## Posts Tagged ‘Washington Wizards’

### NBA Power Rankings by “Ty Rating”: the rising Heat and the sinking Celts

February 17, 2012

Using the same formula, and the same gambling website (Statfox Sports), that I used to power rank the likely NCAA tournament field, I power ranked the National Basketball Association.

My NBA chart is set up a bit differently because I condensed three steps.  Instead of posting each team’s Win Score and Defensive Win Score, followed by the expected winning percentage and then the winning percentage the rest of the league is posting against the same schedule, and then the “Ty Rating” based upon that, instead I post below the “Comparative Win Score” the “Comparative Defensive Win Score” and the Ty Rating based upon the same.  Let me provide a quick example.

Example using the #20 Milwaukee Bucks

Below on the chart, the 20th ranked team is the Milwaukee Bucks.  Under “WS” the Bucks post a “-1.1”.  That means the Bucks Team Win Score is 1.1 points below the Win Score the rest of the NBA is posting against the same schedule.  Under “DWS” it says “-2.1”.  That means that the Bucks are allowing their Opponents to post Win Scores that are 2.1 points higher than the same teams have been able to post against the rest of the NBA.  (Defensive Win Scores that are indicated as negative mean a below average performance).  If you add the two numbers together, you arrive at “-3.2”.  You then divide that by 10 to arrive at “-0.32”.  This is the Bucks “absolute” Marginal Win Score, from which I can calculate their absolute winning percentage, which is their “Ty Rating”.  Essentially, it is the difference between the winning percentage the team has achieved versus the winning percentage the rest of the NBA has achieved against the same schedule plus 0.500.  So, while the Bucks expected winning percentage is 0.404% (11.7 wins and 17.3 losses — the team is actually 12-17), because the rest of the NBA is only playing 0.455% basketball against the same schedule the Bucks have played, the Bucks “absolute” winning percentage, or their “Ty Rating” is 0.449%, so its a little better.

Here is the chart:

 NBA WS DWS Ty Rating 1 Miami 7.6 6.1 0.733 2 Chic 7.1 6.4 0.731 3 OKC 5.5 5.1 0.682 4 LA Lakers 3.4 5.5 0.653 5 Denv 6.8 1.1 0.636 6 LA Clip 4.9 2.7 0.631 7 Orlando 2.6 3.7 0.609 8 Dallas 3.1 2.9 0.606 9 Phila 0.4 4.8 0.591 10 Atl 3.4 1.1 0.579 11 San An 3.1 0.8 0.569 12 Port 0.8 2.6 0.557 13 Memp -1.5 2.8 0.524 14 Hous -1.3 1.7 0.509 15 Ind -1.8 1.9 0.504 16 Minn -1.1 1.1 0.501 17 Bost -4.9 4.8 0.499 18 Utah -0.6 -0.7 0.479 19 NOH -4.9 1.9 0.451 20 Milw -1.1 -2.1 0.449 21 NY Knicks -4.6 1.1 0.441 22 Phoenix -0.8 -2.8 0.441 23 Clev -1.6 -2.2 0.438 24 Gold St 1.8 -6.1 0.429 25 Sacra -3.5 -5.9 0.343 26 Tor -7.1 -3.1 0.329 27 NJ Nets -5.7 -6.6 0.294 28 Detroit -8.7 -4.2 0.283 29 Wash -6.6 -7.4 0.265 30 Char -9.9 -9.2 0.181

NBA Ty Ratings

Heat and Bulls clearly the NBA elite

Its neck-and-neck between the Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls for best team in the NBA.  The two teams also rank #1 and #2 in overall offensive efficiency (by which I mean relative Win Score), and they invert that order for #1 and #2 in overall defensive teams in the NBA as well (by which I mean relative Defensive Win Score).

Three teams surprised me with their placement.  The Lakers are a lot higher than I anticipated.  They may have some fight left in the Purple and Gold.  And on the other side, the Boston Celtics placed much lower than I expected at #17.  The Celtics still play top 10 defense, but without Kendrick Perkins, the team is really struggling on the boards, and that is costing them games.  The other team who placed much lower than I anticipated was the New York Knickerbockers.  However, as I discussed two posts ago, the addition of world famous PG Jeremy Lin, the Knicks have shored up a major weakness and may begin to ascend the rankings.

