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From 344 to 65 (03/11)

March 11, 2009
Prospectus Hoops List
Week of March 8, 2009

by Bradford Doolittle

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There's not a great deal of movement in this week's rankings. That's what you'd expect this time of the year, three-quarters through the NBA regular schedule. With the storylines mostly unchanged since our last Hoops List, we're going to shift the focus of our comments from the team level to the individual level. Let's get a jump on the awards season and look at the players on each team that are in contention, or should be, for postseason recognition.

Some of notes on the notation included in parenthesis after the awards candidates on each team:

  • Most Improved: [e.g., Mo Williams (+4.6 / 4th)] This means that Williams has improved his WP82 by 4.6 games over last season, which ranks fourth among qualifying players.
  • MVP: [e.g., LeBron James (17.5 / 1st)] James has 17.5 WP82, first among qualifying players.
  • All-NBA: [e.g., Mo Williams (9.7 / 4th PG)] Williams has 9.7 WP82, fourth among point guards. All-NBA candidates are not necessarily chosen by a player's true position, ie., two point guards can make the first team. However, I've listed players by their true position in this piece.
  • Defensive POY: [e.g., Kevin Garnett (71 / 5th)] Players are listed with their defensive rating and league ranking. The defensive rating is an integral number comprised of a combination of box score statistics and NBAPET's counterpart data. The numbers are adjusted for position and differ from the defensive ratings found on Basketball Prospectus' player cards in that they are regressed for playing time.
  • All-Defense: [LeBron James (70 / 3rd SF)] Players are listed with defensive rating (explained above) and ranking by position. As with the All-NBA candidates, players are listed by true position, while the actual All-Defense team is not necessarily comprised of players that fill the five positions on the floor.
  • ROY: same as MVP, except for rookies only.
  • All-Rookie: same as ROY as rookies are not ranked by position.
  • Coach of the Year: [e.g., Mike Brown (+9.8, 3rd)] Candidates are listed with Coaching Factor (CF) and league rank. CF is a measure of how a team has performed against its projection with LUCK (see definitions) added. I've got so much confidence in CF that this is the first time I've ever mentioned it in a public forum. In other words, it still requires further study.
  • Sixth man: same as MVP, except for reserves only. Only players that have played at least 30% of available minutes and have started fewer than 50% of games played are considered.

(Statistics through March 8)

1. (1) Cleveland Cavaliers (65.9) [ 64 / 65 / 44 ]
Rankings: NET: 1; OFF: 4; DEF: 1; PACE: 25

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Mo Williams (+4.6 / 4th); MVP: LeBron James (17.5 / 1st); All-NBA: Mo Williams (9.7 / 4th PG); LeBron James (17.5 / 1st SF); All-Defense: LeBron James (70 / 3rd SF); Anderson Varejao (64 / 2nd C); Coach of Year: Mike Brown (+9.8, 3rd); Sixth man: Anderson Varejao (5.7 / 6th).

Success breeds recognition, so you can expect to see plenty of Cavaliers mentioned in conjunction with postseason awards. LeBron James is the odds-on favorite to land the big tamale, the MVP award, though there seems to be a TASS-style propaganda machine operating out of Miami on behalf of Dwyane Wade. James is also a shoo-in for first-team All-NBA. Mo Williams has morphed from the obscure leading man of the Milwaukee Bucks to the higher-profile role of playing Pancho to James' Cisco Kid. He could get consideration for Most-Improved Player and, with a No. 4 ranking in WP82 among point guards, he has a shot at third-team All-NBA. James has drawn deserved plaudits for his defense this season and though he's only third among small forwards, he will get All-Defense support. Early-season suggestions that James could be a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year have thankfully gone by the wayside. Anderson Varejao, the Prince of the Flop, has been knocked onto his back enough times that he rates as the second-best defensive center in the league. Varejao also ranks sixth in WP82 among players that are eligible for for the Sixth Man award. Finally, Mike Brown has the NBA's third-best coaching factor and, that aside, will get serious consideration for Coach of the Year.

2. (2) Boston Celtics (64.1) [ 62 / 64 / 63 ]
Rankings: NET: 2; OFF: 5; DEF: 2; PACE: 19

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Rajon Rondo (+4.3 / 9th); MVP: Ray Allen (12.0 / 5th); Paul Pierce (11.1 7th); All-NBA: Rajon Rondo (10.7 / 2nd PG), Ray Allen (12.0 / 3rd SG); Paul Pierce (11.1 / 2nd SF); Kevin Garnett (8.0 / 5th PF); Def. POY: Kevin Garnett (71 / 5th); All-Defense: Kevin Garnett (71 / 2nd PF); Ray Allen (66 / 1st SG); Rajon Rondo (66 / 2nd PG).

