Monday, March 14, 2016

NBA 2015-16: Third Quarter Ratings

Last season, NBA offensive production went into hibernation during the third six-weeks of play; the FG shooting of 18 teams (60% of the league) dipped to its lowest level during this stretch while nearly half the league (13 squads) was playing its best FG defense to that point.




This season, it’s the defense that seems to have taken an extended February snooze. In the matter of points per game, 21 teams (70%) posted their best number during Quarter 3 while a whopping 22 were yielding points to the opposition most liberally

The pace of play increased by a half dozen or so possessions per game. The average team took nearly six more shots per game, making 2.5 of them. Here are the dirty details. (A similar breakdown for Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 is included with the Second Quarter Ratings.)

Weeks 1 - 12       <>       Weeks 13 - 18
37.3 – 83.4 (.447) [FG’s] 40.8 – 89.1 (.458)
8.26 – 23.5 (.352) [3FG’s] 8.89 – 25.0 (.356)
17.3 – 22.9 (.756) [FT’s] 19.3 – 25.5 (.756)
10.4 – 43.4 (.239) [OR’s/TR’s (OR%)] 10.8 – 45.8 (.235)
14.6 (.148) [TO’s (TO’s/Poss.)] 14.7 (.140)
100.2 [PPG] 109.7
.282 [3FG usage (3FGA/FGA)] .281

These rankings reflect play during Weeks 13-18, (Jan. 19– Mar. 2).

An explanation of the Grading Criteria is found below.

First and Second Quarter ratings are also available – also a full-season ranking thru 18 weeks.


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

15-3, .833; 1st in Southwest Division / 2nd seed / 2nd overall
KK:  +10; (10 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 1 overall (tied)
CQ:  +43; (.526 [4th] - .483 [5th]) / No. 1 overall
SPOR-t:  +48; (575 [7th] – 527 [7th]) / No. 3 overall
Abacus Revelation: During Weeks 7-18, the Spurs shot FG’s at a .501 clip.

No. 2 Golden State Warriors (15)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 4
First Quarter Abacus rating: 2]

16-1, .941; 1st in Pacific Division / 1st seed / 1st overall
KK:  +10; (10 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 1 overall (tied)
CQ:  +22; (.515 [7th] - .493 [8th]) / No. 5 overall
SPOR-t:  +37; (572 [8th] – 535 [10th]) / No. 7 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation: The Warriors improved their Defensive Rebounding rank to No. 11 in Q3.

No. 3 Boston Celtics (25)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 15
First Quarter Abacus rating: 10]

15-5, .750; 2nd in Atlantic Division / 2nd seed / 5th overall
KK:  +5; (5 Road Wins – Home Losses) / No. 4 overall
CQ:  +8; (.508 [13th] - .500 [13th]) / No. 12 overall
SPOR-t:  +47; (586 [5th] – 539 [12th]) / No. 4 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Celtics were the third-highest scoring team in Q3 despite ranking No. 17 & 18 in FG and 3FG shooting, respectively.

No. 4 Miami Heat (26)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 12
First Quarter Abacus rating: 7]

11-8, .579; 2nd in Southeast Division / 5th seed / 11th overall
KK:  +3; (7 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 9 overall
CQ:  +26; (.510 [11th] - .484 [6th]) / No. 4 overall
SPOR-t:  +60; (566 [10th] – 506 [1st]) / No. 2 overall  
Abacus Revelation: The Heat were best in the league in protecting their defensive backboard in Q3.

No. 5 Portland Trail Blazers (27)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 17
First Quarter Abacus rating: 19]

14-4, .778; 1st in Northwest Division / 3rd seed / 3rd overall (tied)
KK:  +2; (5 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 10 overall
CQ:  +19; (.513 [8th] - .494 [9th]) / No. 6 overall
SPOR-t:  +37; (584 [6th] – 547 [15th]) / No. 7 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation: After ranking last (.397) in 3FG defense in Q2, the Blazers rose to No. 10 (.339) in Q3.

No. 6 Los Angeles Clippers (28)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 5
First Quarter Abacus rating: 15]

13-6, .684; 2nd in Pacific Division /5th seed / 8th overall (tied)
KK:  +4; (7 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +42; (.513 [9th] - .471 [2nd]) / No. 2 overall
SPOR-t:  +27; (537 [20th] – 510 [3rd]) / No.  11 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Clippers ranked No. 2 in both points allowed (98.4) and FG defense (.431) during the season’s third session.

