Today we bring you an update in the metric we looked at in the previous three weeks. For a brief rehash, the metric measures teams that have an offensive eFG% above 50% and a defensive eFG% below 50% when they are most dominant. Essentially, when each team performs above its average eFG% and defensive eFG%, we then measure their net rating. For more information see the original article here.
Figure 1 via StatMuse
Figure 1 shows the teams eligible for our rankings this week. There are four big findings this week. First, the Atlanta Hawks, while playing good basketball, have fallen from our rankings. Their efficiency slipped, and therefore, they are no longer being counted. Secondly, while having the highest Net Rating, the Spurs continue to be second in our ranking. Third, the Warriors continued dominance atop the rankings, even while Steph Curry is injured, is a sign of their dominance. Fourth, the Cavaliers, now fully healthy, are finally climbing up to the elite deviation of the chart. And fifth, despite long winning streaks, the Thunder and Clippers did not gain any moment in this week’s rankings.
Figure 2 Stats via NBA.com/Stats
Thus, Figure 2 is similar to last week. The Warriors are clearly the best team in this rating. The Spurs, Thunder, Cavs, and Heat are all clustered in the second tier. Whereas, even after a dominant week, the Clippers are clearly a level below.
Figure 3 Stats from NBA.com/Stats
Figure 3, which looks at a team’s dominance when its Defensive eFG% is below 50%, suggests similar figures to last week. In this chart, Golden State continues to expand its dominance. Moreover, the Thunder are in a middle deviation below the Warriors and Spurs, but well above the Heat, Cavs, and Clippers.
Additionally, last week Miami continued to rise through the top half of the chart. This week, however, they are clearly clustered in the bottom bracket with Cleveland and Los Angeles. This is reflective of teams learning how to play against Miami’s stifling defense. Moreover, it also shows that Miami’s offense needs to begin to carry the torch more in close contests.
Figure 4 Stats from NBA.com/Stats
Figure 4 suggests eerily similar numbers to last week. The most important thing, even in the face of an injury to their best player, the Warriors have maintained their lead on the top of the metric. This is because, as a team, the Warriors are deep and effective. They have continued to be the most dominant team in the league when playing average offense and defense. This is important, because come playoff time, the Warriors experience and depth will aid them significantly.
Moreover, as noted last week, Cleveland is clearly moving its way up the chart. This is reflective of the return of Kyrie Irving and Iman Shumpert. As those two begin to reach full game-strength, expect the Cavaliers to catapult into the top-tier of this metric.
As the season progresses, expect this metric to narrow the number of teams it is examining. This can be seen in the past few weeks with the disappearances of Portland, Atlanta, and Charlotte. By the end of the season, this metric will provide a clear analysis of who are the best teams when they are playing their average. This is important because, in the playoffs, this “average” is generally reached.