Rajon Rondo has the ninth-best jump in WP82 over last season. That's not quite Most Improved Player material, but I think he'll get consideration simply because there are many observers who didn't realize how good Rondo already was. Ray Allen won't win the MVP award and probably won't even get more support than Paul Pierce does. However, Allen has been the Celtics' best player this season and deserves his slot behind the Big Five MVP candidates (LeBron, Kobe, D-Wade, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard). Allen will probably not get onto the All-NBA first-team either, thanks to the likes of Wade, Bryant and Paul. However, Allen and Pierce should both make the second or third team. Rondo should, as well, though I'm more skeptical about his actual chances. Kevin Garnett is a longshot, at this point, to make even the third team. Garnett will get votes as the Defensive Player of the Year, but is unlikely to repeat as the winner of the award thanks to Dwight Howard. Garnett will likely make the All-Defense team and could be joined by Rondo. Allen has the best defensive rating of any shooting guard in NBAPET, but probably won't be recognized as such. I'd like to see him get onto the second team.

3. (3) Los Angeles Lakers (61.6) [ 66 / 61 / 49 ]
Rankings: NET: 3; OFF: 1; DEF: 6; PACE: 5

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Pau Gasol (+5.3 / 3rd); MVP: Kobe Bryant (15.7 / 2nd); Pau Gasol (11.3 / 6th); All-NBA: Kobe Bryant (15.7 / 1st SG); Pau Gasol (11.3 / 1st PF); Coach of Year: Phil Jackson (+13.0 / 1st); Sixth man: Lamar Odom (7.4 / 3rd).

Pau Gasol has had the league's third-best jump in WP82. He's not really any better than he was last season, but his 2007-08 number was dragged down by his half-season in Memphis. Bryant is in the discussion once again for MVP, but you don't get the feeling that it's his year. He will be first-team All-NBA again, while Gasol deserves a first- or second-team slot. Phil Jackson's league-leading CF is noteworthy, but is also largely a product of NBAPET's miss on L.A.'s projection.

4. (4) Orlando Magic (58.6) [ 60 / 59 / 43 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Jameer Nelson (+4.1 / 10th); MVP: Dwight Howard (10.2 / 12th); All-NBA: Dwight Howard (10.2 / 1st C); Rashard Lewis (10.7 / 2nd PF); Hedo Turkoglu (10.5 / 3rd); Def. POY: Rashard Lewis (82 / 1st); Dwight Howard (72 / 3rd); All-Defense: Dwight Howard (72 / 1st C); Rashard Lewis (82 / 1st PF); ROY: Courtney Lee (4.3 / 5th); All-Rookie: Courtney Lee (4.3 / 5th); Coach of Year: Stan Van Gundy (10.1 / 2nd).

Rankings: NET: 4; OFF: 7; DEF: 3; PACE: 11

The Magic have more award candidates than any team in the league. Howard will get plenty of MVP support, though he ranks just 12th in WP82. That number is first among centers, and he'll be first-team All-NBA. Rashard Lewis could make his way onto the second or third team, and Hedo Turkoglu has an outside shot at the third team as well. Lewis has the best defensive rating in the league; Howard is third. It's hard to know what to make of Lewis' number, though it is backed up by a terrific opponents' PER (13.9) at 82games.com. I suspect Lewis' counterpart metrics are so strong because of the extent that other teams have to alter player use to match up with such a perimeter-oriented four-man. Whatever, it works. Howard has 47 more blocks than any other player in the league and is a heavy favorite to win the Defensive Player of the Year award. He'll also make the All-Defense first team. Maybe someone will read this and get Lewis voted onto the second team. Probably not. Courtney Lee has emerged as a darkhorse to pick up a few Rookie of the Year votes and should certainly make first- or second-team All-Rookie. Stan Van Gundy has the league's second-best CF and will get a lot of votes for Coach of the Year.

5. (7) San Antonio Spurs (52.4) [ 54 / 51 / 55 ]
Rankings: NET: 5; OFF: 12; DEF: 5; PACE: 26

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Tim Duncan (9.7 / 3rd PF); All-Defense: Bruce Bowen (50 / 5th SF); Manu Ginobili (48 / 5th SG); Sixth man: Manu Ginobili (5.5 / 9th).

