Below is the counterpart to the previous post, this time breaking down the NBA Western Conference using the three main comparative categories of Marginal Win Score: (1) Scoring Efficiency; (2) Possessions Created; and (3) Helpful Acts. The purpose of the breakdown is to identify the means of win production for each NBA team. The teams are listed in “newspaper standings” form.
NBA Western Conference
|Scor Eff||Poss||Help||Team MWS||Exp W%|
Clearly, the most volatile of the three Marginal Win Score categories is “scoring efficiency”. The average “gap” — positive or negative — between a team’s scoring efficiency and that of its opponents is 4.47 with a standard deviation of 2.74. By comparison, the average “gap” between a team’s net possessions created and those of its opponent is 2.37, with a standard deviation of 1.29, and the average “gap” between a team’s net helpful acts and those of its opponent is 1.43 with a standard deviation of 1.01.
Random Notes on the Western Conference Breakdown
As you can see from the chart, the Lakers scoring defense is fine. They are allowing only 2.34 efficient points per game to their opponents. Their scoring offense is good as well, but does not rate with the Celtics, Heat, or Spurs.
The Denver Nuggets have the best scoring offense in the Association at +12.74, but their scoring defense is substandard, and they allow their opponents too many net possessions to be an elite team.
San Antonio and the Lakers appear to be extremely evenly matched. It will be interesting to see who emerges in the Western Conference.
The Dallas Mavericks are not a good “net possession” team, and that may haunt them in May.
The best net possession team in the West is the Memphis Grizzlies. That’s somewhat surprising.
The Utah Jazz appear to be overrated. Their scoring defense is particularly poor.
Best of all Worlds
If you combined the best numbers in all six categories you would get a team scoring efficiency average of +12.42 (Nuggets), a team possession average of 37.99(Lakers), and a team helpers average of 6.72 (Knicks), for a Team WS of 57.45. If you assembled a team with the best Opponent numbers, you would get a scoring average of 0.32 (Heat), a possession average of 29.94 (Celtics), and a opp helpers average of 0.86 (Magic) for an Opponent WS of 31.12.
That means the best/best “gaps” would be: Scoring (+12.42); Possessions (+8.05); and Helpers (+5.86). That percentage breakdown closely mirrors the percentage breakdown of the “average” gaps in the three categories that I described above.