714
5 Magic 35 21 100.948 (10) 95.576 (6) 1.75 1.759 (17) 8.881
6 Bulls 36 16 98.522 (17) 92.768 (1) 1.683 1.368 (28) 8.805
7 Mavericks 38 16 101.86 (8) 98.115 (14) 1.685 2.239 (1) 7.669
8 Hornets 33 23 98.389 (18) 95.429 (5) 1.75 2.238 (2) 6.947
9 Thunder 34 19 102.678 (5) 100.679 (18) 1.783 2.132 (4) 5.914
10 Nuggets 31 25 104.646 (1) 102.647 (27) 1.688 1.79 (15) 5.477
11 Sixers 26 28 98.748 (16) 96.888 (8) 1.815 1.668 (21) 5.344
12 Knicks 27 26 102.558 (7) 101.344 (19) 1.783 1.731 (18) 4.728
13 Rockets 26 30 101.834 (9) 101.536 (21) 1.813 2.13 (5) 4.241
14 Hawks 34 20 99.652 (14) 98.068 (13) 1.815 0.666 (30) 4.066
15 Grizzlies 30 26 98.003 (19) 97.6 (10) 1.875 1.569 (24) 3.847
16 Blazers 31 24 99.472 (15) 99.133 (15) 1.909 1.472 (27) 3.721
17 Suns 26 26 102.626 (6) 102.381 (24) 1.683 1.793 (14) 3.72
18 Jazz 31 24 100.302 (12) 100.37 (17) 1.655 1.721 (19) 3.308
19 Pacers 24 28 97.06 (23) 97.755 (11) 1.75 1.674 (20) 2.729
20 Bucks 21 33 93.826 (29) 95.109 (3) 1.88 1.949 (10) 2.545
21 Bobcats 24 31 96.111 (25) 98.017 (12) 1.718 1.642 (23) 1.455
22 Warriors 24 29 100.326 (11) 103.012 (28) 1.585 2.103 (6) 1.001
23 Clippers 20 35 97.758 (21) 101.764 (22) 1.591 2.098 (7) -0.318
24 Pistons 20 36 97.637 (22) 102.465 (26) 1.75 2.036 (8) -1.042
25 Kings 13 38 95.365 (26) 100.022 (16) 1.51 1.501 (26) -1.646
26 Timberwolves 13 42 96.896 (24) 102.407 (25) 1.782 1.903 (12) -1.826
27 Raptors 15 40 97.873 (20) 103.914 (29) 1.782 1.927 (11) -2.332
28 Wizards 15 38 95.307 (27) 101.975 (23) 1.717 2.136 (3) -2.815
29 Nets 17 39 94.858 (28) 101.368 (20) 1.75 1.794 (13) -2.965
30 Cavaliers 9 46 93.778 (30) 104.932 (30) 1.909 2.017 (9) -7.228

What is notable from this week:

  • Obviously the Pacers are surging towards the playoffs.  18-27 two weeks ago, they have suddenly bolted to 24-28.  The coaching change would imply the usual bump that comes with it.  However, look at the numbers and the actual fundamentals underneath have not improved greatly.  The offense has improved from 96.3 to 97 points per game while the defense has gone from 97.4 to 97.8.  Obviously this is a small sample, but the stats have not shifted too dramatically, and mostly on the offensive side.  However, look at the strength of schedule.  In this 2 week span the Pacers have also slipped 8 spots in strength of schedule rating.  Really the coaching change seems to be less explanatory than a sudden shift in schedule quality.
  • The Nuggets-Grizzlies race for the 8th spot (seriously) is down to 1 game.  On paper the Nuggets still seem to have the best case – but that 27th ranked defense is a real problem.  The Grizzlies have been consistent on that side of the ball so far this season – consistent enough that the Nuggets #1 offense has not been enough to get away.
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