It's always the same old faces for the Spurs. There really isn't a preponderance of outstanding awards candidates this season, though. Tim Duncan will get consideration somewhere on the first three All-NBA squads. Bruce Bowen's playing time has decreased to the point that his streak of eight straight years on the first- or second-team All-Defense Team has to be in jeopardy. NBAPET has him fifth among small forwards, which marks him still as a very good defender, but not quite the award-winning type. Injuries have sapped the energy from Manu Ginobili's annual Sixth Man of the Year campaign.

6. (6) Portland Trail Blazers (51.8) [ 51 / 51 / 38 ]

THE CANDIDATES

MVP: Brandon Roy (10.7 / 9th); All-NBA: Brandon Roy (10.7 / 4th SG); LaMarcus Aldridge (7.9 / 6th PF); All-Defense: Joel Przybilla (56 / 4th C); ROY: Rudy Fernandez (6.0 / 2nd); All-Rookie: Rudy Fernandez (6.0 / 2nd); Coach of Year: Nate McMillan (6.5 / 5th); Sixth man: Rudy Fernandez (6.0 / 4th).

Rankings: NET: 6; OFF: 2; DEF: 18; PACE: 30

I'd be surprised if Brandon Roy didn't squeeze onto the third All-NBA team. Joel Przybilla is a darkhorse for second-team All-Defense. Rudy Fernandez is a solid candidate for Rookie of the Year, a shoo-in for All-Rookie and an overlooked possibility as the top Sixth Man. Nate McMillan could draw some Coach of the Year votes for bringing along such a young team so quickly.

7. (5) Denver Nuggets (51.8) [ 51 / 47 / 43 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Nene (+5.8 / 2nd); All-NBA: Nene (6.2 / 3rd); Carmelo Anthony (6.6 5th SF); Chauncey Billups (9.7 / 3rd PG); Coach of Year: George Karl (+7.8 / 4th); Sixth man: J.R. Smith (7.6 / 2nd).

Rankings: NET: 10; OFF: 11; DEF: 9; PACE: 6

Finally healthy, Nene has emerged as one of the NBA's most-improved players. He's also third at center in WP82, which marks him as a legit third-team All-NBA candidate. He won't make it, though. Chauncey Billups probably will, however. I don't know how much support Carmelo Anthony will get. Hopefully not much. George Karl could receive support for Coach of the Year, an award he has never won. The Nuggets' best candidate for postseason recognition is J.R. Smith, who should get serious consideration as the league's best Sixth Man.

8. (9) New Orleans Hornets (51.3) [ 52 / 49 / 45 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Rasual Butler (+4.7 / 6th); MVP: Chris Paul (14.3 / 3rd); All-NBA: Chris Paul (14.3 / 1st PG); Def. POY: David West (70 / 6th); All-Defense: David West (70 / 3rd PF), Chris Paul (54 / 3rd PG), James Posey (51 / 4th SF); Sixth man: James Posey (5.6 / 7th).

Rankings: NET: 8; OFF: 8; DEF: 10; PACE: 28

Chris Paul's MVP candidacy seems shot at this point, even though he's still a solid third in WP82. He should make first-team All-NBA, though he could get edged out there as well by Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant. David West doesn't have a great defensive reputation, even though NBAPET sure does like his work on that end of the floor, as it does the defensive efforts of Paul and James Posey. Posey is a long-shot candidate for the Sixth Man award.

9. (8) Houston Rockets (50.7) [ 52 / 52 / 61 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Yao Ming (6.6 / 2nd C) / Ron Artest (7.6 / 4th SF); Def. POY: Ron Artest (71 / 4th); All-Defense: Ron Artest (71 / 2nd SF), Luis Scola (60 / 4th PF).

Rankings: NET: 9; OFF: 16; DEF: 4; PACE: 18

Yao Ming hasn't been dominant, but he'll make one of the three All-NBA teams. Ron Artest's defense hasn't been honored for a couple of years; that could change this season.

10. (10) Utah Jazz (50.3) [ 52 / 52 / 50 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Mehmet Okur (5.8 / 5th C); Deron Williams (9.0 / 6th PG); Coach of Year: Jerry Sloan (1.0 / 10th).

