Monday, February 15, 2016

NBA 2015-16 15-week Power Ratings

Our 9-week ratings included this observation:

“The round of rankings suggests two more things: (a) Don’t sleep on the Pistons, and (b) don’t bet on the Rockets.”



The Abacus magic formula still concurs with this assessment. Detroit projects to a No. 5 seed, while even Coach B.J. wonders how his “broken team” still clings to any playoff hopes (not to mention the No. 7 seed they are holding).

These ratings would currently produce this set of first-round playoff match-ups. (Seeding by team record is noted.)

EAST       WEST

1. Cleveland (1) vs. 8. Charlotte (9)     1. San Antonio (2) vs. 8. Dallas (6)
2. Toronto (2) vs. 7. Atlanta (5)     2. Golden State (1) vs. 7. Portland (9)
3. Boston (3) vs. 6. Indiana (6)     3. Oklahoma City (3) vs. 6. Utah (8)
4. Miami (1) vs. 5. Detroit (8)     4. LA Clippers (4) vs. 5. Memphis (5)



[All Data reflects play through Monday, Feb.8. The criteria is explained below.]

3-week, 6-week, 9-week and 12-week ratings are also available.


No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (6)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 2
Abacus 12-week Rating: 1
Abacus 9-week Rating: 1
Abacus 6-week Rating: 1
3-week Abacus rating: 1]

43-8, .843; 1st in Southwest Division / 2nd seed / 2nd overall
KK:  +15; (15 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 2 overall
CQ:  +59; (.520 [3rd] - .461 [1st]) / No. 1 overall
SPOR-t:  +102; (584 [3rd] – 482 [1st]) / No. 1 overall

Abacus Revelation: This season’s Spurs are attempting four fewer (18.7) treys per game compared to 2014-15

No. 2 Golden State Warriors (7)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 1
Abacus 12-week Rating: 2
Abacus 9-week Rating: 2
Abacus 6-week Rating: 2
3-week Abacus rating: 2]

46-4, .920; 1st in Pacific Division / 1st seed / 1st overall
KK:  +23; (23 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 1 overall
CQ:  +38; (.521 [2nd] – .483 [8th]) / No. 2 overall
SPOR-t:  +57; (588 [2nd] – 531 [11th]) / No. 3 overall  

Abacus Revelation: The Dubs have increased their frequency of three-point shots from last season’s 31% to 35%.

No. 3 Oklahoma City Thunder (13.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 4
Abacus 12-week Rating: 3
Abacus 9-week Rating: 3
Abacus 6-week Rating: 4
3-week Abacus rating: 6]

39-14, .736; 1st in Northwest Division / 3rd seed / 3rd overall
KK:  +10; (15 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)
CQ:  +37; (.526 [1st] - .489 [14th]) / No. 3 overall
SPOR-t:  +82; (629 [1st] – 547 [19th]) / No. 2 overall

Abacus Revelation: Last season’s tenth-best Defensive Rebounding team has slipped to No. 19.

No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers (19)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 5
Abacus 12-week Rating: 4
Abacus 9-week Rating: 4
Abacus 6-week Rating: 5
3-week Abacus rating: 3]

37-14, .725; 1st in Central Division / 1st seed / 4th overall
KK:  +12; (16 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 3 overall
CQ:  +17; (.502 [7th] - .485 [10th]) / No. 7 overall
SPOR-t:  +50; (569 [5th] – 519 [4th]) / No. 5 overall  

Abacus Revelation: The Cavs lost two home games during the past three weeks, thr first time that’s happened in over a year.

No. 5 Toronto Raptors (19.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 3
Abacus 12-week Rating: 5
[Abacus 9-week Rating: 5
Abacus 6-week Rating: 3
3-week Abacus rating: 4]

35-16, .686; 1st in Atlantic Division / 2nd seed / 5th overall
KK:  +11; (17 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall
CQ:  +26; (.502 [8th] - .476 [3rd]) / No. 4 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +36; (549 [11th] – 513 [3rd]) / No. 6 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Raptors own a .629 road winning percentage this season, up from .537 last year.

