The Dominance Metric, January 19-25.


Today we bring you an update in the metric we looked at in the previous weeks. But first, we have officially named it. We are calling the metric “The Dominance Metric.” This is because it allows us to measure how dominant the best teams are when they are at their average offensive and defensive efficiencies.

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 first is that the Heat have once again dropped out of our rankings. This is primarily because of their recent offensive struggles. Additionally, the Spurs and Warriors have continued their excellent pace, however, the Thunder are slowly edging to a level near the two aforementioned teams. Every other team, in some way or another, got noticeably worse. Thus, without further ado, the dominance metric.

Figure 2 Stats via

Thus, Figure 2 is similar to last week. The Warriors are clearly the best team in this rating. In fact, their lead has grown slightly. Over the numerous weeks that we have studied this metric, it is clear the Warriors benefit most from an efficient offense. In that sense, as well as in others, they are changing the way the NBA is played.

The Spurs, Thunder, and Cavaliers firmly occupy the second tier. These teams thus benefit from efficient offenses, but do not achieve dominance from it, unlike the Warriors.

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 two week, as the Clippers actually improved on the heels of a win streak. This week, however, it has gotten even worse. Moreover, the Hawks are slowly falling into that bottom tier as well. These teams are clearly not as dominant when efficient as the other four teams, at least offensively.

Figure 3 Stats from

Figure 3, which looks at a team’s dominance when its Defensive eFG% is below 50%, also suggests similar figures to last week. The biggest changes are, first, that the Spurs very likely could catch the Warriors in the next few weeks. It is unsurprising that two of the most defensively efficient teams benefit most from defensive efficiency.

Additionally, the Atlanta Hawks drastically fell in the rankings this week. That follows losses to Phoenix and Sacramento that were poor defensive showings by the Hawks.

Figure 4 Stats from

As noted earlier, the Thunder are continuing to improve. They are clearly the third best team in the NBA. Additionally, when they are efficient offensively and defensively, the team is becoming progressively more dominant. Their teamwork has allowed them to pass the Cleveland Cavaliers in the rankings.

Additionally, Golden State reasserted complete control over the top spot in the ranking. This follow a dominant week that oversaw victories over Cleveland and Chicago, two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference.


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