Rankings: NET: 7; OFF: 6; DEF: 11; PACE: 13

The only Jazz award candidate worth any discussion this season is Jerry Sloan. It's well known that Sloan has never won the Coach of the Year award. That should change this season. Sloan has Utah two games ahead of its preseason projection. What's remarkable about that is that Utah has not had Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer at 100% productivity in a single game this season. Utah's roster is bereft of elite individual performances this season, yet the Jazz currently stand fourth in the West and are just 2 1/2 games out of second place in the conference.

11. (11) Dallas Mavericks (46.2) [ 49 / 45 / 51 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Jason Kidd (9.4 / 5th PG); Dirk Nowitzki (8.9 / 4th PF); Sixth man: Jason Terry (8.3 / 1st).

Rankings: NET: 12; OFF: 9; DEF: 13; PACE: 15

Jason Terry, despite missing a couple of weeks with a hand injury, is the best candidate for the Sixth Man award. Dirk Nowitzki has made one of the three All-NBA teams every season this decade. He's fourth at his position this season in WP82 and the perception is that his game has fallen off a smidgeon. His streak could end. Jason Kidd's great start this season has faded.

12. (13) Miami Heat (46.0) [ 42 / 48 / 35 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Dwyane Wade (+9.1 / 1st); MVP: Dwyane Wade (12.9 / 4th); All-NBA: Dwyane Wade (12.9 / 2nd SG); ROY: Mario Chalmers (5.7 / 3rd); All-Rookie: Mario Chalmers (5.7 / 3rd); Michael Beasley (3.4 / 12th).

Rankings: NET: 14; OFF: 19; DEF: 12; PACE: 24

It's hard to fathom that Dwyane Wade could beat LeBron James in the MVP voting, but a few more nights like Monday could put him over the top. Wade scored 48 points and, at the end of the second overtime, stole the ball from John Salmons and hit a running three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Miami over Chicago. He's been on an absolute tear of late. Even if he doesn't land the grand prize, he'll get plenty of recognition. Wade was so good before his injury-marred season last year that it's hard to think of him as a Most Improved Player candidate. However, he has far and away the biggest WP82 jump of any player in the league. I'd give it to him. He'll also probably make first-team All-NBA, though, strictly speaking, he should be the second-team shooting guard behind Kobe Bryant. An unsung Rookie of the Year possibility continues to be Mario Chalmers, who should nevertheless get onto one of the All-Rookie teams. He will probably be joined there by Michael Beasley. Beasley doesn't really deserve the honor, but his scoring average will likely get him there.

13. (12) Phoenix Suns (45.5) [ 44 / 45 / 49 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Shaquille O'Neal (6.0 / 4th C).

Rankings: NET: 11; OFF: 3; DEF: 22; PACE: 4

The Suns' Steve Nash, a two-time MVP, slipped so badly under Terry Porter that he is unlikely to garner any All-NBA support. That would be the first time that has happened since Nash returned to Phoenix. Amar'e Stoudemire has a two-year streak of All-NBA honors that will end. The Suns' only award candidate is Shaquille O'Neal, who ranks fourth in WP82 among centers behind Dwight Howard, Yao Ming and Nene. If the voters vote in three centers, Shaq will probably squeeze onto the third team. He hasn't made All-NBA the last two seasons, a dry spell that comes on the heels of 13 straight years of recognition prior to that.

14. (14) Atlanta Hawks (44.9) [ 45 / 44 / 38 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Mike Bibby (8.4 / 5th); All-NBA: Joe Johnson (10.0 / 5th SG); Coach of Year: Mike Woodson (5.2 / 7th).

Rankings: NET: 13; OFF: 10; DEF: 16; PACE: 23

The Hawks' slow fade has hurt their awards possibilties, though a fast finish could aid their cause. Mike Bibby has enjoyed a resurgent season and, early on, Joe Johnson looked like an MVP candidate.

15. (16) Detroit Pistons (40.8) [ 41 / 39 / 55 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Tayshaun Prince (6.4 / 6th SF); Def. POY: Tayshaun Prince (77 / 2nd); All-Defense: Tayshaun Prince (77 / 1st SF); Richard Hamilton (53 / 3rd SG); Rodney Stuckey (37 / 5th PG).

Rankings: NET: 17; OFF: 22; DEF: 14; PACE: 29

It seems almost unbelievable that Tayshaun Prince has never made the NBA's first- or second-team All-Defense. Prince is consistently one of the finest perimeter defenders in the game. Hopefully, his streak will end this year.

