Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Week 9 NBA Fanalyst Rankings: The Giving Edition



The holidays are all about giving and receiving - on and off the court. This week’s Fanalyst Rankings analyze how the best teams in the Eastern Conference share the basketball.

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 plays the fanalyst for the Eastern Conference. As a Denver Nuggets fan living west of the Mississippi River, Mrs. NBA plays the fan and provides the slander. The roles are reversed for the Western Conference.



1. Miami HEAT (18-6, prev. rank: 2)

MHI: The HEAT have the best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the East and average 4 more assists in wins than losses. The HEAT rank 5th in the NBA in assisted three-pointers with 88% of their threes created by the pass. They’ll need to rely on that ball movement to score when their legs get tired from playing 4 games in 5 nights this week against 2 below-average and 2 above-average teams in three-point defense: the Thunder (19th), @Bobcats (30th), @Pistons (13th) and @Bucks (3rd). The HEAT should go 3-1 this week with less pace and more space for the 1st back-to-back and vice versa for the 2nd.

Mrs. NBA: The Heat are back at the top and somewhere Knicks fans are throwing darts at a LeBron poster.

2. New York Knicks (20-7, prev. rank: 1)

MHI: The Knicks have the second-best schedule-adjusted efficiency differential in the East and average 3 more assists in wins than losses. The Knicks rank 1st in assist-to-turnover ratio and 2 of the 3 teams they play in 4 nights on their west coast road trip this week are below average in opponents' assist-to-turnover ratio: @Lakers (26th), @Suns (12th) and @Kings (24th). That’s a recipe for a 2-1 week.

Mrs. NBA: LinSanity kicked New York's ass and Chicago embarrassed them. New York is getting exposed in parts of their offense, not to mention Raymond "Brick" Felton.

3. Chicago Bulls (15-11, prev. rank: 4)

MHI: The Bulls rank 3rd in the East in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential and average 3 more assists in wins than losses. The Bulls rank 1st in the East (and 2nd in the NBA) with 64% of their buckets coming off assists and rank in the top 4 for assisted 2-point shots. Two of the 3 teams they play this week are below average in allowing points inside the arc: Rockets (19th), @Pacers (26th) and Wizards (9th). Looks like a 2-1 week for the Bulls.

Mrs. NBA: Chicago may be without their primary scorer and have the shittiest player in the NBA, Carlos Boozer, but their record is a tad surprising.

4. Atlanta Hawks (16-9, prev. rank: 3)

MHI: The Hawks rank 6th in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential and average 3 more assists in wins than losses. The Hawks rank 2nd in the NBA with 89% of their threes coming from assists. The Hawks ball movement will be tested with 3 games in 4 nights this week against 3 above average teams in 3-point defense: Pistons (13th), @Cavs (15th) and Pacers (2nd). The Hawks should be able to pass their way to 3-0 this week.

Mrs. NBA: No comment.

5. Indiana Pacers (16-12, prev. rank: 7)

MHI: The Pacers rank 5th in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential and average 3 more assists in wins than losses. They rank 7th in shots from 3-9 feet (48%) and 16-23 feet (67%) coming off assists but rank 28th in assist-to-turnover ratio. Pacers will face a tough week with 3 games in 4 nights against 3 teams with above average defenses in opponents’ assist-to-turnover ratio: Bulls (5th), Suns (12th) and @Hawks (4th). The Pacers should be able to take care of the ball well enough to go 2-1.

Mrs. NBA: Paul George, good God, I absolutely love watching him when he's dominant.

6. Boston Celtics (13-13, prev. rank: 6)

MHI: The Celtics rank 8th in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential and average 4 more assists in wins than losses. The Celtics rank 3rd in the NBA with 63% of their buckets coming from assists and 3 of their 4 games this week against teams that are below average in opponent’s assists per bucket: Nets (5th), @Clippers (23rd), @Warriors (26th) and @Kings (24th). Rajon Rondo should be able to thread the needle for a 2-2 record against those defenses.

Mrs. NBA: I know we aren't suppose to chastise the Celtics because "They'll come roaring back" but at what point will that be?

7. Brooklyn Nets (14-12, prev. rank: 5)

MHI: The Nets rank 4th in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential but only average 1 more assist in wins than losses. They rank 7th in the NBA with 57% of their buckets at the rim coming from assists and 2 of their 4 games in 5 nights this week against teams that are bad at defending the paint: @Celtics (23rd), @Bucks (11th), Bobcats (28th) and Cavs (13th). Despite 2 favorable matchups, I think Deron Williams will only be able to pick-and-roll the Nets to a 1-3 record this week.

Mrs NBA: Deron WILT-iams is abysmal...trash...horrific....unquestionably a lottery team point guard with his 39% shooting and 29% three-point percentage.

8. Orlando Magic (12-15, prev. rank: 8)

MHI: The Magic rank 7th in schedule-adjusted efficiency differential and average 7 more assists in wins than losses. They rank 5th in the NBA with 61% of their buckets coming from assists and 3 games against below average teams defending the pass this week: Hornets (29th), Wizards (17th) and Raptors (21st). Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick should be able to rack up enough assists for the Magic to go 3-0 this week.

Mrs. NBA: DwightMare has truly turned to be a blessing in disguise for this team.

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