I am sure you are dutifully clicking on the link up there to see the NBA Power Rankings. You’ll notice now, that with 30+ games in the books, it made sense to start adding “recent results”, so we not only see who has played the best all season – but give some extra points for who is actually hot. This way, the rankings are actually more like a true power ranking – the best of the moment and not just standings.
How do we do it? Well, we calculate power rankings as normal, for both the whole season and a team’s last 25% of games. (so right now a team’s last 7 or 8 games usually) The whole season is counted as 2/3, and the last quarter is counted as 1/3. At the end of the season this means that 2/3 of the result is based on all 82 games, and 1/3 is the last 21. This obviously does not capture injury effects, but no systematic approach can. The GRAND column gives you the spread. So Portland, at +10.1, is on a neutral floor for one game a 19 point favorite over the #30 Timberwolves. Anyway, some quick takeaways using recent form?
- Portland has been the most consistent team this season
- The Thunder have caught fire as the injury problems have receded. They are merely 5-4 in that “25% stretch” but have the second best adjusted scoring margin in that time frame. This vaults them to #6 despite the #14 overall body of work.
- The recent results is a much smaller sample of course, but it shows the Grizz and Cavs have not played well recently. They are clearly the two winning records with the most slippage, while the Thunder seem to show most upside.
Anyway, see how this rolls.