No. 6 Los Angeles Clippers (31)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 7
Abacus 12-week Rating: 6
Abacus 9-week Rating: 8
Abacus 6-week Rating: 15
3-week Abacus rating: 12]

35-17, .673; 2nd in Pacific Division /4th seed / 6th overall
KK:  +10; (18 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)
CQ:  +26; (.513 [4th] - .487 [11th]) / No. 4 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  0; (538 [16th] – 538 [14th]) / No.  15 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Clips’ shot .378 on three-pointers over the last six weeks, up from .347.

No. 7 Boston Celtics (33)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 6
Abacus 12-week Rating: 11
Abacus 9-week Rating: 11
Abacus 6-week Rating: 10
3-week Abacus rating: 9]

31-22, .585; 2nd in Atlantic Division / 3rd seed / 7th overall
KK:  +5; (15 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 7 overall
CQ:  +6; (.484 [21st] - .478 [6th]) / No. 12 overall
SPOR-t:  +28; (549 [15th] – 521 [8th]) / No. 7 overall

Abacus Revelation: Over their last 82 regular-season games, Boston is 51-31 (.622).

No. 8 Miami Heat (35.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 9
Abacus 12-week Rating: 8
Abacus 9-week Rating: 10
Abacus 6-week Rating: 8
3-week Abacus rating: 5]

29-23, .558; 1st in Southeast Division / 4th seed / 9th overall
KK:  +3; (13 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall (tied)
CQ:  +18; (.495 [12th] - .477 [4th]) / No. 6 overall
SPOR-t:  +13; (532 [21st] – 519 [4th]) / No. 10 overall  

Abacus Revelation: The stingy Heat hold a Top Ten ranking in FG defense, 3FG defense and defensive rebounding.

No. 9 Detroit Pistons (39.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 13
Abacus 12-week Rating: 7
Abacus 9-week Rating: 9
Abacus 6-week Rating: 7
3-week Abacus rating: 8]

27-26, .509; 4th in Central Division / 8th seed / 14th overall (tied)

KK:  +2; (11 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 12 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +12; (.502 [6th] - .490 [15th]) / No. 8 overall
SPOR-t:  +52; (580 [4th] – 528 [10th]) / No. 4 overall

Abacus Revelation: Detroit is fourth-best in the league in defensive rebounding after being middle-of-the-road (No. 15) last year.

No. 10 Indiana Pacers (42)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 11
Abacus 12-week Rating: 10
Abacus 9-week Rating: 6
Abacus 6-week Rating: 5
3-week Abacus rating: 16]

28-24, .538; 2nd in Central Division / 6th seed / 11th overall
KK:  +3; (11 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses / No. 10 overall (tied)
CQ:  +11; (.488 [17th] - .477 [5th]) / No. 9 overall
SPOR-t:  +12; (535 [19th] – 523 [8th]) / No. 11 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: After a slow start (96 ppg), the Pacers have been putting up 104 over the last 12 weeks.


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


No. 11 Memphis Grizzlies (42.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 8
Abacus 12-week Rating: 9
Abacus 9-week Rating: 15
Abacus 6-week Rating: 15
3-week Abacus rating: 20]

30-22, .577; 2nd in Southwest Division / 5th seed / 8th overall
KK:  +2; (11 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 12 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +10; (.495 [13th] - .485 [9th]) / No. 10 overall
SPOR-t:  +12; (534 [20th] – 522 [7th]) / No. 11 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: Memphis opponents lose one of every six possessions to a turnover.