16. (15) Philadelphia 76ers (40.7) [ 40 / 42 / 38 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Andre Iguodala (8.7 / 4th SF); All-Defense: Andre Iguodala (62 / 4th SF).

Rankings: NET: 15; OFF: 23; DEF: 7; PACE: 17

Andre Iguodala continues to reside just a notch below All-NBA level and his defense isn't award-worthy, either. He's a very good player, though.

17. (18) Chicago Bulls (38.4) [ 37 / 37 / 43 ]

THE CANDIDATES

ROY: Derrick Rose (6.5 / 1st); All-Rookie: Derrick Rose (6.5 / 1st).

Rankings: NET: 18; OFF: 21; DEF: 17; PACE: 9

After some early-season turbulence, top pick Derrick Rose has settled in as the NBA's top rookie. He's got a lot of growing to do, but he's already a weapon. Hopefully, he can learn to make his teammates better because, right now, I see a little too much of a young Stephon Marbury in his game.

18. (17) Milwaukee Bucks (38.3) [ 37 / 39 / 31 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Ramon Sessions (+3.7 / 12th); All-Defense: Michael Redd (49 / 3rd); All-Rookie: Luc Mbah a Moute (3.8 / 10th).

Rankings: NET: 16; OFF: 18; DEF: 15; PACE: 12

Luc Mbah a Moute will hopefully be recognized for his fine rookie season with second-team All-Rookie honors. If so, he should join Mario Chalmers as the overlooked jewels of the last draft's second round.

19. (19) Indiana Pacers (37.2) [ 35 / 36 / 41 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-NBA: Danny Granger (6.4 / 8th SF).

Rankings: NET: 19; OFF: 17; DEF: 19; PACE: 3

Danny Granger's injury killed his long-shot chance at third-team All-NBA. Granger has gotten a lot attention for increasing his scoring average by at least five points in each of the last three seasons. As such, he might have gotten support for Most Improved honors, though NBAPET actually has him with a marginal decrease in WP82 over last season.

20. (20) Charlotte Bobcats (36.5) [ 36 / 37 / 38 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Def. POY: Ray Felton (67 / 8th); All-Defense: Ray Felton (67 / 1st PG); All-Rookie: D.J. Augustin (3.8 / 9th).

Rankings: NET: 20; OFF: 26; DEF: 8; PACE: 27

Is Ray Felton the NBA's best defensive point guard? That's what NBAPET thinks and, as such, has Felton tagged for first-team All-Defense. Entering the season, Felton has far from a sterling reputation on the defensive end. However, Charlotte has improved by leaps and bounds on defense, jumping from 21st to eighth on a per-possession basis. According to 82games.com, the Bobcats have the second-best opponent point guard PER in the NBA (14.5), just a hairsbreadth behind Denver (14.4). Felton's individual opponent PER is a tremendous 13.4 at the point guard position. However, 82 Games also has Felton playing the off-guard position 29% of the time, at which his opponent PER is 16.3. Maybe NBAPET is onto something, maybe not, but Charlotte's defensive improvement has to have come from some place.

21. (22) New Jersey Nets (34.5) [ 36 / 34 / 38 ]

THE CANDIDATES

ROY: Brook Lopez (4.1 / 7th); All-Rookie: Brook Lopez (4.1 / 7th).

Rankings: NET: 21; OFF: 15; DEF: 24; PACE: 22

Brook Lopez's solid rookie season should get him onto an All-Rookie team, whether it's the first or second squad.

22. (21) New York Knicks (33.5) [ 33 / 35 / 33 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Sixth man: Nate Robinson (5.7 / 5th)

Rankings: NET: 22; OFF: 14; DEF: 26; PACE: 2

Mike D'Antoni has restored credibility to the Knicks' on-court performance, though New York hasn't won enough games for D'Antoni to merit Coach of the Year consideration. Nate Robinson has been a high-profile spark plug off the Knicks' bench. While there are better candidates, Robinson has a shot at the Sixth Man award.

23. (23) Toronto Raptors (32.2) [ 29 / 30 / 42 ]

THE CANDIDATES

None.

Rankings: NET: 23; OFF: 20; DEF: 23; PACE: 16

NBAPET hasn't loved Chris Bosh's season and, as such, the Raptors don't have any award candidates.

24. (24) Golden State Warriors (28.9) [ 27 / 31 / 35 ]

THE CANDIDATES

None.

