The Dominance Metric, February 1-14

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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.

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Figure 4 Stats from NBA.com/Stats

Figure 1 shows the teams eligible for our rankings this week. There were a few notable changes this week. The first is that the Miami Heat have once again fallen from our rankings. Expect this trend to continue as their roller coaster of a season trudges on. Additionally, the Hawks are barely hanging on to being ranked. If they trade away major talent this week expect them to quickly fall out.

Figure 4 Stats from NBA.com/Stats

Thus, Figure 2 is similar to last week. The biggest change, though, is that the Cavs have jumped the Thunder. This trend can be attributed to Tyronn Lue’s new offense being increasingly effective. The Cavs are no longer relying on defense to win them games. Expect them to continue to increase in this ranking.

Additionally, while the Spurs are continuing to move closer to the Warriors, Golden State still firmly occupies the first tier. The Spurs, similar to their rivals, solely occupy the second tier. The Cavs and Thunder share a third tier and have similar numbers. And finally, the Hawks and Clippers are in the fourth and final tier.

Even though the Clippers and Hawks have not been playing poorly offensively their lack of dominance hurts them in these rankings.

Figure 4 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. There is one huge difference, though. The Spurs have moved to occupy the top-spot in this week’s analysis. More surprising, throughout the majority of games over the past few weeks the Spurs have been without Tim Duncan, and he is one of the best defensive players in the association.

Additionally, although the Warriors are now in second place, they still are comfortably in the first tier. Following those two teams, the Thunder, Cavaliers, and Clippers occupy a middle tier. One notable change is the major drop for the Cavaliers. Their defense under Tyronn Lue has been ineffective, and thus, does not aid in their dominance. Finally, the Hawks occupy the last tier of rankings. Again, this is due to their inability to effectively put teams away.

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. The Spurs, after a few weeks of being noticeably behind the Warriors in this holistic ranking, are slowly starting to trend upwards. Expect the return of Tim Duncan to significantly aid with this momentum.

In other news, the Thunder have established a firm lead for second place in our dominance metric. Their strong play, as of late, has really established their ranking as the third best team in the NBA. At this rate, they should be able to give Golden State and San Antonio a close seven game series.

Additionally, as I noted last week, expect the Hawks to drop off the metric sooner than later. Following their worst week out of any team since we started doing this metric they had a relatively average performance. This continued poor performance has resulted in the Hawks contemplating an entire roster blow-up. Also, as I noted last week, if a trade happens, Atlanta will certainly drop out of the ranking.

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