No. 12 Atlanta Hawks (51.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 10
Abacus 12-week Rating: 12
Abacus 9-week Rating: 12
Abacus 6-week Rating: 14
3-week Abacus rating: 10]

30-24, .556; 2nd in Southeast Division / 5th seed / 10th overall
KK:  +4; (13 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)
CQ:  +7; (.481 [25th] - .474 [2nd]) / No. 11 overall
SPOR-t:  -26; (505 [27th] – 531 [11th]) / No. 22 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Hawks held opponents to 31% three-point shooting during Weeks 13-15, down from 36%

No. 13 Utah Jazz (56.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 12
Abacus 12-week Rating: 16
Abacus 9-week Rating: 16
Abacus 6-week Rating: 11
3-week Abacus rating: 7]

25-25, .500; 2nd in Northwest Division / 8th seed / 16th overall (tied)
KK:  -2; (8 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +2; (.490 [14th] - .488 [12th]) / No. 14 overall
SPOR-t:  +24; (551 [9th] – 527 [9th]) / No. 8 overall

Abacus Revelation: The surging Jazz held opponents to 90 ppg during Weeks 13-15 – down from 97 during the first 12 weeks.

No. 14 Portland Trail Blazers (65)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 16
Abacus 12-week Rating: 17
Abacus 9-week Rating: 18
Abacus 6-week Rating: 19
3-week Abacus rating: 26]

26-27, .491; 3rd in Northwest Division / 9th seed / 18th overall
KK:  0; (11 Road Wins – 11 Home Losses) / No. 15 overall
CQ:  -13; (.490 [15th] - .503 [24th]) / No. 23 overall
SPOR-t:  +20; (562 [6th] – 542 [16th]) / No. 9 overall

Abacus Revelation: Through 30 games, opponents made 34% of their treys; over the next 23 games, they made two of every five.

No. 15 Charlotte Hornets (66.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 18
Abacus 12-week Rating: 18
Abacus 9-week Rating: 13
Abacus 6-week Rating: 9
3-week Abacus rating: 14]

26-26, .500; 3rd in Southeast Division / 9th seed / 16th overall (tied)
KK:  -2; (7 Road Wins – 9 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)*
CQ:  0: (.478 [24th] - .478 [7th]) / No. 15 overall
SPOR-t:  -7; (501 [28th] – 508 [2nd]) / No. 17 overall

Abacus Revelation: For the third consecutive season, Charlotte is the league’s top defensive rebounding team.

No. 16 Dallas Mavericks (67)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 15
Abacus 12-week Rating: 14
Abacus 9-week Rating: 14
Abacus 6-week Rating: 13
3-week Abacus rating: 10]

29-25, .537; 3rd in Southwest Division / 6th seed / 12th overall
KK:  +4; (14 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)
CQ:  -8; (.482 [22nd] - .490 [16th]) / No. 20 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -31; (508 [26th] – 539 [15th]) / No. 26 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Mavs are best in the league at limiting turnovers (.130).

No. 17 Chicago Bulls (68)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 17
Abacus 12-week Rating: 13
Abacus 9-week Rating: 17
Abacus 6-week Rating: 17
3-week Abacus rating: 13]

27-24, .529; 3rd in Central Division / 7th seed / 13th overall
KK: +2; (11 Road Wins - 9 Home Losses) / No. 12 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -9; (.482 [23rd] - .491 [17th]) / No. 22 overall
SPOR-t:  -19; (546 [13th] – 565 [26th]) / No. 19 overall (tied)*

Abacus Revelation: Over the last nine weeks, Chicago has risen from No.22 to No.7 in Offensive Rebounding.

No. 18 Orlando Magic (72.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 24
Abacus 12-week Rating: 14
Abacus 9-week Rating: 7
Abacus 6-week Rating: 12
3-week Abacus rating: 19]

23-28, .451; 4th in Southeast Division / 10th seed / 19th overall
KK:  -3; (9 Road Wins – 12 Home Losses) / No. 20 overall
CQ:  -8; (.480 [26th] - .488 [13th]) / No. 20 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +4; (537 [17th] – 533 [13th]) / No. 13 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Magic have yielded 104 ppg in their last 20 games, up from 99 over the first nine weeks.