Another surprise was the Minnesota Timberwolves.  I knew they were playing much better this season, but it is actually their defense that is propelling them more so than their offense.  That is surprising.  The aforementioned Bucks seem to have been stuck in the #18-#21 power ranking range throughout the entire Scott Skiles/John Hammond administration.  That is disappointing, to say the least.

Finally, we have the putrid Charlotte Bobcats and almost-as-putrid Washington Wizards.  What is the thread that runs between each organization?  Michael Jeffrey Jordan was in a management position for each.  Bucks fans, we cannot be thankful for much, but we can be thankful for this:  Herb Kohl prevented Michael Jordan from bringing his eye for talent to Milwaukee.  Jordan makes Isiah Thomas look like Branch Rickey.

Finally, has anyone heard from PG John Wall?  I thought he was supposed to be such a game changer for the Wizards when they selected him number one overall last season.  He certainly has not been.  His career is heading toward oblivion, just as many of us predicted when he was drafted.

### Bucks clunker vs. Wiz; Follow up on 70% law

December 24, 2009

What was that??  The Bucks were basically blown out at home by the Washington Wizards.  The Bucks are a really frustrating team to watch, analyze, write about… probably read about, too.  I’m just out of things to say about them.

Oh, there is one thing.   I think tonight was a clear vision of what the Bucks would look like without a consistent and superior defensive effort.  In other words, what they would look like without Coach Skiles.  They would indeed be one of the worst teams in the NBA.  They gave a half effort on defense tonight and got destroyed on their own court by a Washington Wizards team that is a very below average road team, and in fact a 30 to 33 win team overall.

One other thing quick.  What’s up with Bogut?  Seattle Bucks is right.  The guy is maddeningly inconsistent lately.  One night he won’t miss, the next he goes 5 for 13.  I guess he’s just being a “2009-10 Milwaukee Buck” because I could kind of make the same comment about everyone on the team.  But I expect more and the team needs more out of the Aussie big man.

Remember the post I did a day or so ago where I wondered aloud why it seemed that the stronger team wins exactly 70% of the time in basketball and football.

Well I found this interesting article on the “Sabermetric Research” blog.  It turns out that my casual observations were right on the money, but my broader speculation about the existence of a “Law of 70%” in sports wasn’t right at all.  It was right for the TWO sports I looked at, but as it turned out I looked at the two least competitive sports, and they both happen to have the “70% law”.  So it was coincidence, not something widespread.  In the other three sports this article commented on, the “better” team wins in a “one-off” contest even less.

But still, why is that basketball and football “best team wins” outcomes are so steadfastly fixed at right around 70%, and why are the other three sports at their levels, and why do those levels veer from the 70% figure?   Well, the article posits the reason is something about the distribution of talent in the sports.  Somewhat persuasive, if you can crawl through the math, but I have a slightly different theory.

I think perhaps it has to do with the method and relative ease of scoring inherent in the rules of the different sports.

If you look at it that way, let’s take the sport that lends itself most strongly to upsets, soccer, a sport where the stronger team only wins on average, 55% of the time.  Soccer is the sport where, arguably, scoring or more precisely scoring differentiation is most difficult to come by.  In that type atmosphere, I would think that even superior teams don’t normally demolish their opposition.  Thus a 1-0 lead could feel like insurmountable dominance based  on the superior skill of the leading team, but even then one or two quick breaks and the weak team gets lucky and steals a win.

Baseball’s slightly lower rate of upsets might be explained instead by the sport’s method of  scoring.  A team can dominate a game, in terms of “productive actions” (getting men on base without creating outs) but yet if those productive actions aren’t bunched just right, the score might not reflect that dominance.  And suddenly the tide turns and the weaker team steals a win.

Of course, this isn’t yet perfected logic.  For instance, how does my theory of score differentiation and method of scoring explain football being the most stratified?  It kind of doesn’t, on its face.  But its just a working theory at this stage. (Although I will note that with regard to basketball, the working theory is consistent with what the commenter Josh said about the win variance caused by the 3 point shot.)