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flea
03-15-2015, 08:12 PM
The season isn't over but things are somewhat settled as there are only 15 or so games left for each team. So I've gone through the last 15 champions and how they did in the regular season to try to make a prediction about this year. Here are the last 15 champions' adjusted net rating rankings from the regular season:

Spurs: 1
Heat: 2
Heat: 4
Mavs: 8
Lakers: 5
Lakers: 3
Celts: 1
Spurs: 1
Heat: 6
Spurs: 1
Pistons: 4
Spurs: 3
Lakers: 2
Lakers: 6
Lakers: 1

Just 3 teams outside of the top 5 in net rating (01 Lakers, 06 Heat, 11 Mavs). Two had Shaq (one of which lost the point differential for the Finals) and one was full of good to great vets. Now, of those 15 past champions, only 3 teams ranked outside of the top 10 in either adjusted offensive rating or adjusted defensive rating. Those 3 teams were:

-2010 Lakers, who were 11th in adjusted offense (4th in defense)
-2004 Pistons, who were 16th in adjusted offense (2nd in defense)
-2001 Lakers, who were 19th in adjusted defense (2nd in offense)

The only champions that weren't top 5 in either offense or defense were the 06 Heat and the 11 Mavs. IMO, the Mavs won in 2006 since they won point differential and the series was rigged (even though I was rooting for Miami in Miami at the time, but that's another discussion). So that leaves the balanced veteran squad with 3 future HOFers, and 2 future HOVG, in their 30s of the 11 Mavs. We'll call them an exception that proves the rule - they got hot with a wiley team of vets and a great coach.

TL;DR: I think it's pretty safe to say you should be top 5 in net rating as well as top 10 in both offense and defense, with the slight exception if you're elite on one side of the court, to be a real contender.

2015 PICKS

Top 5 net: Warriors, Clips, Hawks, Blazers, Cavs. Only the Spurs and Mavs are really in striking distance of getting a top 5 unless another team gets extraordinarily hot. Of those 7, the Cavs, Mavs and Clips look very flawed on one side of the court (20th, 15th, and 16th ranked in adjusted defense respectively). The Spurs are outside the top 10 in offense, but are a pretty strong 11 and will probably pass Phoenix if they have a solid finish. That leaves only the Warriors, Hawks, Blazers and possibly Spurs as true contenders.

Looking at it this way, teams like the Rockets, Clippers, Mavericks, Cavs, and Thunder all have a serious uphill battle against history. There is virtually no chance the Cavs end up top 10 in defense, and probably not even top half. There is a relatively small chance the Mavs and Clips finish top 10 defensively.

So what do you think? Do you think the injured teams (Rockets, Bulls, Thunder, Clips) go on a postseason run in defiance of history? The teams that do defy my parameters have veterans and continuity. I don't really see any teams like that this year, except maybe the Griz or Clips.

This sort of dashes the hopes of Rockets, Thunder, and Cavs fans - and with the narrative lately, I think it reminds us how strong the Mavs team remains. But in a year where everyone is praising parity in the West, it's looking a lot like a Hawks/Warriors Finals based on the numbers. Between them 2 and the field, does anyone take the field?

KnicksorBust
03-15-2015, 08:24 PM
I think the Cavs are very similar to the 2001 Lakers. Offensively they are elite and their talent level makes them a serious contender no matter what the statistics say.

Blitzbolt
03-15-2015, 11:07 PM
My Grizz are like 13th on offense and 7th on defense compare to the others that's pretty bad yet we have the 3rd best record In the NBA.

So I don't quite get it.

Vee-Rex
03-15-2015, 11:23 PM
I love statistical breakdowns like this. It's fun and gives an interesting perspective on things.

There's flaws, however. Let's say a team such as the Hornets make a trade at the deadline and they land Curry, Harden, Durant, Lebron, and Marc Gasol.

