Saturday, March 3, 2012

NBA Team Rankings - March 3, 2012

Reggie Miller doing what he did best: Making New York miserable

Here are the NBA Team Rankings as of March 3, 2012.  These rankings use the Vegas point spreads from recent games to derive an implied measure of team strength (Generic Points Favored, or GPF).  By combining the point spread information with the betting over/unders, I can also decompose team strength into its offensive and defensive components (oGPF and dGPF).  For more detail, see the Methodology page.

The photo accompanying this post has little to do with the rankings (although the Pacers did move up four spots to #10).  Reggie Miller is a Hall of Fame finalist this year.  As an Indiana native, there is no question in my mind he belongs there.  Here's to it becoming official on April 2.  

My favorite thing about that photo?  Everybody pictured (including Spike) knows, without a doubt, that shot is going in.  You can see it on their faces.  This was from Game 4 of the 1998 Eastern Semis, several years after Reggie's 25 point fourth quarter in 1994 and 8 points in 8.9 seconds in 1995.  New Yorkers knew what to expect by then.  That three pointer sent the game to overtime, where the Pacers ultimately prevailed.  Miller scored 38.

On to the rankings.  There's still no dislodging the Heat, Thunder, and Bulls from the top 3.  The Mavericks looked like they were going to make a run at it last week, but Dirk Nowitzki's injured back sidetracked them once again.

You can see it for yourself in the newest feature here, The Ticker (introduced in this post).  Here is how the Mavs have progressed this season (you can hover over the graph for details):



The Mavericks peaked right before the All Star break on 2/21, with a GPF of 5 points.  But with Nowitzki injuring his back on the 28th, they have slid back down by about two points.  Something very similar happened earlier this season, when they reached a GPF of 4 around 1/20, but Nowitzki missed the next four games due to injury and Dallas lost a point and a half of GPF.


The Rankings (glossary below)


Rank Team LstWk GPF oGPF dGPF GOU W-L GWP
1  MIA 1 8.5 7.0 2 1.5 13 198 6 28-8 3 0.79
2  OKC 2 7.5 8.0 1 -0.5 17 201 3 29-7 1 0.77
3  CHI 3 6.5 2.0 9 4.5 3 189 21 30-8 2 0.74
4  LAC 5 4.0 1.0 11 3.0 8 190 20 21-13 7 0.65
5  ORL 7 4.0 -1.5 21 5.5 2 185 26 23-14 6 0.64
6  SAS 6 3.5 3.0 5 0.5 14 195 11 25-11 4 0.64
7  LAL 8 3.5 -1.0 19 4.5 4 186 24 22-14 8 0.63
8  PHI 10 3.0 -4.0 25 7.0 1 181 30 22-15 9 0.62
9  DAL 4 3.0 -1.5 22 4.5 6 186 25 21-16 12 0.61
10  IND 14 2.5 1.0 13 1.5 11 192 16 22-12 5 0.59
11  POR 9 2.0 0.0 16 2.0 10 191 19 18-18 16 0.57
12  NYK 13 1.5 3.0 6 -1.5 19 196 9 18-18 17 0.56
13  MEM 12 1.0 -1.0 20 2.0 9 189 22 21-15 11 0.55
14  DEN 15 1.0 6.0 3 -5.0 28 203 2 20-17 14 0.53
15  MIN 16 0.0 2.5 7 -2.5 22 198 7 18-19 18 0.50
16  BOS 17 0.0 -4.5 26 4.5 7 183 28 18-17 15 0.50
17  PHX 22 -0.5 1.0 12 -1.5 20 194 12 16-20 20 0.48
18  UTA 20 -0.5 -0.5 17 0.0 15 191 17 17-18 19 0.48
19  HOU 11 -0.5 0.5 14 -1.0 18 194 13 21-16 13 0.48
20  ATL 19 -1.0 -5.5 29 4.5 5 182 29 21-15 10 0.45
21  MIL 21 -2.5 1.5 10 -4.0 24 197 8 14-22 22 0.41
22  SAC 23 -2.5 4.5 4 -7.0 30 203 1 12-24 24 0.41
23  GSW 18 -2.5 2.0 8 -4.5 27 199 5 14-19 21 0.40
24  NJN 25 -3.5 -0.5 18 -3.0 23 195 10 11-26 27 0.36
25  TOR 29 -4.5 -4.5 27 0.0 16 188 23 11-25 26 0.33
26  NOH 27 -5.0 -6.5 30 1.5 12 184 27 9-27 28 0.31
27  DET 24 -5.5 -3.0 23 -2.5 21 192 15 12-25 25 0.30
28  WAS 28 -6.0 0.5 15 -6.5 29 199 4 7-28 29 0.28
29  CLE 26 -6.5 -3.0 24 -3.5 25 193 14 13-21 23 0.26
30  CHA 30 -10.0 -5.5 28 -4.5 26 191 18 4-30 30 0.18


GLOSSARY




  • LstWk - The BTM ranking from last week.
  • GPF - Stands for "Generic Points Favored".  It's what you would expect the team to be favored by against a league average opponent at a neutral site.
  • oGPF - Stands for "Offensive Generic Points Favored".  The component of a team's total GPF attributable to its ability to score points (per game).
  • dGPF - Stands for "Defensive Generic Points Favored".  The component of a team's total GPF attributable to its ability to prevent the other team from scoring points (per game).
  • GOU - Stands for "Generic Over/Under".  It's what you would expect the betting over/under to be for the given team when playing a league average opponent.
  • W-L - The team's win/loss record (and win percentage rank)
  • GWP - Stands for "Generic Win Probability".  I converted the GPF into a win probability using the following formula: 1/(1 + exp(-GPF/6.5)).

  • Additional Key Factors:
    • League Average Points Scored (APS): 96.0 points
    • Home Court Advantage (HCA): 3.25 points
    • Back to Back Penalty (B2B): -0.75 points (see here)
    How to Use This Table to Build Point Spreads and Over/Unders
    • Point Spread (in favor of home team) = HCA  + (B2Bhome - B2Baway) + (GPFhome - GPFaway)
    • Over/Under = 2*APS + (oGPFhome + oGPFaway - dGPFhome - dGPFaway)

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