Thursday, November 5, 2009

Simple Rating System (SRS)

A team rating that takes into account average point differential and strength of schedule. The rating is denominated in points above/below average, where zero is average.

2009's top five
8.68 Cavaliers (66-16)
7.44 Celtics
7.11 Lakers
6.49 Magic
5.00 Blazers

2008's top five
9.31 Celtics (66-16)
7.34 Lakers
6.87 Jazz
6.67 Pistons
5.46 Hornets

1996's top five
11.80 Bulls (72-10)
7.39 Sonics
6.24 Jazz
5.98 Spurs
5.40 Magic

Why am I bringing up this rating? I figure it'd be interesting to see where the teams rank after only a week.

2010 Eastern Conference
16.48 Celtics (6-0)
8.01 Magic
6.36 Cavaliers
5.16 Heat
4.86 Hawks
2.23 Raptors
1.52 Wizards
-0.27 Bulls
-0.34 Pistons
-1.79 Sixers
-2.13 Bucks
-5.84 Pacers
-8.16 Bobcats
-11.52 Knicks
-12.95 Nets

2010 Western Conference
8.14 Nuggets
6.41 Spurs
5.16 Blazers
2.92 Suns
2.72 Rockets
2.33 Thunder
1.99 Lakers (4-1)
1.77 Mavericks
-2.99 Hornets
-4.27 Wolves
-4.53 Jazz
-6.14 Clippers
-6.16 Warriors
-6.50 Kings
-9.13 Grizzlies

The Celtics are destroying opponents and going by SRS it looks like they can legitimately challenge the Bulls 72 wins, as Rasheed Wallace predicted.

The Lakers on the other hand, have to be considered VERY fortunate to be 4-1. They have gone to OT their last two games against mediocre opponents, while also dropping a game to the Mavericks. They could very easily be 2-3 had a few things gone differently (or if the schedule were tougher). They are currently playing without Pau Gasol, which is obviously the reason for their struggles. It is very doubtful the Lakers will be able to keep winning without Gasol, and the sooner they get him back, the more likely they are to win the conference.

All in all, these rankings are actually pretty spot on regarding the team talent and where we'd expect them to finish. If I were told the east rankings were end of the season numbers, I'd believe it. The west is a little more topsy turvy, as aside from the Gasol-less Lakers, the Thunder & Rockets are surprising teams, while the Jazz are off to yet another slow start. The Grizzlies have the 3rd worst SRS despite all that offensive talent... they are dead last in Defensive Rating allowing 117.7 pts per 100 possessions. Boston on the other hand, is allowing only 90.4 pts per 100 possessions, which is nothing short of incredible. I picked them to win the title this year, and with this start, I have no reason to change my prediction.


Shelb said...

The Celtics, in a world without injuries, would no doubt IMO, beat or exceed 70 wins. However, I think Garnett's knee will start to show wear and tear, especially with Glen Davis out until Christmas. Regardless, the team, even with their age, is friggin' incredible and because of that I think they'll improve on the 66 wins (imagine last year's win total without the fatigue from the year before).

The East SRS looks pretty spot on, lower Heat down abit and looks pretty much exact.

The West is all weird so far this year. Nugget'll drop, Rockets will plummet, Thunder will lower some too (although look out for Durant, he's a beast). Lakers will rise, Hornets'll rise, Jazz'll rise. West is really too hard to say where everyone will be, though.

Interesting stats nonetheless, thanks.

What's everyone's predictions for this season?

Rashidi said...

I don't think KG is likely to show wear and tear playing only 28 mpg though. He's been taking it easy on the offensive end with all the weapons the Celtics have.

The Nuggets weren't bad last year, they were 6th in SRS I think, and JR Smith hasn't returned yet. Ty Lawson is an underrated pickup. As long as they stay healthy, they'll keep winning.

I think the Rockets are the real deal (at least as far as mediocre teams go) because Adelman is just that good a coach. Defensive teams will always win in the NBA, and they don't have bad offensive players (like the Bobcats).

Thunder are a young team and it wouldn't surprise me if they stuck.

Jazz have major injury and chemistry problems. All their swingmen are out indefinitely, while Boozer is shooting 35% and taking minutes from Millsap until he's traded.

Hornets are a 3 man team and essentially downgraded from last season. Okafor has been an upgrade over Chandler, but Morris Peterson is a major downgrade from Rasual Butler, and Julian Wright hasn't been able to make up for Peja's continued decline. They basically have the worst SG/SF tandem in the league which is tough to overcome, even with the top PG in the league (There's a reason Paul's had to increase his scoring load).

Rashidi said...

Meant to write more about the Thunder - they're a young team on the rise and have quite a bit of depth compared to years past. They're athletic 1-4, have some competent role players off the bench. They don't seem to have chemistry/injury issues that plague a similar team like the Warriors.

Shelb said...

I don't know how well KG's knee really is though. He's over 1100 games for his career, for a guy who averaged 38 minutes a game at his size: not looking good. As long as his minutes stay down, he'll be okay, but for how long? I still think the Celtics will dominate again this year, atleast until the post-season.

Nuggets will do well, but not as well as they are doing. Their WCF's berth wasn't a fluke. If this is the Spurs last real year as an elite team (Duncan's closing in on 1100 games, and the Spurs play the regular season like it's the playoffs, so it's 1100 hard played games), than I could see the Nuggets taking their spot as perennial contenders.

I really hope the Rockets make the playoffs. They'd be (as far as I know) the first Double Ewing Theory team in sports history. I love Battier, but other than him, that team needs serious work. They work hard though.

Jazz will stay the course until Boozer's traded and then find a way to win like they always do. Sloan is too good to have any team he coaches be bad.

Hornets I think will be better than last year but no where as good as two years ago. I looked at a box score of one of their games the other night and could no f'n believe HerPete was starting for them. His contract is insane and his game has disappeared since he left the Raptors. Not that he had much to begin with, but he was better than what he's become. Great guy though, but just not a good player anymore.

Thunder could surprise everyone and make the 8th seed this year. They're afew years from making that step though IMO. Durant is going to spend a good chunk of his career scoring 30-35 ppg and as he and his team mature they are going to be fantastic if they can keep the squad together and add a piece or too. Would surprise me if they made the jump this year, although not too much.