No. 7 Toronto Raptors (29)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 5
First Quarter Abacus rating: 3]

14-4, .778; 1st in Atlantic Division / 1st seed / 3rd overall (tied)
KK:  +4; (4 Road Wins – 0 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +18; (.534 [2nd] - .516 [23rd]) / No. 7 overall
SPOR-t:  +24; (592 [3rd] – 568 [21st]) / No. 12 overall
Abacus Revelation: In Q1, the Raptors were No. 20 in FG shooting and No. 7 in FG defense; in Q3, they were No. 7 in FG shooting and No. 21 in FG defense. Huh?

No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies (32)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 10
First Quarter Abacus rating: 15]

12-5, .706; 2nd in Southwest Division / 4th seed / 6th overall
KK: +4; (6 Road Wins – 2 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +30; (.527 [3rd] - .497 [11th]) / No. 3 overall
SPOR-t:  +6; (561 [14th] – 555 [17th]) / No. 16 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation: The surprising Grizzlies shot .482 from the field (No. 3) in Q3 after wallowing at .432 over the season’s first 12 weeks.

No. 9 Cleveland Cavaliers (33)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 3
First Quarter Abacus rating: 6]

14-6, .700; 1st in Central Division / 3rd seed / 7th overall
KK:  +1; (4 Road Wins – 3 Home Loss) / No. 11 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +14; (.516 [6th] - .502 [16th]) / No. 9 overall
SPOR-t:  +40; (591 [4th] – 551 [16th]) / No. 5 overall  
Abacus Revelation: The Cavs reduced their TO rate to about one every eight possession during Q3.

No. 10 Oklahoma City Thunder (35.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 2
First Quarter Abacus rating: 4]

12-7, .632; 2nd in Northwest Division / 6th seed / 10th overall
KK:  +4; (7 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 5 overall (tied)**
CQ:  +2; (.524 [5th] - .522 [26th]) / No. 18 overall
SPOR-t:  +63; (644 [1st] – 581 [24th]) / No. 1 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Thunder forced a TO on only one in nine opponent possessions in Q3, second worst in the league.


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 & Second Quarter Mastery):

FG%: Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, San Antonio
3FG%: Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Portland, San Antonio
OR%: Indiana, Utah
TO%: Boston, LA Clippers, Memphis, New Orleans, Washington


No. 11 Charlotte Hornets (43)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 25
First Quarter Abacus rating: 9]

13-6, .684; 1st in Southeast Division / 3th seed / 8th overall (tied)
KK:  +7; (8 Road Wins – 1 Home Loss) / No. 3 overall
CQ:  +6; (.483 [26th] - .477 [3rd]) / No. 13 overall
SPOR-t:  +3; (509 [27th] – 506 [1st]) / No. 18 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation: The Hornets played the three game to perfection in Q3, ranking No. 6 at both ends of the floor.

No. 12 Indiana Pacers (47.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 18
First Quarter Abacus rating: 5]

10-10, .500; 2nd in Central Division / 7th seed / 15th overall (tied)
KK:  0; (5 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 14 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +9; (.491 [24th] - .482 [4th]) / No. 11 overall
SPOR-t:  +38; (550 [16th] – 512 [4th]) / No. 6 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Pacers have been a steadily improving defensive rebounding team – from No. 25, to No. 16, to No. 9 – as the season has progressed.

No. 13 Utah Jazz (52.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 24
First Quarter Abacus rating: 11]

10-9, .526; 3rd in Northwest Division / 7th seed / 13th overall (tied)
KK:  0; (3 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 14 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +5; (.504 [18th] - .499 [12th]) / No. 14 overall
SPOR-t:  +33; (566 [10th] – 533 [8th]) / No. 10 overall
Abacus Revelation: The scrappy Jazz allowed opponents a league-best 97.4 ppp in Q3.

No. 14 Detroit Pistons (58.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 7
First Quarter Abacus rating: 7]

9-11, .450; 3rd in Central Division / 8th seed / 17th overall

KK:  +1; (5 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +3; (.510 [10th] - .507 [20th]) / No. 16 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +13; (555 [15th] – 542 [13th]) / No. 13 overall
Abacus Revelation: The league’s top OR team in Q2 lagged to No. 15 in Q3.

