NBA Now Rankings as of 1/10/2011

I loved the last one I did of these. It was short, sweet and to the point.

Image courtesy of xkcd.com

We’ll imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Self-imitation though might be a bit questionable (at least in polite society). But what the hell, we’re on the internet.

As I’ve said before it’s a long season and things can change in an instant. Injuries,trades and just out and out flukes. So again my rankings are meant as a snapshot. That said, here’s my updated version of a power ranking for the NBA so far (games are current as of 01/08/2011):

Miami heads the pack again but Orlando has traded and played it’s way into contention. San Antonio and the MASH unit by the Charles Celtics struggle (for them). Chicago slows down their pace (but still kills it without arguably their best player in Noah, kudos to Mr. Rose for getting it done). Atlanta and Portland are starting to pick it up. While the Lakers and Mavs  start to look more like who I thought they were (i.e old).

The frisky bunch continues to be chaired by Memphis and now includes the recovering Warriors and the Dunkmeister in LA.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the MVP race. Where I make my pitch for sanity in our times.

Say no to Amare for MVP! (Although he's been pretty good)

 

34 Comments

  1. entityabyss
    1/10/2011
    Reply

    Finally, the warriors played a game having all of the important part of their roster. Hopefully, they can turn it up. It’s been unfair in the early going for them. Hopefully they stay healthy for the rest of the season. David lee still had and elbow pad, but seems to be able to shoot now.

    • 1/10/2011
      Reply

      EA,
      Can’t forecast a bite to the elbow.This coming homestand is going to be a referendum on this Team. The upcoming Lakers game is very intriguing.

      • some dude
        1/10/2011
        Reply

        again with the Lee excuse? He wasn’t doing that well before he got hurt. And that was against a weak schedule.

        Why hasn’t Bogut’s production fallen off as much, then? He can’t bend his arm/wrist correctly, but he’s at .22 WP48. Lee is at .100. Your own defensive adjustment post demonstrated how overrated Lee was. Why back off from it?

      • some dude
        1/13/2011
        Reply

        Well, the Lakers won again. Lee went for 14-7-6 with 2 steals on 7/13 shooting. I’m sure you think he played well.

        Of course, Lee defending all of the Laker bigs at some point.

        Lamar: 20-9-1 on 8/13
        Pau: 24-11-3 on 8/14
        Bynum: 11/14 on 4/11 with most of his scoring done with Lee on him (I know, I watched).

        And his help defense was so bad. so very bad. Quite a few of the laker putbacks were the result of Lee getting beat and his man coming over to help (like Biedrens) just enough to challenge but leave the other big to make the putback.

        But he’s a superstar! The Warriors had a chance to win because Ellis and Wright were hitting fallaway Js with taller guys in their grill all night. Quite a remarkable performance by Ellis, even though Kobe’s height punished him on the other end.

        Evanz, offensively Radman was pretty good. He even dunked on us. That’s a victory in and of itself. :(

  2. 1/10/2011
    Reply

    Some Dude,
    Neither was Lebron. Short stints are not the best ways to make assessments and in the NBA injuries matter a great deal even if some people don’t like it. (Sorry Portland)

  3. some dude
    1/11/2011
    Reply

    Neither was Lebron what? Lebron still put up big WP numbers with his so called elbow injuries.

    Lee stopped being able to rebound and began traveling more because of the arm bite?

    Before this season a bunch of us told y’all Lee’s impact is being overrated. No one believed us. It’s too bad this injury is giving an excuse.

    Is he considered completely healthy, now? Just curious cuz Blake Griffin seemed to emasculate him, so I figure you could add another injury to the excuse. :P

    • 1/11/2011
      Reply

      SD,
      As a Center his numbers are overrated (I’ve written this like 5 times) as PF they’re not (because he can’t really defend the 5 properly and I’ve said this before). So if The Warriors are healthy and Playing him at the 4. Voila! Massive improvement.

      Griffin does that to everybody.

      • EntityAbyss
        1/11/2011
        Reply

        Also, before he got his elbow injured pretty early on. He wasn’t scoring very efficiently, but was rebounding at a high rate. Lebron and Kevin Durant’s scoring efficiencies were low as well. Also, they’ve been dealing with injuries all season. They’re finally healthy. It’s 2011 and they’re finally healthy.

