The New Metric, January 11-18

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Today we bring you an update in the metric we looked at in the previous 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. In essence, this allows us to measure a team’s ultimate potential throughout the season.


Statmuse Graph Game 39

Figure 1 via StatMuse

Figure 1 shows the teams eligible for our rankings this week. There were a few notable changes this week. The only team that got noticeably better were the Oklahoma City Thunder. Anyone who has watched their games this week has noticed this trend. Outside of that, every other team had slight regressions. This is perhaps most odd when one examines the San Antonio Spurs, who remained dominant while also having their victory of the year against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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. In fact, if anything they have extended their lead. The other big change in this metric is that the Thunder have jumped the Cavaliers.

Nevertheless, the Spurs, Heat, Thunder, and Cavaliers all occupy the second tier and are within one week’s deviations apart from each other.

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 was noticed last week, as the Clippers actually improved on the heels of a win streak. This week, however, it has gotten even worse. 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%, also suggests similar figures to last week. In fact, the only noticeable change is the Cavs jumping the Heat in this measurement. Regardless, to the proximity in the deviation, it is unlikely this jump means much.

Figure 4 Stats from NBA.com/Stats

As noted earlier, the biggest change this week was the Thunder’s improvement. Oklahoma’s recent dominant play can be reflective of a few factors. First, all teams take time to learn a new coach. And the recent play is reflective of the Thunder learning Billy Donovan’s system. Secondly, the arrival of Cameron Payne as a meaningful contributor to the Thunder the past few weeks has been welcome, and is quietly solidifying their backcourt. We will be watching this team closely, as their potential dominance may actually be closer to the top-tier than this statistic suggests, mainly because of a slow start to the season.

Additionally, due to Golden State’s recent “slump” (quotations used because they just defeated Cleveland by more than thirty points, the team is hardly slumping), the Spurs appear to be catching up to the Warriors. This is misleading, though, because the Spurs have also done worse in this week’s ranking. Essentially, the next few weeks will tell a lot about the potential dominance of these two teams.

 

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