No. 19 Sacramento Kings (73.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 19
Abacus 12-week Rating: 20
Abacus 9-week Rating: 23
Abacus 6-week Rating: 25
3-week Abacus rating: 23]

21-31, .404; 3rd in Pacific Division / 10th seed / 22nd overall
KK:  -5; (8 Road Wins – 13 Home Losses) / No. 21 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +3; (.499 [9th] - .496 [19th]) / No. 13 overall
SPOR-t:  -2; (544 [14th] – 546 [18th]) / No. 16 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Kings have been out-scored by 112 points this season; they’ve missed 92 more free throws than their opponents.

No. 20 Houston Rockets (77.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 14
Abacus 12-week Rating: 19
Abacus 9-week Rating: 20
Abacus 6-week Rating: 27
3-week Abacus rating: 27]

27-26, .509; 4th in Southwest Division / 7th seed / 14th overall (tied)
KK:  -2; (11 Road Wins – 13 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -5; (.498 [10th] - .503 [25th]) / No. 17 overall
SPOR-t:  -41; (532 [21st] – 573 [28th]) / No. 28 overall

Abacus Revelation: For the second consecutive season, Houston averages more than 30 three-point attempts a game.


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, Phoenix
3FG%: Denver
PPG: Brooklyn, LA Lakers, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Philadelphia
OR%: Atlanta, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Philadelphia
TO%: Oklahoma City


No. 21 Milwaukee Bucks (78)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 26
Abacus 12-week Rating: 22
Abacus 9-week Rating: 27
Abacus 6-week Rating: 26
3-week Abacus rating: 24]

20-32, .385; 5th in Central Division / 13th seed / 24th overall
KK:  -1; (7 Road Wins – 8 Home Losses) / No. 16 overall
CQ:  -6; (.497 [11th] - .503 [23rd]) / No. 18 overall
SPOR-t:  -19; (554 [7th] – 573 [28th]) / No. 19 overall (tied)*

Abacus Revelation: The Bucks’ defense is surrendering 5.5 more ppg than it did during last season’s run to the playoffs.

No. 22 Denver Nuggets (84)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 20
Abacus 12-week Rating: 24
Abacus 9-week Rating: 21
Abacus 6-week Rating: 23
3-week Abacus rating: 18]

21-32, .396; 4th in Northwest Division / 11th seed / 23rd overall
KK:  -5; (10 Road Wins – 15 Home Losses) / No. 21 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -15; (.489 [16th] - .504 [26th]) / No. 24 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +1: (551 [9th] – 550 [21st]) / No. 14 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Nuggets hold a 101 rebound advantage over their opponents – 97 of them are OR’s.

No. 23 Washington Wizards (85)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 21
Abacus 12-week Rating: 23
Abacus 9-week Rating: 19
Abacus 6-week Rating: 20
3-week Abacus rating: 22]

22-27, .449; 5th in Southeast Division / 11th seed / 20th overall
KK:  -5; (11 Road Wins – 16 Home Losses) / No. 21 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -7; (.488 [18th] - .495 [18th]) / No. 19 overall
SPOR-t:  -27; (515 [24th] – 542 [16th]) / No. 23 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: The Wizards boasted the league’s second-best FG defense (.433) last season – now they are second-worst at .470.

No. 24 Minnesota Timberwolves (86)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 25
Abacus 12-week Rating: 25
Abacus 9-week Rating: 22
Abacus 6-week Rating: 18
3-week Abacus rating: 17]

16-37, .302; 5th in Northwest Division / 13th seed / 26th overall
KK:  -11; (8 Road Wins – 19 Home Losses) / No. 26 overall
CQ:  -1; (.505 [5th] - .506 [27th]) / No. 16 overall
SPOR-t:  -10; (552 [8th] – 562 [24th]) / No. 18 overall

Abacus Revelation: Minnesota’s -3.8 per game point differential happens at the three-point stripe, where they are -200 in makes.

