Saturday, January 23, 2016

Halfway thru NBA 2015-16: 12-week Power Ratings

Coverage of the first half of NBA 2015-16 has been driven by two primary storylines – the glorious Golden State run at history, and the resurgence of the East.

Despite incurring a couple of bruises and bumps in the road, the deep and deft defending champs seem to relish the big stage and its spotlight. That spotlight, though, has yet to be shared with their primary (only?) in-conferences challengers, the Thunder and Spurs (who’ve been sitting atop these rankings all season long).

Early-season strides in such locales as Michigan and Florida may be explained as much by overall parity than new-found contendership. Aside from three or four teams at either extreme, the league seems to have undergone somewhat of a “Regression to the Mean” this season – on both sides of the Mississippi.

The Hawks, while still atop their division, haven’t quite recaptured last year’s 60-win magic; Washington has regressed. Houston and Memphis forgot to set their alarms for the start of the season.

In such a climate, games are as often lost by one team as won by the other – a team will simply squander too many scoring opportunities. A missed free throw, for example, costs a point. Given that points per 100 possessions averages reasonably close to 100, then a turnover likewise costs roughly a point.


Let’s create a new stat – call it “Waste Not, Want Not” – where we simply add missed FT’s and TO’s, then divide by games played; think of it as Points Squandered.

Though it won’t factor into these rankings, I’ll provide the “standings” for such points, as well as each team’s per-game differential with their opponents in this area.

[NOTE: A more typical Abacus Revelation for each team will appear in my Quarterly Rating, which is on the way.]

[All Data reflects play through Monday, Jan.18. The criteria is explained below.]

3-week, 6-week and 9-week ratings are also available.


No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (6)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 2
Abacus 9-week Rating: 1
Abacus 6-week Rating: 1
3-week Abacus rating: 1]

36-6, .857; 1st in Southwest Division / 2nd seed / 2nd overall
KK:  +12; (12 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 2 overall
CQ:  +65; (.518 [2nd] - .453 [1st]) / No. 1 overall
SPOR-t:  +118; (585 [2nd] – 467 [1st]) / No. 1 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -17.86 ppg (No. 2) -- +1.78-point advantage (No. 6)

No. 2 Golden State Warriors (10)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 1
Abacus 9-week Rating: 2
Abacus 6-week Rating: 2
3-week Abacus rating: 2]

38-4, .905; 1st in Pacific Division / 1st seed / 1st overall
KK:  +19; (19 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 1 overall
CQ:  +38; (.517 [3rd] – .479 [8th]) / No. 3 overall
SPOR-t:  +49; (583 [3rd] – 534 [12th]) / No. 5 overall  
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -21.12 ppg (No. 23) -- -0.55-point disadvantage (No. 21)

No. 3 Oklahoma City Thunder (14)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 4
Abacus 9-week Rating: 3
Abacus 6-week Rating: 4
3-week Abacus rating: 6]

30-12, .714; 1st in Northwest Division / 3rd seed / 4th overall
KK:  +5; (10 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +43; (.524 [1st] - .481 [9th]) / No. 2 overall
SPOR-t:  +81; (620 [1st] – 539 [15th]) / No. 2 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.86 ppg (No. 21) -- -1.07-point disadvantage (No. 22)

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers (17)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 3
Abacus 9-week Rating: 4
Abacus 6-week Rating: 5
3-week Abacus rating: 3]

28-11, .718; 1st in Central Division / 1st seed / 3rd overall
KK:  +11; (13 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 3 overall
CQ:  +15; (.496 [11th] - .481 [10th]) / No. 7 overall
SPOR-t:  +52; (558 [5th] – 506 [2nd]) / No. 4 overall  
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.23 ppg (No. 16) -- -0.49-point disadvantage (No. 21)

No. 5 Toronto Raptors (20)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 5
Abacus 9-week Rating: 5
Abacus 6-week Rating: 3
3-week Abacus rating: 4]