Now obviously this is a team that is stacked enough on talent to have a shot to win a ring if they can gel. The regular season stats (before the trade and during the chemistry building process) won't accurately reflect what they can accomplish in the playoffs.

So if you take a look at a team like the Cavs this year who have had the best record as well as the biggest net rating differential of every team in the league since January 1st, then that paints a LITTLE bit of a better picture than taking the whole season into account. That's not to say that the Cavs will win it all... no, we aren't a top 3 team in the league IMO, but it shows that teams do improve over the course of a season (especially ones that were formed/loaded with talent and new coaching at the beginning of the year) as their players build chemistry.

tredigs
03-15-2015, 11:28 PM
My Grizz are like 13th on offense and 7th on defense compare to the others that's pretty bad yet we have the 3rd best record In the NBA.

So I don't quite get it.

They're not as good as their record would make it seem. When a team with a .700 win% only has a +3.5 win differential, it's a sign they've got some regression coming. In this case, in the playoffs.

Blitzbolt
03-15-2015, 11:44 PM
They're not as good as their record would make it seem. When a team with a .700 win% only has a +3.5 win differential, it's a sign they've got some regression coming. In this case, in the playoffs.

But it's been like this for the past 4 years usually our offense is the 20s yet no one can't seem to match up with us come playoff time.

tredigs
03-15-2015, 11:51 PM
But it's been like this for the past 4 years usually our offense is the 20s yet no one can't seem to match up with us come playoff time.

Offense is normally in the teens I think, and they've never made the finals? Closest was being swept in the WCF's right.

lol, please
03-15-2015, 11:56 PM
I think the Cavs are very similar to the 2001 Lakers. Offensively they are elite and their talent level makes them a serious contender no matter what the statistics say.

Can't agree with this. If they make if out of the East, they overachieved.

FlashBolt
03-16-2015, 12:01 AM
Can't agree with this. If they make if out of the East, they overachieved.

And if they win the Finals, will you promise to somehow forget your password?

lol, please
03-16-2015, 12:09 AM
And if they win the Finals, will you promise to somehow forget your password?

It's already been stated that their defensive liabilities are a major flaw and threaten their chances. Is this Vee-Rex's alt? Alting is a bannable offense on PSD.

Blitzbolt
03-16-2015, 12:11 AM
Offense is normally in the teens I think, and they've never made the finals? Closest was being swept in the WCF's right.

Usually In the high teens 2011/24th 2012/18th 2013/19th and now 13th.Even in that WCF swept we when to 3 overtimes games.We usually win with defense and winning the rebound battle by a wide margin.

I think stats do matter but other things are more important.
1.coaching
2.superstars
3.machtups
4.team chemistry and experience
5.regular season stats
6.overall health

Either way my Grizz are not gonna make it since they only have 2 out of does 6 things I mention.

lol, please
03-16-2015, 12:16 AM
Usually In the high teens 2011/24th 2012/18th 2013/19th and now 13th.Even in that WCF swept we when to 3 overtimes games.We usually win with defense and winning the rebound battle by a wide margin.

I think stats do matter but other things are more important.
1.coaching
2.superstars
3.machtups
4.team chemistry and experience
5.regular season stats
6.overall health

Either way my Grizz are not gonna make it since they only have 2 out of does 6 things I mention.

You don't need superstars to win. Also, efficiency > superstars anyway. and health should be higher as well. All stats do is measure results and help you make more educated predictions. It's vastly important but I get what your point is I guess.

dhopisthename
03-16-2015, 02:13 AM
just going by regular season numbers the warriors are by far the favorites. best defense by a good margin and just barely not the best offense.

valade16
03-16-2015, 12:50 PM
Blazers seem to be getting no love from anyone despite their sterling statistics.

sixer04fan
03-16-2015, 01:01 PM
I love statistical breakdowns like this. It's fun and gives an interesting perspective on things.