No. 25 New Orleans Pelicans (94.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 22
Abacus 12-week Rating: 27
Abacus 9-week Rating: 28
Abacus 6-week Rating: 28
3-week Abacus rating: 29]

19-32, .373; 5th in Southwest Division / 12th seed / 25th overall
KK:  -6; (6 Road Wins – 12 Home Losses) / No. 25 overall
CQ:  -15; (.487 [19th] - .502 [21st]) / No. 24 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -19; (529 [23rd] – 548 [20th]) / No. 19 overall (tied)*

Abacus Revelation: During Weeks 11-15, the Pelicans improved their Offensive Rebounds from 8.5 to 11 per game.

No. 26 New York Knicks (95.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 23
Abacus 12-week Rating: 21
Abacus 9-week Rating: 25
Abacus 6-week Rating: 24
3-week Abacus rating: 20]

23-31, .426; 3rd in Atlantic Division / 12th seed / 21st overall
KK:  -5; (9 Road Wins – 14 Home Losses) / No. 21 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -20; (.486 [20th] - .506 [28th]) / No. 27 overall
SPOR-t:  -29; (542 [15th] – 571 [27th]) / No. 25 overall

Abacus Revelation: After yielding 38% on three-point shots last season (worst in the NBA), they’re currently No. 6 at .334.

No. 27 Brooklyn Nets (106)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 28
Abacus 12-week Rating: 26
Abacus 9-week Rating: 24
Abacus 6-week Rating: 22
3-week Abacus rating: 25]

14-39, .264; 4th in Atlantic Division / 14th seed / 27th overall (tied)
KK:  -16; (4 Road Wins – 20 Home Losses) / No. 29 overall
CQ:  -19; (.482 [24th] - .501 [20th]) / No. 26 overall
SPOR-t:  -27; (537 [17th] – 564 [25th]) / No. 23 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: After shooting just .321 from the three-point stripe for 12 weeks, the Nets decided to shoot .408 from distance for Weeks 13-15.

No. 28 Phoenix Suns (110)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 30
Abacus 12-week Rating: 28
Abacus 9-week Rating: 26
Abacus 6-week Rating: 21
3-week Abacus rating: 15]

14-39, .264; 4th in Pacific Division / 14th seed / 27th overall (tied)
KK:  -13; (4 Road Wins – 17 Home Losses) / No. 27 overall (tied)
CQ:  -38; (.472 [28th] - .510 [29th]) / No. 28 overall
SPOR-t:  -40; (515 [24th] – 555 [22nd]) / No. 27 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Suns have been out-shot .512 to .471 on two-point FG’s this season.

No. 29 Los Angeles Lakers (116.5)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 29
Abacus 12-week Rating: 29
Abacus 9-week Rating: 29
Abacus 6-week Rating: 29
3-week Abacus rating: 28]

11-43, .204; 5th in Pacific Division / 15th seed / 29th overall
KK:  -13; (5 Road Wins – 18 Home Losses) / No. 27 overall (tied)
CQ:  -54; (.465 [29th] - .519 [30th]) / No. 30 overall
SPOR-t:  -96; (498 [29th] – 594 [30th]) / No. 30 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Lakers have limited opponents to 30% three-point shooting over the last six weeks, down from 35% through 32 games.

No. 30 Philadelphia 76ers (118)
[ESPN 15-week Rating: 27
Abacus 12-week Rating: 30
Abacus 9-week Rating: 30
Abacus 6-week Rating: 30
3-week Abacus rating: 30]

8-44, .154; 5th in Atlantic Division / 15th seed / 30th overall
KK:  -17; (3 Road Wins – 20 Home Losses) / No. 30 overall
CQ:  -47; (.456 [30th] - .503 [23rd]) / No. 29 overall
SPOR-t:  -86; (471 [30th] – 557 [24th]) / No. 29 overall

Abacus Revelation: Over their last 19 games, the Sixers have averaged 99.8 points, up from 92.


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.