26-15, .634; 1st in Atlantic Division / 2nd seed / 6th overall
KK:  +8; (14 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall
CQ:  +24; (.496 [7th] - .472 [2nd]) / No. 4 overall
SPOR-t:  +39; (545 [11th] – 506 [2nd]) / No. 6 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -19.00 ppg (No. 9) -- -0.20-point disadvantage (No. 16)

No. 6 Los Angeles Clippers (31.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 6
Abacus 9-week Rating: 8
Abacus 6-week Rating: 15
3-week Abacus rating: 12]

27-14, .659; 2nd in Pacific Division /4th seed / 5th overall
KK:  +5; (12 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +22; (.513 [4th] - .491 [16th]) / No. 5 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -1; (543 [13th] – 544 [17th]) / No.  15 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -21.32 ppg (No. 25) -- +0.58-point advantage (No. 10)

No. 7 Detroit Pistons (35.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 11
Abacus 9-week Rating: 9
Abacus 6-week Rating: 7
3-week Abacus rating: 8]

22-19, .537; 3rd in Central Division / 6th seed / 12th overall (tied)

KK:  +1; (8 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +13; (.496 [10th] - .483 [12th]) / No. 8 overall
SPOR-t:  +60; (581 [4th] – 521 [7th]) / No. 3 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -22.56 ppg (No. 27) -- -2.54-point disadvantage (No. 27)

No. 8 Miami Heat (42)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 12
Abacus 9-week Rating: 10
Abacus 6-week Rating: 8
3-week Abacus rating: 5]

23-18, .561; 2nd in Southeast Division / 5th seed / 9th overall
KK:  0; (8 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses) / No. 15 overall (tied)
CQ:  +22; (.497 [6th] - .475 [3rd]) / No. 5 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +6; (532 [20th] – 526 [9th]) / No. 12 overall  
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.12 ppg (No. 15) -- -2.66-point disadvantage (No. 28)

No. 9 Memphis Grizzlies (42.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 9
Abacus 9-week Rating: 15
Abacus 6-week Rating: 15
3-week Abacus rating: 20]

24-19, .558; 2nd in Southwest Division / 5th seed / 10th overall (tied)
KK:  +1; (8 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +6; (.489 [13th] - .483 [13th]) / No. 11 overall
SPOR-t:  +14; (531 [21st] – 517 [5th]) / No. 9 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -18.65 ppg (No. 7) -- +4.02-point advantage (No. 1)

No. 10 Indiana Pacers (44)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 13
Abacus 9-week Rating: 6
Abacus 6-week Rating: 5
3-week Abacus rating: 16]

22-19, .537; 3rd in Central Division / 6th seed / 12th overall (tied)
KK:  +3; (9 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses / No. 8 overall (tied)
CQ:  +10; (.487 [15th] - .477 [6th]) / No. 9 overall
SPOR-t:  +1; (530 [22nd] – 529 [10th]) / No. 14 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -21.20 ppg (No. 24) -- +1.48-point advantage (No. 8)


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL

Masters of the Craft (Part 1)

Which teams are performing the rudimentary skills of the game most proficiently at both ends of the floor? Let’s consider four elements of play: FG shooting, three-point shooting, Offensive Rebounding and the matter of turnovers. These teams hold a Top Ten rank offensively and defensively:

FG%: Golden State, LA Clippers, Miami, OKC, San Antonio
3FG%: Chicago, Golden State, LA Clippers, San Antonio
OR%: Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, Portland
TO%: Memphis


No. 11 Boston Celtics (45)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 15
Abacus 9-week Rating: 11
Abacus 6-week Rating: 10
3-week Abacus rating: 9]

22-20, .524; 2nd in Atlantic Division / 8th seed / 14th overall
KK:  +1; (11 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +4; (.480 [22nd] - .476 [4th]) / No. 12 overall
SPOR-t:  +19; (541 [15th] – 522 [8th]) / No. 7 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -19.64 ppg (No. 10) -- +2.96-point advantage (No. 2)

