Thursday, February 4, 2016

NBA 2015-16: Second Quarter Ratings


The marathon that is an NBA season has its share of ups and downs. Nearly half the league (14 teams) rose or fell in the Quarterly rankings by at least eight positions.

The most significant surge was registered by the Houston Rockets, launching themselves 20 positions in the hierarchy. Sacramento (+16) and Milwaukee (+12) showed similar improvement.

The Charlotte Hornets suffered the biggest fall, dropping 16 spots. They were joined on the Humpty-Dumpty list by the Pacers (-13), Jazz (-13) and Magic (-11).

Curiously, despite all this upheaval, the statistical production of the average NBA team showed minimal change from Quarter 1 to Quarter 2.


Q1                     <>                     Q2
36.9 – 83.5 (.442)    [FG’s]    37.7 – 83.3 (.453)
8.18 – 23.6 (.348)    [3FG’s]    8.33 – 23.4 (.356)
17.8 – 23.5 (.757)    [FT’s]    16.9 – 22.4 (.755)
10.4 – 43.8 (.238)    [OR’s/TR’s (OR%)]    10.3 – 42.9 (.240)
15.0 (.151)    [TO’s (TO’s/Poss.)]    14.2 (.145)
99.8    [PPG]    100.7
.282    [3FG usage (3FGA/FGA)]    .281


These rankings reflect play during Weeks 7-12, (Dec. 8 – Jan. 18).

An explanation of the Grading Criteria is found below.

This data reflect play during Weeks 7-12, (Dec. 8 – Jan. 18).

First Quarter ratings are available here.


No. 1 San Antonio Spurs (7.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 1]

18-2, .900; 1st in Southwest Division / 1st seed / 1st overall
KK:  +5; (5 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall (tied)
CQ:  +73; (.538 [2nd] - .465 [1st]) / No. 1 overall
SPOR-t:  +142; (615 [2nd] – 473 [1st]) / No. 1 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Spurs were the only team to shoot FG’s over 50% (.506) during Quarter 2.

No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder (10.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 4]

18-4, .818; 1st in Northwest Division / 2nd seed / 2nd overall
KK:  +5; (7 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 4 overall (tied)
CQ:  +63; (.539 [1st] - .476 [4th]) / No. 2 overall
SPOR-t:  +88; (636 [1st] – 548 [17th]) / No. 2 overall

Abacus Revelation: OKC improved their team defense by 4.5 points per game from Quarter 1 to Quarter 2.

No. 3 Cleveland Cavaliers (14)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 6]

15-4, .789; 1st in Central Division / 1st seed / 4th overall
KK:  +8; (9 Road Wins – 1 Home Loss) / No. 1 overall
CQ:  +25; (.500 [10th] - .475 [3rd]) / No. 5 overall
SPOR-t:  +65; (569 [7th] – 504 [2nd]) / No. 4 overall  

Abacus Revelation: After outscoring opponents by 3.9 ppg in Quarter 1, the Cavs upped the ante to 6.8 ppg during Weeks 7-12.

No. 4 Golden State Warriors (16)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 2]

16-4, .800; 1st in Pacific Division / 3rd seed / 3rd overall
KK:  +7; (7 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 2 overall (tied)
CQ:  +30; (.512 [4th] - .482 [8th]) / No. 3 overall
SPOR-t:  +25; (565 [9th] – 540 [10th]) / No. 7 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: Though the raw numbers are comparable, the Warriors’ Offensive Rebounding percentage (.262 to .231) and rank (No. 4 to 19) dipped in Quarter 2.

No. 5 Toronto Raptors (21)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 3]

13-6, .684; 1st in Atlantic Division / 2nd seed / 6th overall
KK:  +4; (6 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 6 overall
CQ:  +26; (.498 [12th] - .472 [2nd]) / No. 4 overall
SPOR-t:  +35; (543 [15th] – 508 [3rd]) / No. 5 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Raptors ranked Top Three in multiple defensive measures, including points per game, for Quarter 2.

