Nothing changes a game faster than a three-pointer. This week’s Fanalyst Rankings analyzes the three-point attacks of the best teams in the Eastern Conference.
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 (24-11, prev. rank: 1)
MHI: The HEAT lead the NBA in three-point shooting and showed why on Saturday night when Mario Chalmers, the team’s 5th-best 3-point shooter, tied a team record going 10-13 from behind the arc against the Kings. HEAT play 2 games this week against below average 3-point defenses: @Jazz (28th), @Warriors (4th) and @Lakers (19th) on 2nd night of a back-to-back. HEAT should be able to bomb away for a 1-2 record this week.
Mrs. NBA: Only the Heat can have a losing streak and still be the best team out East. Incredible.
2. New York Knicks (24-13, prev. rank: 2)
MHI: The Knicks launch threes at the highest rate in the NBA. They only play 1 game this week, against the Pistons in London, so their arms and legs should be well-rested to get the moneyballs up against a Pistons defense that ranks 17th in opponents’ three-point rate. Easy 1-0 week for the Knicks.
Mrs. NBA: The Knicks went 6-8 in their past 14 games and apparently Melo finished a 15-day fast. It all seems convenient if you ask me.
3. Indiana Pacers (23-15, prev. rank: 4)
MHI: The Pacers have the best three-point defense in the NBA at limiting opponents shooting percentage and shot attempts behind the arc.That defense should earn them a 2-1 record against mediocre three-point shooting teams this week: @Bobcats (21st), @Magic (18th) and vs. Rockets (14th).
Mrs. NBA: Indiana should be ahead of New York; Paul George is carrying the no offense Pacers on his back. Plain and simple.
4. Chicago Bulls (20-15, prev. rank: 3)
MHI: The Bulls’ offense ranks last in percentage of shots taken from three-point land, but their defense ranks 3rd in making sure their opponents don’t get up too many, either. That defense faces two teams that shoot a high volume of threes and two that don’t this week: Hawks (5th in three-point rate), @Raptors (8th), @Celtics (28th) and vs. Grizzlies (29th) on second night of a back-to-back. That schedule screams 2-2 for the Bulls.
Mrs. NBA: Bulls continue to surprise me in that they are competing against some of the best offenses with little offense of their own.
5. Brooklyn Nets (22-15, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: The Nets rank 6th in the NBA at limiting opponents’ three-point rate, which is good since they rank 25th in three-point shooting defense. The defense will be tested this week in 3 games against 2 top 10 teams in percentage of points from threes: Raptors (9th) and a home-and-home with the Hawks (3rd). Should be a 2-1 week for the Nets.
Mrs. NBA: Nets bore me like a three-inch penis.
6. Boston Celtics (19-17, prev. rank: 8)
MHI: The Celtics generate 17.3% of their points from three-point land which ranks 28th in the NBA. Last season, with Ray Allen, they generated 17.4% of their offense from behind the arc. The Celtics only have to play 2 of their 4 games against above average three-point defenses this week: vs. Bobcats (30th), vs. Hornets (27th), vs. Bulls (5th) and @Pistons (11th). Celtics should be able to do enough on both sides of the arc to go 4-0 this week.
Mrs. NBA: Look at Boston winning games and stuff; they've won their last 5 and beat the Knicks.
7. Atlanta Hawks (21-15, prev. rank: 6)
MHI: The Hawks rank 3rd in the NBA in percentage of points from behind the arc. The offense will be tested this week by 4 games against 3 top 10 teams in defending the 3-point line: @Bulls (5th), vs. Nets (8th), @Nets and vs. Spurs (3rd) on 2nd night of a back-to-back. Those defenses will turn off the flow of the Hawks’ offense from 3 leave them with a dry 1-3 record this week.
Mrs. NBA: I will comment on this team and do so by saying: HAHAHAHAHAHA!
8. Milwaukee Bucks (19-17, prev. rank: 7)
MHI: The Bucks rank 4th in limiting the percentage of opponents’ opportunities to score from three-point land. This week the Bucks defense plays 2 top 5 teams at launching threes: @Lakers (3rd), @Suns (23rd) and @Blazers (4th). Only 1 of their opponents will #FearTheDeer out west this week, which means a 1-2 record on the road trip.
Mrs. NBA: #FearTheDeer is over, MHI.