Ranking NBA teams by Scoring Offense and Defense

Last week I broke down the categorical production for each NBA team and its opposition.  Today I take one particular category, “Scoring Efficiency” (which is Points – FGAs – .5FTAs / Games), and rank each team according to most Efficient Points scored per game and fewest Efficient Points allowed per game.

Here are the rankings:

Phoenix 11.57   Miami -0.81
New York 11.37   Chicago 0.85
Boston 11.36   Dallas 1.33
SA 11.21   LA Lakers 1.88
Denver 11.07   Indiana 1.91
Miami 10.38   Boston 2.21
Dallas 9.69   Orlando 2.42
Houston 9.09   Atlanta 2.98
Orlando 8.38   New Orl 4.12
OKC 8.22   Philadelphia 4.19
LA Lakers 8.14   SA 4.21
Utah 7.28   Milwaukee 4.68
Atlanta 7.19   Utah 5.11
Toronto 5.95   New Jersey 5.17
Golden St 5.34   Charlotte 6.48
Chicago 4.91   Houston 6.98
New Orl 4.51   OKC 6.99
Charlotte 4.41   Denver 7.15
LA Clippers 4.25   Memphis 7.15
Minnesota 4.04   LA Clippers 7.28
Detroit 3.73   Portland 7.41
Indiana 3.73   Sacramento 7.62
Memphis 3.64   New York 7.75
Philadelphia 3.25   Washington 8.38
Portland 2.47   Detroit 9.28
New Jersey 1.89   Golden St 9.78
Washington 1.35   Cleveland 10.37
Cleveland 0.36   Minnesota 11.02
Sacramento -0.74   Toronto 11.31
Milwaukee -2.43   Phoenix 11.88

As you can see, the Phoenix Suns are both the best Scoring Offense and the worst Scoring Defense, whereas the best Scoring Defense belongs to the Miami Heat.  The Milwaukee Bucks, meanwhile, have an atrociously bad offense and a somewhat overrated Scoring Defense. 

The other ranking that caught my eye was the Los Angeles Lakers.  When you think Lakers you think “offense”, but so far they’ve been a decent defensive team, though they have played a very soft schedule to date.  (Their defense was nowhere to be found against the Bucks).

The best Offense/Defense combination belongs to the Miami Heat.  The Boston Celtics also feature a formidable Offense/Defense combo. 

As I stated earlier, if the Knicks would play some defense, they could move themselves up the ladder and join the big boys.  But D’Antonio’s system doesn’t normally emphasize defense, so we shall see.  You can get away with outgunning opponents on a Tuesday night in the regular season, but usually not in the playoffs.  Play-off games are generally slugfests with the better defensive team generally prevailing.

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