With the NBA season kicking off Tuesday, here is our annual post outlining our NBA preseason ratings, with season projections added for good measure, for every NBA team in 2014-15. Below the data table is more information on how we rank and project teams.
Preseason NBA Rankings Highlights
When we make comparisons to “Vegas” below, we are comparing where a team ranks in our NBA championship probabilities with where they rank in the futures odds listed at Vegas Insider. Note that we are NOT comparing our probabilities with the payout odds, in order to find value. We are comparing the rankings, in order to illuminate which teams are ranked higher or lower than expected.
- Agreement with Vegas regarding top teams. There is close agreement between us and Vegas on the five teams most likely to win the NBA title. We both project Cleveland as the most likely, followed by San Antonio, then Oklahoma City. We then have the Clippers 4th and the Bulls 5th, while Vegas has those two teams reversed.
As long time TR users know, our “New Ratings” have been around a for a while, and aren’t exactly “new” at this point. In fact, they were announced three years ago today.
To celebrate their birthday, and because we’re now confident that they’re ready for prime time, we’re making a few changes.
1. We’re removing “(Beta)” from the end of their name.
It’s like moving from a learner’s permit to real driver’s license.
2. We’re now using them on team and matchup pages.
Our new default power rating for team pages and matchup pages is the Predictive Rating from our New Ratings suite, so you’ll now see “Predictive Rank” where you used to see our old “Overall Rank”.
Unlike our previous Overall rankings, the new Predictive Rating is designed to be the best predictor of future games, so it relies heavily on margin of victory, and virtually ignores a team’s win-loss record.
The 2013-14 NBA season is just around the corner and one topic will dominate the season: a possible ring number three for the Big Three. LeBron and The Heat pulled in their second straight title last year and are primed for another run. Teams around the league are gearing up to take them down, however, including big moves by the Rockets, the Clippers, the Warriors, and the Nets.
While only time will really tell this season’s story, we at TeamRankings.com have crunched the numbers to create our preseason ratings, giving us a bit of data-driven insight. These preseason ratings are based on a variety of factors, including:
- Previous season success
- Player value statistics like Win Shares
- Coaching change metrics
All of the factors we use in our system have been evaluated for their predictiveness in earlier years. These ratings will be used in updating our NBA New Ratings (note: that page will update to show our 2013-14 season ratings beginning on Wednesday morning, the preseason ratings are listed in this post). As a result, they will also drive our NBA season projections, which also will be updated every single day throughout the season.
Just because we’re data geeks doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun over here at TR. So when our NBA-loving colleague Austin Link busted out a Facebook post this morning with some homemade NBA Valentines, we immediately realized the incredible impact these could have on the love lives of our loyal users.
If you haven’t bought your special someone a Valentine yet, the ones below are lead pipe locks to win over his/her heart. You’re welcome. And ladies, if you just can’t get enough of these, as far as we know Austin is currently available. He likes the NBA, Angus third pounders, and anything that has to do with Iowa.
The NBA season is upon us, with the Cavs and Wizards tipping things off Tuesday evening, and the slightly more enticing Heat-Celtics and Lakers-Mavs matchups getting underway later that night. That means it’s time to post our preseason projections, before the word “preseason” is no longer accurate.
The main purpose of these ratings is to provide a data-driven starting point for our NBA projected standings page. This will automatically update every day this season, to reflect the latest results and the most up to date power ratings.
So, have you heard? Tim Duncan hates Kevin Garnett.
In light of that, and with the possibility of a Spurs-Celtics NBA Finals matchup looming, our Austin Link took a look at the careers of the two greats, to try to determine which player holds the edge.
Bynum has developed into one of the game’s top young centers, but does his performance stack up to the truly elite NBA big men? And if not, will he ever get there? Austin Link reads the tea leaves and tells us what he sees in the young Laker center’s future.
Last week we added a feature that’s been on our to-do list for a long time: box scores for all the sports we cover. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a small step toward exposing as much information as possible.
For the most part, these box scores should look similar to those you see on other major sport sites or in your daily newspaper. (Those still exist, right?) All the basics are there. However, we have added a few pieces of valuable info to each sport’s box score that you won’t be able to get from your typical ESPN report.
In an ESPN Insider article published Tuesday, our Austin Link laid out evidence in support of the claim that LeBron James is the best NBA player since Michael Jordan, despite LeBron’s big fat zero in the most important statistic of all: championship rings.
Reactions from commenters were mixed, but those of Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless weren’t.
This is a guest post by Doug VanDerwerken, a PhD student in Statistics at Duke University and a lifelong basketball fan. If you’re interesting in writing a guest post, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few months ago I wrote an article about the effects of the 2011 NBA lockout on league-wide injury rates. The tentative conclusion was that while injuries per week had increased due to the compacted schedule, injuries per game had not. I predicted that the number of injuries which would be incurred by the end of this season would be approximately equal to the number of injuries incurred by Game 66 in the previous two seasons.
In light of the tragic playoff injuries to young stars Derrick Rose and Iman Shumpert, the question of the lockout’s effect on injuries has again come to the forefront of basketball commentary.
Commissioner David Stern weighed in on this issue as recently as Monday, explaining that while it was certainly something to study in the off-season, he didn’t think the compressed season had increased the number of injuries. According to ESPN.com, Stern argued, “In most years we average about five [torn] ACLs [in the league], and prior to this year’s playoffs we had three.”
Do the numbers agree with him?