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
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Has Bosh decided on signing with Houston if LeBron James leaves Heat anyway?
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Is any of this really helping Sterling’s case? Who knows. But it’s great drama.
Jul 9, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT
Former Pistons coach Lawrence Frank, former Bucks coach Larry Drew could follow
Jul 9, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT
Scott has always been the frontrunner.
Jul 9, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT
What’s next for LeBron, Cavaliers and Heat?
Jul 9, 2014, 7:08 PM EDT
Houston would have 72 hours to match max or near-max offer
Jul 9, 2014, 6:40 PM EDT
Popovich used to joke he was leaving when Duncan does, but he’s having fun now.
Jul 9, 2014, 6:20 PM EDT
LeBron James’ max: $118,705,300 over five years
Carmelo Anthony’s max: $129,135,810 over five years
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It’s a real long shot, but if the Cavs actually land LeBron they should swing for the fences.
Jul 9, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT
The NBA business is good.
Jul 9, 2014, 4:05 PM EDT
He was never really in the mix to join LeBron anywhere, the two hadn’t been talking.
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Jul 9, 2014, 3:27 PM EDT
Eight-part video blog series takes you behind the scenes.
Jul 9, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT
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Jul 9, 2014, 2:11 PM EDT
A move from Miami to Cleveland, for example, wouldn’t be so bad.
Jul 9, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT
The Pelicans need help at the three, Howard trying to prove he can still help at age 34.
Jazz expected to match Hornets’ max contract offer to Gordon Hayward, which is absolutely the right decision
Jul 9, 2014, 1:02 PM EDT
Small market teams like Utah and Charlotte don’t have much of a choice.
Jul 9, 2014, 12:21 PM EDT
A Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins, Chandler Parsons starting lineup would be interesting.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
It’s all part of the LeBron chase.
Jul 9, 2014, 11:47 AM EDT
KD does love him some Derek Fisher.
Jul 9, 2014, 10:48 AM EDT
Cleveland now has the cap space to offer LeBron the max contract he’ll require.
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