No. 6 Los Angeles Clippers (29.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 15]

15-5, .750; 2nd in Pacific Division /4th seed / 5th overall
KK:  +7; (9 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 2 overall (tied)
CQ:  +16; (.508 [8th] - .492 [17th]) / No. 10 overall
SPOR-t:  +6; (548 [12th] – 542 [14th]) / No.  12 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Clippers’ three- point shooting improved from No 24 (.326) to No. 2 (.397) during the season’s second session.

No. 7 Detroit Pistons (41)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 7]

10-9, .526; 3rd in Central Division / 5th seed / 12th overall

KK:  -1; (4 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 18 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +19; (.509 [6th] - .490 [13th]) / No. 7 overall
SPOR-t:  +69; (609 [3rd] – 540 [10th]) / No. 3 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Pistons increased their per-game scoring by 6.8 points during Quarter 2.

No. 7 Houston Rockets (41)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 27]

12-10, .545; 2nd in Southwest Division / 6th seed / 10th overall (tied)
KK:  +2; (5 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +17; (.508 [7th] - .491 [14th]) / No. 8 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -2; (547 [13th] – 549 [18th]) / No. 13 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Rockets held the other guys to four fewer points per game in Quarter 2.

No.9 Sacramento Kings (41.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 25]

10-8, .556; 3rd in Pacific Division / 5th seed / 9th overall
KK:  +1; (5 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +22; (.510 [5th] - .488 [12th]) / No. 6 overall
SPOR-t:  -3; (538 [18th] – 541 [13th]) / No. 14 overall

Abacus Revelation: The puzzling Kings scored 108 points per game in Quarter 2 despite squandering over 24 every game between turnovers and missed FT’s.

No. 10 Memphis Grizzlies (44)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 15]

12-10, .545; 2nd in Southwest Division / 6th seed / 10th overall (tied)
KK:  0; (3 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 15 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +17; (.498 [11th] - .481 [6th]) / No. 8 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +24; (552 [11th] – 528 [5th]) / No. 9 overall
Abacus Revelation: During the season’s second quarter, Memphis increased its rate of converting possessions from 48 to 50 percent.


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 (Bold indicates First Quarter Mastery):

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


No. 11 Atlanta Hawks (54)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 14]

12-8, .600; 1st in Southeast Division / 3rd seed / 7th overall
KK:  +2; (5 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +2; (.489 [17th] - .487 [10th]) / No. 13 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  -32; (512 [26th] – 544 [15th]) / No. 24 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Hawks’ already poor rebounding ranks slipped in Quarter 2:  No. 25-30 for offense, No. 23-28 for defense.

No. 12 Chicago Bulls (55)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 17]

13-9, .591; 2nd in Central Division / 4th seed / 8th overall
KK:  0; (4 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 15 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -4; (.488 [18th] - .492 [18th]) / No. 16 overall
SPOR-t:  -4; (573 [6th] – 577 [25th]) / No. 15 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Bulls grabbed three more offensive rebounds per game during Quarter 2 – while improving their FG%.

No. 12 Miami Heat (55)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 7]

11-11, .500; 2nd in Southeast Division / 7th seed / 15th overall
KK:  +2; (6 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 8 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +2; (.489 [16th] - .487 [11th]) / No. 13 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  -11; (529 [21st] – 540 [10th]) / No. 17 overall  

Abacus Revelation: After holding opponents to .412 shooting for the first six weeks, their defense yielded a .450 rate for Quarter 2.

No. 14 Milwaukee Bucks (55.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 26]

9-12, .429; 5th in Central Division / 12th seed / 21st overall
KK:  +1; (4 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +8; (.516 [3rd] - .508 [22nd]) / No. 11 overall
SPOR-t:  +12; (592 [4th] – 580 [26th]) / No. 11 overall  

Abacus Revelation: During Weeks 7-12, the Bucks shot better (.475-.455) and improved their OR% (.266-.231) while improving per-game scoring by nearly five points.