There's flaws, however. Let's say a team such as the Hornets make a trade at the deadline and they land Curry, Harden, Durant, Lebron, and Marc Gasol.

Now obviously this is a team that is stacked enough on talent to have a shot to win a ring if they can gel. The regular season stats (before the trade and during the chemistry building process) won't accurately reflect what they can accomplish in the playoffs.

So if you take a look at a team like the Cavs this year who have had the best record as well as the biggest net rating differential of every team in the league since January 1st, then that paints a LITTLE bit of a better picture than taking the whole season into account. That's not to say that the Cavs will win it all... no, we aren't a top 3 team in the league IMO, but it shows that teams do improve over the course of a season (especially ones that were formed/loaded with talent and new coaching at the beginning of the year) as their players build chemistry.

Was gonna say exactly this. I would bet that taking a sample size for the last month, or few months of the regular season for this statistic could serve as an even better predictor than looking at the full season.

FraziersKnicks
03-16-2015, 01:25 PM
I would be interested to see how the Cavs numbers look after LeBron had his little lay off and they traded for Mozzy, Shump and JR. Along with the Warriors they've looked like the best team in the league since then.

andy2518
03-16-2015, 08:13 PM
So who should I bet the farm on to win it all then.

houstonfan
03-16-2015, 08:55 PM
Interesting post. I do believe that the Rockets and Thunder's net ratings would be much different if it weren't for injuries, so it could be kind of flawed. We will have to see how this looks in this years playoffs when especially in the west it looks so wide open.

valade16
03-17-2015, 09:25 AM
Was gonna say exactly this. I would bet that taking a sample size for the last month, or few months of the regular season for this statistic could serve as an even better predictor than looking at the full season.

If you look at ESPN's Hollinger ratings (which weighs recent production more heavily than the overall season) the Blazers are still 4th in the league.

ewing
03-17-2015, 11:52 AM
good thread flea, when i get a chance i want to look into this.

ewing
03-17-2015, 11:55 AM
If you look at ESPN's Hollinger ratings (which weighs recent production more heavily than the overall season) the Blazers are still 4th in the league.


how is the team responding without wes. I only see box scores. Any trends you see?

valade16
03-17-2015, 12:32 PM
how is the team responding without wes. I only see box scores. Any trends you see?

We are 3-2 with wins vs. Houston, @ Detroit and @ Toronto and losses against @ Minnesota and @ Washington.

Afflalo has stepped in nicely for Matthews however there are still some misfires just because the starters had just an innate understanding of what Wes liked to do on the court.

Our bench is back to being unpredictable with very little depth. We are back to relying on Kaman and Steve Blake there.

ewing
03-17-2015, 12:45 PM
We are 3-2 with wins vs. Houston, @ Detroit and @ Toronto and losses against @ Minnesota and @ Washington.

Afflalo has stepped in nicely for Matthews however there are still some misfires just because the starters had just an innate understanding of what Wes liked to do on the court.

Our bench is back to being unpredictable with very little depth. We are back to relying on Kaman and Steve Blake there.


Blake may not set the world on fire but he is dependable. I would not be surprised if he has some real impactful moments for the Blazers this year. Hopefully Afflolo can get real comfortable, if he does, i don't think you lose much from the starting 5.

flea
04-16-2015, 07:34 PM
Update to original post: things have changed a bit.

Top 5 net to finish the season: Warriors, Clippers, Spurs, Hawks, and Blazers.

Top 10 adjusted offense: Clips, Raptors, Cavs, Warriors, Mavs, Hawks, Spurs, Pels, Blazers, Bulls.

Top 10 adjusted defense: Warriors, Spurs, Grizzlies, Bucks, Rockets, Blazers, Wizards, Pacers, Hornets, Hawks.

Remember, the point of the thread was that the teams that appear on all 3 lists are the most likely contenders, based on the last 15 years of NBA postseasons (admittedly small sample, but hey it's a sports forum). Only 4 teams appear on all 3 lists: Warriors, Spurs, Blazers, and Hawks - and these are our "true contenders."

