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 three big findings this week. First, the Atlanta Hawks have returned to our rankings. Their efficiency, after slipping last week, has picked back up this week, especially on the defensive end. Thus, they are being counted this week. Secondly, the top two teams in our rankings (Spurs and Warriors) both have seen their net ratings decrease across the board. This essentially means that the two dominant teams have been slightly less so when their offensive eFG%, defensive eFG%, and both are better than 50%. And thirdly, the Thunder have significantly slipped this week, and consequently have fallen down our 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, Heat, Cavs, and Thunder are all clustered in the second tier. What is noticeable, however, is the distance between the Warriors and the second tier is nowhere near as large. This could be evidence of the Warriors’ dominant offense providing less-effect in game situations.
Moreover, since we’ve begun doing these rankings, the Clippers have fallen a tier below all of the top teams in Figure 2’s ranking. This week, however, the Clippers have significantly risen. This follows a recent nine game win streak by Doc Rivers’ club.
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. Golden State’s dominance is slightly over San Antonio; however, the next closest team is nearly ten points below the Warriors. Thus, while many do not acknowledge the Warriors defensive ability, it is what is allowing Golden State to be most dominant.
Figure 4 suggests eerily similar numbers to last week. As noted last week, the most important thing is the Warriors have maintained their lead on the top of the metric. Part of this is due to the return of Stephen Curry. But additionally, the Warriors have proven to be the most dominant team this season. Interesting to note, by referencing Figures 2 and 3, it is clear Golden State is most dominant when scoring below their average opponent’s eFG%. This means the key to Golden State’s performance is not just their historically great offense, but rather, that offense when combined with a solid NBA defense.
Moreover, as noted the previous two weeks, 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 this upward trend continues to occur, it is feasible to see the Cavaliers reach the top-tier along with Golden State and San Antonio of this metric.
Finally, Atlanta’s resurgence is welcome. At their average, they are more dominant than most NBA teams. This is due to being well coached and having a system that lets them beat the best teams.