For the best teams in the NBA, it ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re at. This week’s Fanalyst Rankings take a look at how the best teams in the East perform on the road.
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 (23-9, prev. rank: 1)
MHI: In the Eastern Conference, the HEAT only have the 6th-best schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road but have the 2nd-best shooting efficiency in the NBA when they’re away from home. Only 1 of their 3 road games this week are against a team with an above average shooting defense at home: @Pacers (1st), @Blazers (15th) and @Kings (30th). The HEAT should be able to shoot their way to a 2-1 record this week.
Mrs. NBA: Heat might be struggling now, but are ultimately trolling because when the postseason comes...
2. New York Knicks (23-11, prev. rank: 2)
MHI: The Knicks have the best schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road of any East team because they rank 3rd in shooting efficiency and have the lowest turnover rate away from home in the NBA. The Knicks only play 1 road game this week against a Pacers team that ranks 27th in opponents’ turnover rate followed by a back-to-back at home vs. the Bulls before the Hornets visit MSG. Taking care of the ball vs. Indy is the recipe for a 2-2 week.
Mrs. NBA: For a team that had a hot start, they've went 5-5 over the last 10 and opponents are still able to play head games with Melo. #Knickstaped
3. Chicago Bulls (18-13, prev. rank: 5)
MHI: The Bulls have the 2nd-best schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road of any East team and they’re above average in 3 of the 4 Factors away from home: turnovers (12th) offensive rebounding (6th) and free throws (7th). That combination should be enough for them to win their road game at MSG and go 4-0 this week.
Mrs. NBA: LOL Bulls beat the Heat. LOL
4. Indiana Pacers (20-14, prev. rank: 4)
MHI: In the East, the Pacers rank 9th in schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road because they rank 27th in shooting efficiency and 26th in turnover rate away from home. Their only road game this week is against a Nets team that ranks 23rd in shooting defense and 21st in opponents’ turnover rate but it will still be tough to beat them on the end of a back-to-back. That loss plus a 2-1 home record means a 2-2 week for the Pacers.
Mrs. NBA: Once Paul George realizes how spectacular he is, Pacers wont have abysmal losses. Maybe.
5. Atlanta Hawks (20-12, prev. rank: 3)
MHI: The Hawks have the 4th-best schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road among Eastern Conference teams because they rank 4th in shooting efficiency away from home. They should be able to shoot the lights out on the road this week against 2 weak shooting defenses: @Timberwolves (4th), @Cavs (27th) and @Wizards (20th). Once you factor in their 2 back-to-backs this week, it multiplies out to a 2-2 record for the Hawks.
Mrs. NBA: I plead the 5th.
6. Brooklyn Nets (19-15, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: The Nets have the 3rd-best schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road in the East despite a 7-8 record thanks to their blowout of the Thunder in OKC last week. The Nets rank top 10 in offensive rebounding and getting to the free throw line away from home. Their only road game this week is against a 76ers team that ranks 18th in opponents’ FTA/FGA and 7th in defensive rebounding. That road game is the only thing standing between the Nets and 3-0 this week.
Mrs. NBA: The Nets are so bloody annoying. And useless.
7. Milwaukee Bucks (16-16, prev. rank: 7)
MHI: The Bucks rank 5th in the East when it comes to schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road, but they’re below average in all 4 Factors away from home: shooting efficiency, turnovers, rebounding and getting to the line. That mediocrity will make it tough for them to beat the Bulls and Raptors on the road this week and that means they’ll be 2-2.
Mrs. NBA: Like Skiles, I can understand why he'd hate his squad. Who wants to coach such a mediocre team?
8. Boston Celtics (17-17, prev. rank: 8)
MHI: The Celtics rank 12th in the East in schedule-adjusted efficiency rating on the road. Despite that pathetic ranking, they’re above average in shooting efficiency and taking care of the ball away from home. They used both of those factors to beat the Knicks in MSG. That win plus a split at home against the Suns and Rockets means the Celtics get to stay above 0.500 with a 2-1 week.
Mrs. NBA: Two things that don't mix? Rondo and Atlanta, but even without him Boston had a nice win over New York. Honey Nut Cheerios, anyone?
All stats taken from http://teamrankings.com/nba/stats unless otherwise stated.