The Dominance Metric, January 26-31

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Photo via Miami Herald

Today we bring you an update in the metric we looked at in the previous weeks. But first, as noted last week, 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 regained a sport in our rankings. This rotation in and out of our ranking week after week should be expected due to the Heat’s inconsistent offense. Outside of that, as the metric itself will show, the Spurs and Warriors have come closer to each other, the Cavaliers have resurged post-Blatt, and the Hawks are noticeably worse across every category.

Figure 2 Stats via NBA.com/Stats

Thus, Figure 2 is similar to last week. Nonetheless, while the Warriors extended their lead last week, this week the opposite is true. Regardless, Golden State is leagues ahead of their next closest competition in San Antonio.

The Spurs, Thunder, Cavaliers, and Heat firmly occupy the second tier. These teams thus benefit from efficient offenses, but do not achieve dominance from it, unlike the Warriors. Additionally, the Cavs’ offense has noticeably improved and should continue to do so under new coach Ty Lue.

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 three weeks ago, as the Clippers actually improved on the heels of a win streak.

Moreover, the Hawks atrocious week that has led to trade rumors has resulted in them falling to last place in this ranking. In fact, they only had two quarters this week with an eFG% at or above their average and a positive net rating.

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. Similar to last week, 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.

Following those two teams, the Thunder, Cavaliers, and Clippers occupy a middle tier. In this statistic, though, the Cavs have slightly faltered, primarily because their new system results in less defense.

Additionally, the Atlanta Hawks drastically fell in the rankings this week following their drastic fall last week. This follows a significant losing streak.

Figure 4 Stats from NBA.com/Stats

Figure 4 demonstrates the utter superiority between the Warriors and Spurs this NBA season. The teams are in a tight race for the top of the metric. Unlike last week, where Golden State had clear control of the top of the metric, this week the Spurs have closed the gap.

Additionally, expect the Hawks to drop off the metric sooner than later. They had the worst week out of any team since we started doing this metric. In fact, there was not one category (offensive efficiency above average, defensive efficiency above average, or both) where their total net points increased. This poor performance has resulted in the Hawks contemplating an entire roster blow-up. If this happens, Atlanta will certainly drop out of the ranking.

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