        • EntityAbyss
          1/11/2011
          Reply

          By they, I mean the warriors.

      • some dude
        1/11/2011
        Reply

        He can’t defend the 4 properly, either. Have you actually watched him defend 4s? He’s worse at it than 5s, because his major issue is lateral movement. Half the Cs in this league can’t score anyway, so he gets a pass. Against 4s, he’s really outmatched.

        Take note how his opp efg% is the same at PF and C. But PF are supposed to shoot worse than Cs, so this mean he’s worse at defending PFs. And that includes times when he has a help defender in Biedrens behind him.

        Entity – ever team has been dealing with injuries to main rotation players. Warriors are nt unique, here. Their lack of depth behind the main players just demonstrates how foolish the 50 win projections were. Of course, even fully healthy they were a 40 win team at best.

      • EvanZ
        1/11/2011
        Reply

        He can’t defend 4’s either.

        • 1/11/2011
          Reply

          This season it’s true.

          For 2009-2010 he could. I think it’s an interesting test case to monitor in terms of learning (which is kinda why I’ve done so :-)) . He’s one of those player’s that has real value in a specific circumstance (as a scoring/rebounding 4 next to a solid defensive 5 or in a solid team D). Get him out of that and his value drops dramatically. GSW would be well served at getting additional depth at the 5 (and preferably a defensive 5). They’re one of the teams that should evaluate taking a flier on Oden for the next season (with the caveat that they check him out in depth medically beforehand, they build insurance into the contract and they get actual insurance).

          • EvanZ
            1/11/2011
            Reply

            In 2009-10, Lee only played 3% of his minutes at PF.

            • 1/11/2011
              Reply

              Evan,
              It’s more like 5%. We’ll get a better sample the rest of this season.

          • EvanZ
            1/11/2011
            Reply

            ” He’s one of those player’s that has real value in a specific circumstance ”

            I suspect this is the rule for the NBA, not the exception. The vast majority of players are role players. Take them out of their specific role/team, and it’s a 50/50 shot at best that their production remains constant.

            • 1/11/2011
              Reply

              Evan,
              The trick is that it looks like a measurable phenomena. That means we can account for it and adjust in the future.

          • some dude
            1/11/2011
            Reply

            He played roughly 120 minutes of his total 3000+ minutes at PF. You’re making a joke post, right?

            He can’t play defense at all. The only way you can win with him is to put him on the Bucks/Bobcats type team where everyone else can play good D.

            The C you’re talking about works for guys like Boozer and Amar’e, who are weak defenders but can do some things, especially in help defense. Lee couldn’t defend against the French Army.

  4. jeff
    1/11/2011
    Reply

    Does the schedule adjustment take into account both opponents and game locations? I’m curious because I see that the Lakers get the biggest benefit from schedule adjustment, but I thought they (and the Knicks) had the easiest schedules so far (lowest opp winning %). I see Denver and Utah with the biggest negative adjustment and I’m assuming it’s related to the huge home-court (altitude) advantage they have that you have talked about in the past.

    • 1/11/2011
      Reply

      Jeff,
      I’m doing Schedule adjustment two ways. The straight schedule adjustment number (which accounts for Altitude and back to backs) and a game to game adjustment based on opponent at the player level. Weirdly enough it seems like I’m getting something very much like the ESPN supercomputers in Bristol. Funny that.

  5. 1/11/2011
    Reply

    I can’t believe you have the Washington Wizards over the Toronto Raptors. Where’s the logic in that? The Wizards have yet to win a road game and reach the ten win mark.

    • 1/11/2011
      Reply

      Jts,
      We’re arguing rat piss vs dog turds but the model prefers the Wizards recent play over the Raptors.

  6. stats_guy
    1/11/2011
    Reply

    All of ‘WoW-as-player-worth’ believers thought that Orlando move was a step backward. Turns out that Orlando improved (at least momentarily) and Marcin Gortat declined (at least his rebounding rate).

