Don’t sleep on the Grizzlies and Hawks, or what we can learn by focusing on teams’ playoff rotations
Apr 20, 2013, 1:45 PM EDT
As the playoffs approach, teams’ regular-season statistics will inevitably be used to compare teams. Occasionally, these numbers will be filtered in some way, but for the most part, full-year statistics will be used.
Those players won’t be in their teams’ playoff rotations, so the minutes they played cloud assessments of their teams.
In an attempt to get better data, I’ve used nba wowy! to rank playoff teams by regular-season net rating (offensive rating minus defensive rating), counting only the lineups that include five players projected to be in the team’s post-season rotation.
This measure is far from perfect. It doesn’t account for opponent or weigh lineups based on how often they’ll be used in the postseason, and it’s impossible to precisely predict a team’s playoff rotation.
But here are a few conclusions I could draw:
- Every team’s net rating improved with this adjustment, which makes sense, considering this removes the, presumably, lesser play of end-of-bench players.
- The Hawks, whose net rating increased by 6.8, improved most.
- The Bulls, whose net rating increased by 0.3, improved least.
- The Thunder had the best regular-season net rating (+9.8), but that would tie for fifth after the adjustment.
- The Grizzlies were the only lower-seeded team to pass their first-round opponent after the adjustment, and Memphis would rank ahead of the Thunder (or Rockets) in a second-round series, too.
- The Lakers’ numbers are probably pretty unreliable, because with Kobe out, the adjusted number gives more weight to their backups than their remaining starters (who didn’t play much without Kobe).
Here’s how the adjustment affected each team’s offensive rating, defensive rating and net rating. Within each conference, teams are ordered by adjusted net rating.
No. 1 Miami Heat
Offensive rating: 113.2 to 114.8
Defensive rating: 104.5 to 103.9
Net rating: +8.7 to +10.9
No. 2 New York Knicks
Offensive rating: 111.4 to 116.5
Defensive rating: 106.8 to 106.0
Net rating: +4.6 to +10.5
No. 3 Indiana Pacers
Offensive rating: 104.6 to 107.5
Defensive rating: 100.3 to 100.0
Net rating: +4.3 to +7.5
No. 6 Atlanta Hawks
Offensive rating: 105.2 to 107.7
Defensive rating: 106.2 to 101.9
Net rating: –1.0 to +5.8
No. 4 Brooklyn Nets
Offensive rating: 108.6 to 110.2
Defensive rating: 106.7 to 105.7
Net rating: +1.9 to +4.5
No. 7 Boston Celtics
Offensive rating: 103.7 to 106.3
Defensive rating: 103.9 to 104.8
Net rating: –0.2 to +1.5
No. 5 Chicago Bulls
Offensive rating: 104.1 to 104.5
Defensive rating: 103.6 to 103.7
Net rating: +0.5 to +0.8
No. 8 Milwaukee Bucks
Offensive rating: 104.2 to 106.5
Defensive rating: 107.0 to 107.8
Net rating: –2.8 to –1.3
No. 2 San Antonio Spurs
Offensive rating: 108.5 to 108.6
Defensive rating: 101.8 to 97.0
Net rating: +6.7 to +11.6
No. 5 Memphis Grizzlies
Offensive rating: 105.3 to 108.9
Defensive rating: 100.6 to 98.4
Net rating: +4.7 to +10.5
No. 1 Oklahoma City Thunder
Offensive rating: 112.3 to 113.7
Defensive rating: 102.5 to 103.5
Net rating: +9.8 to +10.2
No 4. Los Angeles Clippers
Offensive rating: 111.2 to 115.4
Defensive rating: 104.1 to 105.6
Net rating: to +7.1 to +9.8
No. 8 Houston Rockets
Offensive rating: 110.4 to 112.8
Defensive rating: 106.9 to 104.6
Net rating: +3.5 to +8.2
No. 3 Denver Nuggets
Offensive rating: 111.0 to 112.0
Defensive rating: 105.7 to 106.1
Net rating: +5.3 to +5.9
No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers
Offensive rating: 108.5 to 104.7
Defensive rating: 107.2 to 99.8
Net rating: +1.3 to +4.9
No. 6 Golden State Warriors
Offensive rating: 106.5 to 110.1
Defensive rating: 105.6 to 106.8
Net rating: +0.9 to +3.3
- Jim Buss open to the idea of Kobe Bryant playing beyond this season 18
- Derrick Rose on sexual assault suit: “I am confident I will be proven innocent” 2
- Report: Kyrie Irving likely not back opening night, could be out until January 14
- Legendary Sixer, backboard-shattering dunker Darryl Dawkins dies at 58 14
- After Rio Olympics next summer, who takes over at Team USA coach? 7
- Kobe, Shaq discuss regrets over feud that ended their Lakers era 48
- NBA fines Clippers for attempting to circumvent salary cap with DeAndre Jordan 10
- The most overlooked – and maybe most significant – reason Carmelo Anthony won’t waive his no-trade clause this season 17