NBA Road Team Rankings

This is the companion post to the two below it.  It is a ranking of the NBA’s best road teams according to each team’s demonstrated relative strength compared to the NBA road average against the same opposition.

NBA Road Team Rankings

1. Dallas Mavericks_________________(+.235)

2. Boston Celtics___________________(+.224)

3. Cleveland Cavaliers_______________(+.212)

4. LA Lakers_______________________(+.174)

5. Atlanta Hawks___________________(+.153)

6. San Antonio Spurs________________(+.131)

7. OKC Thunder____________________(+.127)

8. Orlando Magic___________________(+.111)

9. Portland Trailblazers_____________(+.096)

10. Miami Heat____________________(+.064)

11. Houston Rockets________________(+.055)

12. Denver Nuggets_________________(+.042)

13. Phoenix Suns___________________(+.018)

14. Utah Jazz______________________(+.003)

15. Philadelphia Sixers______________(-.006)

16. Memphis Grizzlies_______________(-.018)

17. LA Clippers____________________(-.031)

18. New York Knicks________________(-.064)

19. Toronto Raptors________________(-.064)

20. Sacramento Kings_______________(-.066)

21. Detroit Pistons__________________(-.083)

22. Washington Wizards______________(-.101)

23. Milwaukee Bucks________________(-.114)

24. New Orleans Hornets_____________(-.127)

25. Charlotte Bobcats_______________(-.137)

26. Golden State Warriors____________(-.163)

27. Chicago Bulls___________________(-.172)

28. Indiana Pacers_________________(-.185)

29. Minnesota Timberwolves________(-.241)

30. New Jersey Nets________________(-.259)

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7 Responses to “NBA Road Team Rankings”

  1. Moin Says:

    I think some of the discrepancies (regarding how some teams perform better on the road than at home) you see is an artifact of your method of calculation.

    For example, if a team, say the Celtics, is particularly consistent both on the road and at home, then it would stand to argue that their performance does not significantly drop off on the road. But because the average NBA team does perform substantially better at home than on the road, if you compare the C’s performs relative to that of the average NBA team, you’ll find that they are, relatively, better on the road than at home.

    But I don’t think you could account for the big difference of the Mavericks though. Maybe a quirk of scheduling in terms of matchups? Or maybe they just find Mark Cuban as annoying as the rest of us?

    • tywill33 Says:

      Are you saying that what I’m finding is just a reflection of homecourt advantage? I don’t think it is, but let me reexplain my method and see what you think.

      First I take each team’s home schedule performance and completely separate it from their road schedule performance (and the same for the road, obviously). Then I compare that performance against the rest of the NBA’s performance against the same teams at home. So the homecourt advantage is already built in to my calculation.

      So I think the method washes out homecourt advantage. Of course, to a certain degree some teams like Denver have larger homecourt advantages — that I can’t control for.

  2. Moin Says:

    Imagine this scenario where there are 4 teams, A, B, C, D. They play each other home-and-home. Every team has identical 2-1 records at home. Teams A, B, and C all have their single home loss to team D while team D loses at home to team C.

    By this measure, team D is a below average home team, as they should have defeated every team on their home schedule. After all, the rest of the league was maintained a 100% record against teams A, B, and C at home, but team D is only 66%.

    However, team D ended up with an excellent road record (100%) while the rest of the league managed no wins against teams A, B, or C on the road.

    Granted, this is a pathological example, but it’s how you can account for some of the discrepancies you see, especially with the top teams, whose performance doesn’t drop off much on the road. Of course, using pythagorean records eliminates alot of the bias, but I still think cases where a team is appreciably better on the road than at home relative to the league is a case of consistency.

    • tywill33 Says:

      I get what you’re saying. It makes total sense.

      I would expect then that each team’s two numbers should come in line with each other if there is a difference, the question is where will they meet up.

      For the Bucks, unfortunately, it looks like their home performance is sliding closer to their road performance.

      Their home performance had been well above average, while the road had been below average.

      Now in the last month the home has slid below average, and I wouldn’t expect last night’s ugly and lucky win over the hapless Bulls to do anything to halt the slide.

      Thanks for the great comments! I appreciate the help and support!

      • Moin Says:

        Well, in the NBA, average to below average can still land you in a playoff spot for a 1st round sweep and missing a chance for the lottery. I really wonder which is better sometimes (long term wise for a franchise).

      • tywill33 Says:

        You know I’ve lost all faith in the lottery. I would frankly rather be down the draft board. Look at the Memphis Grizzlies. They are getting substandard play from nearly every one of their high draft picks, and they are being essentially driven forward by second round pick Marc Gasol and castoff “character risk” Zach Randolph.

        Here’s my theory as to why the lottery is so unproductive.

        When you’re picking in the lottery… or lets say the top 10… ESPN and all these draft sites slate “upside” guys so rigidly, general managers feel the pressure to draft according to whom conventional wisdom has assigned to the slot. And most of the players the draft gurus assign to high slots end up busting because they are almost exclusively “potential” picks… you’re picking on blind faith, in other words.

        Once you get outside the lottery, it seems, no one gives a fuck if you choose Tim Tulip from Timbuktu or Joe Blow from Idaho, so your free to actually use your research and common sense. I believe that is why we are seeing more and more productive players coming late in the draft. It used to be unheard of.

  3. The Celtic “surprise” « Courtside Analyst Says:

    […] if you recall my “Road Power Rankings” from midseason, the Boston Celtics were one of the NBA’s best road teams in […]

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