No. 12 Atlanta Hawks (48.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 8
Abacus 9-week Rating: 12
Abacus 6-week Rating: 14
3-week Abacus rating: 10]

25-17, .595; 1st in Southeast Division / 4th seed / 8th overall
KK:  +3; (10 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)
CQ:  +9; (.485 [18th] - .476 [5th]) / No. 10 overall
SPOR-t:  -23; (514 [24th] – 537 [14th]) / No. 22 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -18.98 ppg (No. 9) -- +2.81-point advantage (No. 3)

No. 13 Chicago Bulls (52)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 7
Abacus 9-week Rating: 17
Abacus 6-week Rating: 17
3-week Abacus rating: 13] 

24-16, .600; 2nd in Central Division /3rd seed / 7th overall 
KK:  +1; (8 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall (tied)*** 
CQ:  -1; (.482 [21st] - .483 [14th]) / No. 15 overall
SPOR-t:  -12; (546 [10th] – 558 [28th]) / No. 18 overall 

No. 14 Dallas Mavericks (60.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 14
Abacus 9-week Rating: 14
Abacus 6-week Rating: 13
3-week Abacus rating: 10]

24-19, .558; 2nd in Southwest Division / 5th seed / 10th overall (tied)
KK:  +5; (12 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -7; (.480 [23rd] - .487 [15th]) / No. 20 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  -25; (508 [26th] – 533 [11th]) / No. 23 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -18.14 ppg (No. 4) -- +1.86-point advantage (No. 5)

No. 14 Orlando Magic (60.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 19
Abacus 9-week Rating: 7
Abacus 6-week Rating: 12
3-week Abacus rating: 19]

20-20, .500; 3rd in Southeast Division / 9th seed / 16th overall
KK:  -1; (8 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -4; (.478 [27th] - .482 [11th]) / No. 18 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +17; (537 [16th] – 520 [6th]) / No. 8 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -18.63 ppg (No. 6) -- +2.37-point advantage (No. 4)

No. 16 Utah Jazz (67.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 17
Abacus 9-week Rating: 16
Abacus 6-week Rating: 11
3-week Abacus rating: 7]

18-23, .439; 2nd in Northwest Division / 8th seed / 20th overall
KK:  -3; (6 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 20 overall (tied)
CQ:  -3; (.488 [14th] - .491 [18th]) / No. 17 overall
SPOR-t:  +13; (548 [9th] – 535 [13th]) / No. 10 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.71 ppg (No. 19) -- -0.37-point disadvantage (No. 18)

No. 17 Portland Trail Blazers (72.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 22
Abacus 9-week Rating: 18
Abacus 6-week Rating: 19
3-week Abacus rating: 26]

19-25, .432; 3rd in Northwest Division / 9th seed / 21st overall
KK:  0; (9 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 15 overall (tied)
CQ:  -20; (.487 [16th] - .507 [28th]) / No. 24 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  +9; (557 [6th] – 548 [19th]) / No. 11 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -21.02 ppg (No. 22) -- -1.72-point disadvantage (No. 24)

No. 18 Charlotte Hornets (73)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 25
Abacus 9-week Rating: 13
Abacus 6-week Rating: 9
3-week Abacus rating: 14]

19-22, .463; 5th in Southeast Division / 12th seed / 19th overall
KK:  -4; (4 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses) / No. 22 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +3: (.480 [24th] - .477 [7th]) / No. 13 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -5; (504 [28th] – 509 [4th]) / No. 17 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -17.98 ppg (No. 3) -- +0.29-point advantage (No. 12)

No. 19 Houston Rockets (74)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 10
Abacus 9-week Rating: 20
Abacus 6-week Rating: 27
3-week Abacus rating: 27]

22-21, .512; 4th in Southwest Division / 7th seed / 15th overall
KK:  -1; (9 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -2; (.497 [8th] - .499 [21st]) / No. 16 overall
SPOR-t:  -29; (533 [18th] – 564 [27th]) / No. 25 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -25.21 ppg (No. 30) -- -3.16-point disadvantage (No. 29)