No. 15 Washington Wizards (60)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 20
First Quarter Abacus rating: 20]

11-9, .550; 3rd in Southeast Division / 6th seed / 12th overall
KK:  +1; (4 Road Wins – 3 Home Losses) / No. 11 overall (tied)*
CQ:  +4; (.500 [20th] - .496 [10th]) / No. 15 overall
SPOR-t:  -2; (519 [26th] – 521 [6th]) / No. 21 overall
Abacus Revelation: During Q3, the Wizards lowered their opponents’ OR% fr0m .239 (N0. 14) to .213 (No. 6).

No. 16 New Orleans Pelicans (63)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 19
First Quarter Abacus rating: 28]

10-9, .526; 3rd in Southwest Division / 7th seed / 13th overall (tied)
KK:  -2; (2 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 19 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +1; (.507 [16th] - .506 [18th]) / No. 19 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +35; (569 [9th] – 534 [9th]) / No. 9 overall
Abacus Revelation: Opponents feasted on some porous Pelican “D” to shoot .481 (No. 28) in Q3.

No. 17 Milwaukee Bucks (68.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 14
First Quarter Abacus rating: 26]

7-11, .389; 4th in Central Division / 10th seed / 21st overall
KK:  -2; (2 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 19 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +17; (.508 [14th] - .491 [7th]) / No. 8 overall
SPOR-t:  +3; (564 [12th] – 561 [19th]) / No. 18 overall  (tied)
Abacus Revelation: From Q2 to Q3, Milwaukee improved its defensive ranking in FG% (No. 22 to No. 3) and 3FG% (No. 21 to 14).

No. 18 Minnesota Timberwolves (72)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 26
First Quarter Abacus rating: 18]

6-13, .316; 5th in Northwest Division / 13th seed / 24th overall (tied)
KK:  -2; (2 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 19 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +10; (.539 [1st] - .529 [28th]) / No. 10 overall
SPOR-t:  +6; (606 [2nd] – 600 [28th]) / No. 16 overall (tied)
Abacus Revelation: The T’wolves posted an impressive .276 OR% (No.2) in Q3.

No. 19 Sacramento Kings (73.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 9
First Quarter Abacus rating: 25]

7-12, .368; 3rd in Pacific Division / 12th seed / 22nd overall
KK:  -2; (3 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 19 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +3; (.504 [17th] - .501 [15th]) / No. 16 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  +9; (564 [12th] – 555 [17th]) / No. 14 overall
Abacus Revelation: Sacramento ranked dead last in points allowed (112.2) and 3FG defense (.395) in Q3.

No. 20 Atlanta Hawks (80.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 11
First Quarter Abacus rating: 14]

8-11, .421; 4th in Southeast Division / 9th seed / 19th overall
KK:  -1; (4 Road Wins – 5 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)
CQ:  0; (.464 [29th] - .464 [1st]) / No. 21 overall
SPOR-t:  -35; (482 [29th] – 517 [5th]) / No. 23 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Hawks played the league’s best FG defense (.422) in Q3.

No. 20 Denver Nuggets (80.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 20
First Quarter Abacus rating: 23]

8-12, .400; 4th in Northwest Division / 11th seed / 20th overall
KK:  -2; (4 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 19 overall (tied)***
CQ:  +1; (.501 [19th] - .500 [13th]) / No. 19 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  0; (538 [19th] – 538 [11th]) / No. 20 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Nuggets have improved their point differential – from -5.8, to -2.3, to 0.9 – during each six-week segment of the season.


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%: Detroit, Houston, LA Lakers, Orlando
3FG%: Houston, Miami, Minnesota, New York, Phoenix
OR%: Atlanta, Brooklyn, Dallas, Memphis, Philadelphia
TO%: Oklahoma City


No. 22 Houston Rockets (81.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 7
First Quarter Abacus rating: 27]

8-10, .444; 5th in Southwest Division / 10th seed / 18th overall
KK:  +0; (4 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 14 overall (tied)*
CQ:  -7; (.507 [15th] - .514 [22th]) / No. 23 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -42; (536 [21st] – 578 [23rd]) / No. 25 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Rockets forced a TO on one in six opponent possessions in Q3, best in the league.

