|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)
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)