Saturday, March 24, 2012

Week 14 Eastern Conference Fanalyst Rankings: Floater Edition

Shooting efficiency is the most important factor for winning basketball games, but most teams don’t have a big man to get them easy buckets below the bottom of the key. This week’s Fanalyst Rankings looks at the guards the best teams in the East will be using to score points in the paint with a variety of runners and floaters during the playoffs when teams try to prevent them from getting to the rim.

There are two sides to every NBA Power Ranking: the Fanalytical and the Fanatical. As a Miami HEAT blogger living on the east coast, MHI played the Eastern Conference fanalyst for games thru Friday. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, the NBA Mistress played the fan and provided the slander. The roles are reversed for the Western Conference Rankings.

1. Miami HEAT (35-11, Last Week #1)

MHI: HEAT have the best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the NBA according to Dwyane Wade is second among guards in scoring points at the rim, and he’s second among guards in scoring from 3-9 feet (according to if teams stop him from getting to the rack in the playoffs. HEAT play 2 back-to-backs in their next 5 games with a 50% chance of sweeping the first one against the Thunder & Pacers. All 5 teams are above average defending the paint from 0-9 feet except the Mavs, but the HEAT should still go 4-1.

NBAMistress: BLAH!! Miami Heat is the best team in the East, but dear lord, can we discuss Battier calling out flopper Scola, when he's made his bread and butter off of flopping. No? I forgot MHI is the BIGGEST Shane Battier fan... 

2. Chicago Bulls (39-10, Last Week #2)

MHI: Bulls rank second in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential and Derrick Rose hasn’t been ranks 4th in scoring at the rim and 6th from 3-9 feet even though he hasn’t been healthy this season. Three of the four teams the Bulls play next week play above average defense in the paint. Expect Rose to have a big game against the Pistons if he plays, but if he doesn’t the Bulls still won’t lose a game next week until they go to OKC.

NBA Mistress: The most exciting thing about the Bulls is Uncle Rico's latest hair debacle. Oh! And whether or not Derrick Rose will put me to sleep with some lame ass speech. 

MHI: I think the Mistress is bitter that Rose doesn't play in Denver this season as a result of the lockout.

3. Philadelphia 76ers (27-21, Last Week #3)

MHI: Sixers have the 3rd-best efficiency differential in the East and three guards that are average or better from 3-9 feet: Jrue Holiday, Lou Williams and Evan Turner. Two of the Sixers’ three opponents next week are below average defending that area of the paint and it should help them go 3-0 after struggling to just 2-3 their last five games.


4. Atlanta Hawks (28-20, Last Week #4)

MHI: Hawks have the fourth-best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the East and Jeff Teague is above average scoring at the rim and with the floater from 3-9 feet (where Joe Johnson ranks 4th in the NBA). They’re going to need those floaters next week with 2 sets of back-to-backs against 3 teams that rank in the top 5 for defending the rim. Hawks should go 2-2 next week with a loss to the 76ers but Al Horford’s on pace to return by the playoffs.

NBA Mistress: Yeah, they will be in the playoffs, but it will be another one-and-done appearance. Plus, it's the Hawks! Total yawn fucking fest... I'd RATHER hear Derrick Rose talk.

5. Orlando Magic (29-16, Last Week #5)

MHI: Magic have the 6th-best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the conference and it’s all because of Dwight Howard. None of their guards are above average scoring below the bottom of the key. Luckily, Howard should be enough to carry them to a 3-1 record next week against the Raptors, Knicks, Mavs and Nuggets.

NBA Mistress: Magic still blow monkey balls...

6. Indiana Pacers (27-19, Last Week #6)

MHI: Pacers have the fifth-best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the NBA, but their guards don’t do much damage in the paint. The Pacers won’t do much damage in the standings next week, either. They’ve got a 50% chance of beating the HEAT on Sunday and will probably go 2-2 in their 2 back-to-backs next week against the Nets, Wizards, Spurs and Rockets.

NBA Mistress: Pacers lost 2 consecutive games to the Knickerbockers... they deserve zero respect. This team is pathetic. Maybe they should find a group of Klan members to play a game against in Indiana. Maybe that would even things up a bit.

7. Boston Celtics (25-22, Last Week #7)

MHI: Celtics only have the ninth-best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the East as a result of too many nights where there old bones just play “don’t give a fuck” basketball. Rondo is above average scoring at the rim but his runner is below average from 3-9 feet. Fortunately for the Celtics, the HEAT are the only one of their next 4 opponents that plays above average defense at the rim. Boston should go 3-1 next week to pull within 1.5 games of the Pacers for the 6th playoff spot.

NBA Mistress: Hey, didn't you say age wouldn't play a factor with the Celtics?? So, when will I receive my vase full of flowers saying, "You were right, NBA Mistress"? I like tiger lilies.

8. New York Knicks (23-25, Last Week #8)

MHI: Knicks have the seventh-best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the East, but the Bucks rank #1 in the NBA over the last 5 games and only trail the Knicks by half-a-game in the standings. Jeremy Lin is more effective with the runner than Brandon Jennings but Black Ice is better finishing at the rim. The Knicks will prove to be better overall when they play Monday and should create some distance in the standings next week. The Bucks should go 0-4 in 2 sets of back-to-backs while the Knicks go 3-1 with 3 home games.

NBA Mistress: Knicks lost to the fucking Craptors. Enough said.

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