No. 15 Boston Celtics (59.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 10]

10-11, .476; 3rd in Atlantic Division / 8th seed / 16th overall (tied)
KK:  -1; (5 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 18 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +2; (.484 [22nd] - .482 [7th]) / No. 13 overall (tied)*
SPOR-t:  +14; (544 [14th] – 530 [6th]) / No. 10 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Celtics FG held opponents to .422 FG shooting in Quarter 2, league-best.

No. 16 New York Knicks (60.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 24]

11-10, .524; 2nd in Atlantic Division / 6th seed / 13th overall (tied)
KK:  +3; (4 Road Wins – 1 Home Loss) / No. 7 overall
CQ:  -6; (.504 [9th] - .510 [23rd]) / No. 17 overall
SPOR-t:  -30; (563 [10th] – 593 [29th]) / No. 23 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Knicks placed dead last in forcing turnovers during Quarter 2, barely one for every nine opponent possessions.

No. 17 Portland Trail Blazers (65)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 19]

10-12, .455; 2nd in Northwest Division / 9th seed / 18th overall (tied)
KK:  +1; (5 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -28; (.487 [19th] - .515 [28th]) / No. 26 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +25; (569 [7th] – 544 [15th]) / No. 7 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: The Blazers ranked Top Five in both offensive and defensive rebounding in Quarter 2.

No. 18 Indiana Pacers (65.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 5]

10-12, .455; 4th in Central Division / 10th seed / 18th overall (tied)
KK:  -1; (3 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 18 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +7; (.486 [20th] - .479 [5th]) / No. 12 overall
SPOR-t:  -9; (527 [22nd] – 536 [8th]) / No. 16 overall

Abacus Revelation: The league’s second-best three-point shooters (.401) at the six-week mark were second-worst (.315) in Quarter 2.

No. 19 New Orleans Pelicans (75)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 28]

8-11, .421; 5th in Southwest Division / 10th seed / 22nd overall
KK:  +1; (4 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall (tied)**
CQ:  -11; (.481 [24th] - .492 [16th]) / No. 19 overall
SPOR-t:  -23; (510 [27th] – 533 [10th]) / No. 21 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: After surrendering a league-worst 108 ppg in Quarter 1, the Pelicans yielded but 101.8 (No. 12) during the second six weeks.

No. 20 Denver Nuggets (76)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 23]

8-12, .400; 3rd in Northwest Division / 11th seed / 23rd overall
KK:  -3; (3 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 23 overall
CQ:  -17; (.495 [14th] - .512 [25th]) / No. 24 overall
SPOR-t:  +27; (585 [5th] – 558 [22nd]) / No. 6 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Nuggets averaged four more offensive rebounds per game than their opponents during Quarter 2.

No. 20 Washington Wizards (76)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 20]

10-11, .476; 3rd in Southeast Division / 8th seed / 16th overall (tied)
KK:  -2; (5 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 21 overall (tied)
CQ:  -9; (.491 [15th] - .500 [21st]) / No. 18 overall
SPOR-t:  -20; (532 [20th] – 552 [19th]) / No. 20 overall

Abacus Revelation: Oddly, after attempting four more FG’s per game in Quarter  1, the Wizards took four fewer shots a game during Weeks 7-12.


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, Phoenix, Portland
3FG%: Denver
OR%: Atlanta
TO%: Brooklyn, Miami


No. 22 Dallas Mavericks (80)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 13]

11-10, .524; 4th in Southwest Division / 8th seed / 13th overall (tied)
KK:  0; (4 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 15 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -20; (.474 [26th] - .494 [19th]) / No. 25 overall
SPOR-t:  -39; (514 [25th] – 553 [20th]) / No. 25 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: The Mavs wasted (through missed FT’s and TO’s) the league’s fewest points per game (17.19) during Quarter 2.