What I think of the rest:

Clippers: finished 16th in defensive efficiency. Their style of play on offense never seemed suited for NBA postseason success to me, but they are definitely great at it. Still think someone needs to provide them with low post scoring since they don't really have any slashers (unless you count Blake, I don't). The bench is thin but it's the playoffs and that matters a bit less - and I still blame Doc (the coach) for not working out something useful there. I'm not sold that their bench pieces are as useless as they have been in the right system. But it comes down to D for me - Jordan isn't a top 10 anchor and the rest of them are average or below for their positions (save for Paul).


Cavs: 19th in defensive efficiency. 19th. I just don't see how a team can be that poor all year, even if they improved with the addition of Mosgov, and win a title. Without Mozgov this team is probably stuck around the Heat, Nets, and Pelicans in the 22-26 range - and this isn't the turnover-producing defenses Lebron had in Miami either (they are pretty bad it actually). The offense can dazzle but they have no low post scoring (in spite of having Love on their roster) and they turn the ball over a good amount. Their strengths lie only in shooting and offensive boards (they aren't that great on the defensive boards). All that amounts to regular season pretender for me - even if a declining Lebron is around.

Rockets: I don't even think Rockets fans believe this team will contend. They were already a thinner team than most playoff teams, and they lost 2 starter quality players (don't care whether D-Mo or Jones starts, D-Mo was the more important and better player this year). The offense did what they wanted this year, they just don't have the players to make it that daunting outside of Harden. They're a tough defensive team that's not going to get swept, but most people are already picking the Mavs over them as their primary upset of the 1st round.

Mavs: They slid down the stretch, partially due to some injuries, but just don't look at all fearsome anymore. The offense can be contained when they have 2 guards on the floor that are mediocre or bad at shooting (which is most of the game) and they don't instill fear at all defensively. Carlisle is the 2nd best coach though, a WCF appearance isn't entirely out of the question with him around. Dirk's gotta step up though.

Bulls: Just no.

Griz: IMO they have a better shot than Blazers at surprising people this June. Top 3 defense that can really clamp it down with their guys out there and a better offense featuring a skinnier Gasol and Jeff Green. Veteran-laden team with a potential future HOFer anchoring at least 3 HOVG guys. Good coach, consistent system. Shooting is still suspect, but they have the personnel to get "just enough." Other than that, no real weaknesses in this team.

Vee-Rex
04-16-2015, 08:13 PM
As I said before, things change over the course of the season. A few weeks ago the Cavs were 11th in defensive efficiency (since the Mozgov trade) and 1st in offensive efficiency. Essentially, the 2014 Cavs were not contenders on your list but the 2015 Cavs would be.

The Blazers most certainly won't win a ring and will most likely be knocked out in the 1st round. 2nd round at best. I know injuries are the factor with that but it's just another variable that isn't being accounted for in that particular statistical breakdown, Flea.

Griz aren't in either of those lists yet you speak so positively about them, Flea. While negative towards the others. Just curious why. :)

mike_noodles
04-16-2015, 09:03 PM
I like it. I would not count out the Cavs because I feel like they have the physical ability to play elite defense if they actually want to.

Blitzbolt
04-17-2015, 12:32 AM
Grizzlies play the Slowest Tempo in the NBA are dead last in 3 point shooting and lead the NBA in point in the paint (no one is even close).

We are playing 90s basketball while everyone else is playing 3-point Stretch 4 basketball.

valade16
04-17-2015, 09:27 AM
Realistically there are only 4 teams then that have a chance at winning because even though the Blazers fit the statistical criteria we have not been close to that good since Wesley got injured.

ZedAQnnders
04-17-2015, 12:36 PM
Yeah, Cleveland in no way looks like a contender:
forums.******.com/boards/viewtopic.php?p=43270001#p43270001
the **** are real gm