No. 23 Orlando Magic (87.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 23
First Quarter Abacus rating: 12]

7-13, .350; 5th in Southeast Division / 11th seed / 23rd overall
KK:  -4; (2 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 24 overall (tied)
CQ:  -14; (.492 [23rd] - .506 [17th]) / No. 25 overall
SPOR-t:  +7; (550 [15th] – 543 [14th]) / No. 15
Abacus Revelation: The Magic yielded almost 11 ppg more in Q3 than in Q2.

No. 24 Dallas Mavericks (89)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 22
First Quarter Abacus rating: 13]

9-9, .500; 4th in Southwest Division / 9th seed / 15th overall (tied)
KK:  -4; (2 Road Wins – 6 Home Losses) / No. 24 overall (tied)
CQ:  -2; (.510 [12th] - .512 [21st]) / No. 22 overall
SPOR-t:  -56; (536 [21st] – 592 [27th]) / No. 27 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Mavs posted a league-best .113 TO% in Q3.

No. 25 Chicago Bulls (94.5)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 12
First Quarter Abacus rating: 17]

6-14, .300; 5th in Central Division / 13th seed / 26th overall
KK:  -1; (3 Road Wins – 4 Home Losses) / No. 17 overall (tied)
CQ:  -39; (.482 [27th] - .521 [25th]) / No. 27 overall
SPOR-t:  -41; (546 [18th] – 587 [26th]) / No. 24 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Bulls’ No. 1 FG defense (.423) fell to No. 16 (.460) during Q3.

No. 26 Brooklyn Nets (100)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 27
First Quarter Abacus rating: 22]

6-13, .316; 3rd in Atlantic Division / 12th seed / 24th overall (tied)
KK:  -5; (2 Road Wins – 7 Home Losses) / No. 26 overall
CQ:  -7; (.499 [21st] - .506 [19th]) / No. 23 overall (tied)
SPOR-t:  -51; (535 [23th] – 586 [25th]) / No. 26 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Nets surprisingly were the league’s third-best three-point shooters (.398) in Q3.
No. 27 New York Knicks (104)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 16
First Quarter Abacus rating: 24]

4-15, .211; 4th in Atlantic Division / 14th seed / 27th overall
KK:  -9; (1 Road Win – 10 Home Losses) / No. 29 overall
CQ:  -31; (.486 [25th] - .517 [24th]) / No. 26 overall
SPOR-t:  -33; (533 [24th] – 566 [20th]) / No. 22 overall
Abacus Revelation: Through 12 weeks, the Knicks were No. 3 in defending treys (.320) – in Q3, they were No. 29 (.387).

No. 28 Los Angeles Lakers (114)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 29
First Quarter Abacus rating: 29]

3-16, .158; 4th in Pacific Division / 14th seed / 29th overall
KK:  -6; (1 Road Win – 7 Home Losses) / No. 27 overall
CQ:  -54; (.494 [22nd] - .548 [30th]) / No. 29 overall
SPOR-t:  -96; (526 [25th] – 622 [30th]) / No. 29 overall
Abacus Revelation: The Lakers forced a mere 10 TO’s a game in Q3.

No. 28 Philadelphia 76ers (114)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 28
First Quarter Abacus rating: 30]

3-15, .167; 5th in Atlantic Division / 15th seed / 28th overall
KK:  -7; (1 Road Win – 8 Home Losses) / No. 28 overall
CQ:  -52; (.475 [28th] - .527 [27th]) / No. 28 overall
SPOR-t:  -128; (479 [30th] – 607 [29th]) / No. 30 overall
Abacus Revelation: The 76ers’ rebounding bottomed out during Q3, No. 29 in OR’s, dead last on “D”.
No. 30 Phoenix Suns (118)
[Second Quarter Abacus rating: 30
First Quarter Abacus rating: 21]

2-16, .111; 5th in Pacific Division / 15th seed / 30th overall
KK:  -10; (0 Road Wins – 10 Home Losses) / No. 30 overall
CQ:  -68; (.462 [30th] - .530 [29th]) / No. 30 overall
SPOR-t:  -67; (506 [28th] – 573 [22nd]) / No. 28 overall
Abacus Revelation: The league’s third-best three-point shooters in Q1 plummeted to No. 28 in Q3.


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.