No. 20 Sacramento Kings (75)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 20
Abacus 9-week Rating: 23
Abacus 6-week Rating: 25
3-week Abacus rating: 23]

17-23, .425; 3rd in Pacific Division / 10th seed / 22nd overall
KK:  -4; (7 Road Wins – 11 Home Losses) / No. 22 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +3; (.499 [5th] - .496 [19th]) / No. 13 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -4; (542 [14th] – 546 [18th]) / No. 16 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -23.80 ppg (No. 28) -- -2.20-point disadvantage (No. 25)


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL

Masters of the Craft (Part 2)

Are not the exceptionally inept worthy of some recognition? Here are the teams that hold a Bottom Ten offensive and defensive ranking in our key elements of play: FG shooting, three-point shooting, Offensive Rebounding and the matter of turnovers.

FG%: Denver, LA Lakers, Philadelphia
3FG%: Denver, Memphis
OR%: Atlanta, Indiana, LA Clippers, LA Lakers
TO%: Oklahoma City, Portland


No. 21 New York Knicks (78.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 18
Abacus 9-week Rating: 25
Abacus 6-week Rating: 24
3-week Abacus rating: 20]

21-22, .488; 3rd in Atlantic Division / 10th seed / 17th overall
KK:  +1; (9 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall (tied)***
CQ:  -18; (.486 [17th] - .504 [25th]) / No. 23 overall
SPOR-t:  -32; (544 [12th] – 576 [29th]) / No. 26 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -17.84 ppg (No. 1) -- +0.04-point advantage (No. 15)

No. 22 Milwaukee Bucks (83)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 21
Abacus 9-week Rating: 27
Abacus 6-week Rating: 26
3-week Abacus rating: 24]

18-25, .419; 5th in Central Division / 13th seed / 23th overall
KK:  -1; (6 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -7; (.497 [7th] - .504 [27th]) / No. 20 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  -21; (554 [7th] – 575 [28th]) / No. 21 overall  
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.65 ppg (No. 18) -- +0.19-point advantage (No. 13)

No. 23 Washington Wizards (83.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 16
Abacus 9-week Rating: 19
Abacus 6-week Rating: 20
3-week Abacus rating: 22]

19-21, .450; 4th in Southeast Division / 11th seed / 18th overall
KK:  -3; (10 Road Wins – 13 Home Losses) / No. 20 overall (tied)
CQ:  -7; (.484 [20th] - .491 [17th]) / No. 20 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  -27; (513 [25th] – 540 [16th]) / No. 24 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.10 ppg (No. 14) -- +1.53-point advantage (No. 7)

No. 24 Denver Nuggets (85.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 23
Abacus 9-week Rating: 21
Abacus 6-week Rating: 23
3-week Abacus rating: 18]

16-25, .390; 4th in Northwest Division / 11th seed / 24th overall
KK:  -4; (8 Road Wins – 12 Home Losses) / No. 22 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -20; (.484 [19th] - .504 [26th]) / No. 24 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  +4; (552 [8th] – 548 [19th]) / No. 13 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.37 ppg (No. 17) -- -0.47-point disadvantage (No. 19)

No. 25 Minnesota Timberwolves (92)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 27
Abacus 9-week Rating: 22
Abacus 6-week Rating: 18
3-week Abacus rating: 17]

13-29, .310; 5th in Northwest Division / 13th seed / 26th overall (tied)
KK:  -10; (7 Road Wins – 17 Home Losses) / No. 28 overall
CQ:  -4; (.495 [12th] - .499 [22nd]) / No. 18 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -17; (533 [18th] – 550 [23rd]) / No. 19 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -20.74 ppg (No. 20) -- +0.45-point advantage (No. 11)

No. 26 Brooklyn Nets (102)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 26
Abacus 9-week Rating: 24
Abacus 6-week Rating: 22
3-week Abacus rating: 25]