    DBerri will probably come up with an article that says ‘well new guys didn’t really improve, most of improvements can be attributed to Howard and Nelson, …’ or such naive analysis if Orlando can keep this up.

    • Ben R.
      1/11/2011
      Reply

      The subtraction of Rashard Lewis, and the insertion of Bass into the starting power forward spot pretty much explains it in my opinion (when discussing the trade people assumed Turkulo would play PF like he used to on the Magic, where he’s terrible since he can’t rebound, whereas at SF, which he’s playing now, he’s much more effective).

      • some dude
        1/11/2011
        Reply

        nope.

        According to 82games.com the original starting lineup of:

        Nelson-Carter-QRich-Lewis-Dwight was +2 efficiency in 153 minutes.
        Nelson-Jrich-Turk-Bass-Howard is -3 efficiency in 105 minutes so far.

        Bass in the game has been bad for Orlando to this point post-trade (I’m surprised about this too).

        Arenas lineups have done really well, on the other hand. So has Turk-Anderson lineups, it seems.

    • 1/11/2011
      Reply

      Stats Guy,
      Still love the name. Something going on in Orlando right now is Hedo is playing insanely well. I’d love to believe he will keep it up. . . .that said as he’s over 30 and his recent numbers trump his best season averages by a large margin I think it’s more likely he’ll cool down.

      I love sports talk but the key word is always sample size . At the end of the season we can look and see what happened. For now it’s fun to speculate but a short set of games does not prove things one way or the other . That said, I love discussing sports and small sample size won’t stop me from saying “The Nuggets are contenders!” after a two game winning streak.

      Also to clarify, you are coming to a blog on the same network as DJ to critique an article he hasn’t written yet? Interesting.

      • stats_guy
        1/11/2011
        Reply

        The point is you want to evaluate a player’s impact on a team when you evaluate trades. WoW inherently doesn’t tell you how a player achieves his production level. It only tells you what his production is in that particular setting. Based on simple statistics, DBerri has insisted that a team’s production level is a simple linear addition of all player WoWs for that season.

        This linear model of a team’s production is what needs to be criticized and refined. I’m just pointing out a couple among numerous instances where predictions of trade impact based on this simple model has failed.

        • 1/12/2011
          Reply

          SG,
          Not completely accurate ( see here) but fair. WP is a linear approximation for the most part (and a good one) but it does have limitations. This is why we continue to work on it (and other models).

          • some dude
            1/12/2011
            Reply

            gortat, pietrus, and vince have all been much worse in Phx. According to that article, they should have gotten better (Phx is a lot worse!).

            Hedo has been a superstar, basically (yeah, he won’t keep that up). J-Rich is the same and Arenas too. Despite the article, one could argue Hedo would have improved simply by not being played out of position (of course, not to this level).

            Small samples, of course. But it’s really starting to look like this trade could be the end of the Suns. They aren’t shooting the 3 like they used to without the spacing (uh, i called this) and the defense and rebounding are just as bad (Gortat said he was shocked how little the teams knows how to play D at all). If they don’t somewhat fix this soon, it will cost the team Nash IMO.

            Orlando is looking much more balanced, right now. Still need to see em against Miami, LAL, Spurs, and a healthy Boston (meaning KG + Rondo there).

            • 1/12/2011
              Reply

              SD,
              I might put something up on this but the players numbers haven’t changed as much as you would think after trade.

              • some dude
                1/13/2011

                which players? I checked out NN and saw Gortat’s and Turk’s numbers change a lot. Everyone else, not so much.

              • 1/13/2011

                I’ll put up a post on Orlando and Phoenix but the run charts show everyone stayed within what they’d done for the season (with Hedo going to his upper range). Gimme a few days.

              • some dude
                1/13/2011

                i guess it would make some sense as Turk’s position adjustment kicked in quite a bit, i suppose.

                Of course, this just goes to show you the weakness of WP in that area. It ranks Turk as a worse player than he really is because he’s playing out of position. That’s on the coach/team, not the player. So one would be incorrect in analyzing his true value to another team if it strictly went by WP48.

              • 1/13/2011

                SD,
                This is why we have ADJP48 for smarter analysis.

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