Rankings: NET: 24; OFF: 13; DEF: 28; PACE: 1

If there were a Crazy Lineups award, Don Nelson would win every year. As it is, Golden State doesn't have any award candidates. The closest is probably C.J. Watson, who ranks as the 33rd most-improved player according to NBAPET.

25. (25) Minnesota Timberwolves (27.0) [ 23 / 27 / 26 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-Defense: Kevin Love (60 / 5th PF); All-Rookie: Kevin Love (3.1 / 15th).

Rankings: NET: 27; OFF: 24; DEF: 27; PACE: 10

Kevin Love will probably get some love for All-Rookie, at least for the second team. NBAPET also likes his defense. In this case, I think NBAPET is wrong.

26. (26) Oklahoma City Thunder (22.5) [ 22 / 26 / 23 ]

THE CANDIDATES

Most Improved: Kevin Durant (3.7 / 13th); All-Rookie: Russell Westbrook (3.9 / 8th).

Rankings: NET: 26; OFF: 28; DEF: 21; PACE: 8

Kevin Durant is probably the most improved player in the NBA. In terms of improvement in WP82, he ranks 13th. NBAPET is a wins-based system and the Thunder simply hasn't won many games. Durant's scoring average has jumped by 5.7 points per game and his field-goal percentage has improved from .430 to .487. NBAPET tries to look beyond those types of superficial numbers, but the typical awards voter doesn't. If Dwyane Wade's comeback season doesn't fit the spirit of "Most Improved" then Durant will likely win the award. Russell Westbrook is a virtual lock for at least second team All-Rookie, deservedly so.

27. (28) Memphis Grizzlies (21.4) [ 21 / 24 / 19 ]

THE CANDIDATES

ROY: O.J. Mayo (4.3 / 4th); All-Rookie: O.J. Mayo (4.3 / 4th).

Rankings: NET: 25; OFF: 29; DEF: 20; PACE: 21

Early on, it looked like O.J. Mayo had a shot at stealing the Rookie of the Year award that was supposed to go to either Derrick Rose or Michael Beasley. Mayo has faded as the season has progressed, and now it looks like Rose's award to lose. Mayo is still solidly a first-team All-Rookie choice.

28. (27) Los Angeles Clippers (19.1) [ 19 / 18 / 33 ]

THE CANDIDATES

All-Rookie: Eric Gordon (3.2 / 14th).

Rankings: NET: 28; OFF: 30; DEF: 25; PACE: 14

Eric Gordon has shown enough that he could get some All-Rookie consideration.

29. (29) Washington Wizards (18.9) [ 18 / 20 / 32 ]

THE CANDIDATES

None.

Rankings: NET: 29; OFF: 27; DEF: 29; PACE: 20

Really bad team.

30. (30) Sacramento Kings (18.5) [ 18 / 19 / 39 ]
Rankings: NET: 30; OFF: 25; DEF: 30; PACE: 7

THE CANDIDATES

None.

Really awful team. You would have liked to see Jason Thompson emerge as an All-Rookie candidate, but Thompson ranks 21st in WP82 among first-year players. Maybe Blake Griffin can do better.

Definitions:

NBAPET = stands for National Basketball Association Projection, Evaluation and Tracking = A database and system of metrics for analyzing professional basketball.

gRATE = a one-game metric that measures a player's offensive and defensive contribution and expresses it as a net point total. The sum of a team's gRATE figures for a game will equal its actual point differential for that game.

Adjusted winning percentage (AWP) = ((home wins x 0.6)+(road wins x 1.4)) / (((home wins x 0.6)+(road wins x 1.4)) + ((home losses x .1.4)+(road losses x 0.6)))

LUCK = the difference between a team's 82-game win pace and its 82-game Pythagorean win pace.

Opponents winning percentage (OWP) = aggregate percentage of games won for each team's opponents, based on the number of times the team has faced that opponent.

Pythagorean winning percentage (PYTH) = uses the basketball-reference formula of Games x (Points scored^14) / ((Points scored^14) + (Points allowed^14))

Power rating = (((PYTH + AWP)/2)*(OWP/.500)) x 82

WP82 = wins produced per 82 games, adjusted for playing time

WP3K = wins produced per 3,000 minutes

RANKINGS: NET = net efficiency ratio; OFF - offensive efficiency; DEF - defensive efficiency; PACE: average possessions per game

Bradford Doolittle is an author of Basketball Prospectus. You can contact Bradford by clicking here or click here to see Bradford's other articles.

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