11-31, .268; 4th in Atlantic Division / 14th seed / 28th overall
KK:  -11; (4 Road Wins – 15 Home Losses) / No. 29 overall
CQ:  -20; (.478 [26th] - .498 [20th]) / No. 24 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  -18; (536 [17th] – 554 [24th]) / No. 20 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -19.76 ppg (No. 12) -- +0.07-point advantage (No. 14)

No. 27 New Orleans Pelicans (103.5)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 24
Abacus 9-week Rating: 28
Abacus 6-week Rating: 28
3-week Abacus rating: 29]

13-27, .325; 5th in Southwest Division / 12th seed / 25th overall
KK:  -4; (5 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 22 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -22; (.479 [25th] - .501 [23rd]) / No. 27 overall
SPOR-t:  -41; (507 [27th] – 548 [19th]) / No. 28 overall  
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -18.28 ppg (No. 5) -- -2.23-point disadvantage (No. 26)

No. 28 Phoenix Suns (107)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 30
Abacus 9-week Rating: 26
Abacus 6-week Rating: 21
3-week Abacus rating: 15]

13-29, .310; 4th in Pacific Division / 13th seed / 26th overall (tied)
KK:  -7; (4 Road Wins – 11 Home Losses) / No. 26 overall
CQ:  -34; (.474 [28th] - .508 [29th]) / No. 28 overall
SPOR-t:  -32; (517 [23rd] – 549 [22nd]) / No. 26 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -22.07 ppg (No. 26) -- +0.95-point advantage (No. 9)

No. 29 Los Angeles Lakers (116)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 29
Abacus 9-week Rating: 29
Abacus 6-week Rating: 29
3-week Abacus rating: 28]

9-34, .209; 5th in Pacific Division / 15th seed / 29th overall
KK:  -9; (4 Road Wins – 13 Home Losses) / No. 27 overall
CQ:  -52; (.464 [29th] - .516 [30th]) / No. 30 overall
SPOR-t:  -92; (502 [29th] – 594 [30th]) / No. 30 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -19.79 ppg (No. 13) -- -0.28-point disadvantage (No. 17)

No. 30 Philadelphia 76ers (118)
[ESPN 12-week Rating: 28
Abacus 9-week Rating: 30
Abacus 6-week Rating: 30
3-week Abacus rating: 30]

5-38, .116; 5th in Atlantic Division / 15th seed / 30th overall
KK:  -14; (2 Road Wins – 16 Home Losses) / No. 30 overall
CQ:  -49; (.455 [30th] - .504 [24th]) / No. 29 overall
SPOR-t:  -83; (471 [30th] – 554 [24th]) / No. 29 overall
Abacus Revelation (WNWN): -25.07 ppg (No. 29) -- -4.37-point disadvantage (No. 30)


Power Ratings --The Measurement Instrument

Our team-ranking tool utilizes four elements. Two scales are based solely on team wins and losses; the others are measures of the efficiency of team performance in comparison with the competition. 

First, we’ll simply use win-loss record irrespective of conference.

The second criterion will be the difference between a team’s road wins and its home losses. Since this cute little metric is said to be a personal favorite of veteran NBA coach George Karl, let’s call this the Karl Kount (KK).

Criterion No. 3, Conversion Quotient (CQ), involves the rate at which a team converts its possessions into a successful field goals or free throw attempts. Like the KK, the computation is simple subtraction—a team’s rate of offensive efficiency minus that of the opponent.

Lastly, please allow Abacus to introduce the “SPOR-t” score. SPOR-t stands for “Shooting Plus Offensive Rebounds minus turnovers.” Add a team’s FG percentage and its offensive rebounding percentage (o. boards divided by the sum of those o. boards and the opposition's d. boards). Then subtract the percentage of a team’s possessions lost to turnovers. For example, a team shoots field goals at a .488 clip, offensive rebounds at a rate of .199, and commits a turnover on .143 of its possessions. So its SPOR-t is (488+199-143) or 544. Once again, our measurement will be the difference between the SPOR-t scores of a team and its opposition.

We’ll rank the teams from 1 to 30 in all criteria and simply add up the rankings. Low score wins, naturally.