No. 23 Orlando Magic (81.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 12]

9-11, .450; 4th in Southeast Division / 11th seed / 20th overall
KK:  -2; (4 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 21 overall (tied)
CQ:  -14; (.477 [25th] - .491 [15th]) / No. 21 overall
SPOR-t:  -18; (518 [23rd] – 536 [8th]) / No. 19

Abacus Revelation: The Magic were the league’s lowest scoring team (95.6 ppg) during Quarter 2, down by six from their first quarter output.

No. 24 Utah Jazz (86.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 11]

9-14, .391; 4th in Northwest Division / 12th seed / 24th overall
KK:  -4; (1 Road Win – 5 Home Losses) / No. 24 overall (tied)
CQ:  -13; (.486 [21st] - .499 [20th]) / No. 20 overall
SPOR-t:  -17; (539 [17th] – 556 [21st]) / No. 18 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Jazz notched four road wins in their first ten games of the season – but only two since.

No. 25 Charlotte Hornets (93.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 9]

7-14, .333; 5th in Southeast Division / 13th seed / 25th overall
KK:  -4; (1 Road Win – 5 Home Losses) / No. 24 overall (tied)
CQ:  -16; (.470 [28th] - .486 [9th]) / No. 22 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -23; (494 [30th] – 517 [4th]) / No. 21 overall  (tied)

Abacus Revelation: Hornets allowed the opposition 10 successful three-pointers per game in Quarter 2, only 8.5 per in Quarter 1.

No. 26 Minnesota Timberwolves (105)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 18]

5-17, .227; 5th in Northwest Division / 14th seed / 28th overall
KK:  -7; (1 Road Win – 8 Home Losses) / No. 29 overall
CQ:  -16; (.496 [13th] - .512 [26th]) / No. 22 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -39; (541 [16th] – 580 [26th]) / No. 25 overall (tied)

Abacus Revelation: Minnesota dropped from No. 7 to 25 in Defensive Rebounding in Quarter 2.

No. 27 Brooklyn Nets (110)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 22]

6-16, .273; 4th in Atlantic Division / 14th seed / 26th overall (tied)
KK:  -8; (3 Road Wins – 11 Home Losses) / No. 30 overall
CQ:  -28; (.482 [23rd] - .510 [24th]) / No. 26 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -47; (538 [18th] – 585 [28th]) / No. 27 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Nets lost 11 of 14 home games during Quarter 2.

No. 28 Philadelphia 76ers (112.5)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 30]

4-17, .190; 5th in Atlantic Division / 15th seed / 30th overall
KK:  -5; (2 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 26 overall (tied)
CQ:  -41; (.474 [27th] - .515 [27th]) / No. 28 overall
SPOR-t:  -55; (509 [28th] – 564 [24th]) / No. 28 overall

Abacus Revelation: The 76ers increased their per-game scoring by seven points during Quarter 2.

No. 29 Los Angeles Lakers (113)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 29]

6-16, .273; 4th in Pacific Division / 13th seed / 26th overall (tied)
KK:  -5; (2 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 26 overall (tied)
CQ:  -53; (.470 [29th] - .523 [30th]) / No. 30 overall
SPOR-t:  -94; (517 [14th] – 611 [30th]) / No. 30 overall

Abacus Revelation: Very last in Defensive Rebounding and second-to-last in shooting defense is indeed a deadly duo.

No. 30 Phoenix Suns (115)
[First Quarter Abacus rating: 21]

4-16, .200; 5th in Pacific Division / 15th seed / 29th overall
KK:  -6; (0 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 28 overall
CQ:  -52; (.469 [30th] - .521 [29th]) / No. 29 overall
SPOR-t:  -59; (504 [29th] – 563 [23rd]) / No. 29 overall

Abacus Revelation: The Suns fell to No 22 in per-game scoring (98.4) after standing No. 3 (105.5) for Quarter 1.


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.