I know it's still early in the NBA season, but after about 7 games for each team, the eastern conference looks like an absolute joke. I've ranked each team using SRS (Simple Rating System), which basically weighs point differential and opponent quality.
Only 5 teams in the east have a positive SRS rating, while there are 9 teams in the west with a positive rating. The Raptors are the 8th best east team with -2.89 SRS and there are 11 teams in the west that post a better rating than that. The Warriors are 9th in the west with a 1.96 rating, but would rank 4th in the east.
Based on SRS, the Lakers/Heat Finals we've been predicting all summer seems inevitable pending any serious injuries. And while it is early, it's worth noting that the Celtics were the dominant SRS team early last season, and look where they ended up.
What does this have to do with 2K rosters? Well, SRS is usually a bit more useful than the actual standings. For instance, the Rockets are 6th in the west with a 3.81 SRS rating despite a 1-5 record. They have had an EXTREMELY difficult schedule, and their losses have been close.
2 point road loss to Lakers (13.80)
4 point road loss to Warriors (1.96) (No Yao)
13 point home loss to Nuggets (11.31)
8 point home loss to Hornets (10.11)
3 point road loss to Spurs (4.84) (No Yao)
26 point home win to Wolves (-15.15)
The Rockets faced 4 of the top 5 teams in the conference and played them competitively. When they played the league's worst team, they smashed them. Their next game is against the Wizards (the 2nd worst team in the league), followed by the Pacers, so one would think they'd be set to build some momentum (injury to Aaron Brooks notwithstanding).
The Rockets are obviously a better team than the 1-6 Wolves, who are getting blown out in every game. Win-Loss record doesn't paint that picture. Aside from the 26 point drubbing by Houston, they've also been blown out by 32 by Miami and 42 by Orlando. Not all losses are created equally. SRS indicates Houston should be a playoff team so long as they maintain their current level of production, while Minnesota doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell.
What does this have to do with 2K Ratings?
I'm still working on getting my roster back to where it was one month ago, but I still feel it is worth it to make comparisons between team ratings in my roster, and the current SRS rankings.
84.5 Jazz (85-84-81)
82.5 Lakers (89-76-83)
82.5 Thunder (88-77-82)
80.5 Spurs (83-78-81)
80.0 Nuggets (76-84-75)
78.0 Mavericks (81-75-75)
78.0 Grizzlies (73-83-76)
76.0 Blazers (79-73-76)
75.0 Suns (70-80-73)
74.5 Warriors (70-79-74)
72.0 Rockets (72-72-74)
72.0 Clippers (76-68-70)
71.0 Kings (70-72-72)
71.0 Hornets (67-75-70)
61.0 Wolves (61-61-66)
87.0 Celtics (91-83-83)
85.5 Heat (90-81-83)
84.5 Magic (89-80-84)
83.5 Bucks (90-75-83)
81.5 Knicks (77-86-77)
79.0 Bulls (90-68-79)
79.0 Bobcats (87-71-77)
77.5 Hawks (80-75-74)
77.5 Sixers (79-76-75)
75.5 Wizards (75-76-71)
74.0 Cavaliers (82-66-73)
71.5 Pacers (72-71-68)
69.5 Pistons (72-67-68)
69.0 Nets (71-67-70)
65.0 Raptors (67-63-64)
THUNDER - The offense is 21st, which isn't anything new, but the defense has fallen off a cliff, all the way down to 23rd. Nenad Krstic has yet to block a shot through 8 games. As NBA 2K has surely told you by now, OKC lead the league in blocks last season, so that's a huge blow.
CELTICS - It might sound funny to say that about a 6-1 team, but they aren't playing like the league's best. Pierce, Allen, and Garnett have been playing sub-par thus far. While the O'Neal's haven't really pulled their weight. They are 3rd defensively, but only 17th offensively. The only reason they are 6-1 right now is the brilliance of Rondo and a fairly easy schedule. They barely squeaked by the Bucks and Bulls in OT games. Their next three games are on the road against the Mavericks, Heat, and Grizzlies, so that should sort itself out.
Stephen Jackson and Gerald Wallace have not played well this season. Wallace's offensive boards, steals, and blocks are all majorly down from last season, and those areas are the reason why he was an all-star last season.
LAKERS - The Lakers are the #1 offensive team with an incredible and surely unsustainable 118.4 ORTG. Odom has an unheard of .676 TS%, followed by Blake .642 TS%, Brown .637 TS%, and Fisher .618 TS%. Those numbers will obviously not sustain themselves, but they are impressive considering the team is currently without Andrew Bynum. It's worth noting the lack of Bynum has had a negative impact on the team's defense (only 10th this season), and they'll surely want him back once those hot hands start fizzling. Still, they clearly deserve a higher offensive rating than 13th.
HORNETS - They are easily the most underrated team in the entire league. Chris Paul has turned Jason Smith into the next Birdman. Okafor and West are playing out of their minds, not to mention Paul has reverted back to the 30 PER player he was in 2009. Okafor is actually living up to his contract, posting 22.8 PER, .734 TS%, 24.7 DRB%, and 6.1 BLK%, and only 7.3 TO%. Give Monty Williams coach of the year now if they keep playing like this.
RAPTORS - Obviously underrated, but I haven't re-implemented my ratings for them yet (they should be around Warriors territory with the changes).
Those are the main changes that need to be made, and I'll start working on that in the next roster update.