NBA Power Rankings: Luka Out Below!
A month of the 2019-20 NBA season is in the books, which means it’s time to check out where each team stands in our power rankings.
Teams will be ranked in terms of nERD, which is our efficiency metric based on in-game data. These ratings allow us to understand which teams and players are performing best. nERD is indicative of a team's expected winning percentage, so an average team will have a nERD score of 50.0.
Only seven teams maintained the same rank as last week -- which means there’s been a lot of movement. Let’s take a look at how each team stacks up.
The Bottom 10
|30||Golden State Warriors||3-15||21.5||30||0|
|25||New York Knicks||4-13||29.9||29||+4|
|22||New Orleans Pelicans||6-11||40.2||20||-2|
- In last week's piece, I stated that the Golden State Warriors had officially hit rock-bottom... and then they lost to the Mavericks by 48 two days later. Apparently, rock-bottom doesn't have a rock-bottom. At 3-15, Golden State has the worst record in the league. The Warriors also have the worst defensive rating and seventh-worst offensive rating. In summary, they suck.
- After starting the season 3-3, the Atlanta Hawks have lost 10 of their last 11 games, including 7 straight. In November along, they have a 20-point loss to the Chicago Bulls, a 16-point defeat by the Phoenix Suns, a 49-point (!!) thrashing at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers, a 21-point loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, and a 25-point erosion by the Detroit Pistons. The Hawks have the league's third-worst defensive rating, fifth-worst offensive rating, third-highest turnover percentage, eighth-worst true shooting percentage, and second-worst assist to turnover ratio. You don't need to be familiar with any of those stats to comprehend how bad they've been playing.
The Middle of the Pack
|19||San Antonio Spurs||6-12||42.8||16||-3|
|18||Portland Trail Blazers||6-12||43.9||T17||-1|
|14||Oklahoma City Thunder||6-10||49.9||13||-1|
- The San Antonio Spurs continue to drop down our rankings, as they've lost 11 of their last 13 contests. The good news for the Spurs is that they didn't drop down the ranks in defensive rating this week. The bad news is that they still have the fourth-worst defense in the league. The fact that Ben Simmons has hit more three(s) in the last week than DeMar DeRozan has over his last 66 games isn't a great sign, either.
- Here's a fun fact: the Brooklyn Nets with Kyrie Irving are 4-7. Their record without him? 5-1. Boston Celtics fans probably won't be too surprised that a team is playing worse after bringing in Kyrie. That said, I'm sure Kyrie still has fans all around the globe who believe he can lead a team.
- You might be surprised to learn that, despite signing Carmelo Anthony and giving nearly 30 minutes a night, the Portland Trail Blazers did not move up in our rankings. In another shocking twist, among players averaging under 30 minutes, Melo's 16 field goal attempts per game is the highest in the league.
- To their credit, I expected them to earn this "accolade" much sooner. With that said, the Phoenix Suns are taking home our Faller of the Week Award. After starting the season 5-2, the Suns have lost six of their last nine and find themselves in the middle of the Western Conference standings. Still, what the team has accomplished despite their low expectations -- and without Deandre Ayton -- is nothing short of impressive. Phoenix is ninth in offensive rating and effective field goal percentage, fifth in true shooting percentage, and fourth in assist to turnover ratio.
The Best of the Best
|7||Los Angeles Clippers||13-5||62.4||8||+1|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||15-2||76.7||2||0|
- The Los Angeles Clippers have won six in a row, but more importantly, they are 4-0 when Paul George and Kawhi Leonard have shared the court -- with three of those victories coming against teams ranked inside our top 12.
- Luka here, the Dallas Mavericks are the winners of our Biggest Riser of the Week award. The Mavs had won five in a row prior to their loss to the Clippers last night. How did Dallas vault themselves into our top five? Luka no further than Luka Doncic. Luka's numbers in the month are astonishing to Luka at. He's averaging 31.7 points, 10.4 rebounds, and 10.4 assists on 49/34/84 shooting splits this month, and it doesn't Luka like he's about to slow down. Dallas' offense as a whole continues to Luka impressive, as they're first in the league with an offensive rating of 116.8. The Mavericks also have the third-best net rating and effective field goal percentage, fifth-best assist to turnover ratio, third-lowest turnover ratio, and second-best true shooting percentage. They Luka like legitimate contenders.
- The Lakers and Bucks have each won eight in a row are the only two teams with a nERD rating over 70. Milwaukee (8.7) and Los Angeles (8.0) are also the top-two teams in the league in terms of net rating.