NBA Power Rankings: Can the 76ers Solve Their Road Woes?
Nearly two-thirds of the 2019-20 NBA season are in the books, so let's take a look at numberFire's 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 five teams moved multiple spots in our rankings, as most squads have already established their identity. Nevertheless, let’s take a look at how each team stacks up.
The Bottom 10
|27||Golden State Warriors||12-39||28.2||28||+1|
|26||New York Knicks||15-36||29.3||26||0|
- The Charlotte Hornets went 0-4 this week, losing those contests by an average of 16.3 points. Charlotte has now dropped 12 of their last 13 and find themselves with the second-worst net rating in the league. If you thought the Hornets were just bad on one side of the court, think again. James Borrego's squad is currently bottom-eight in both defensive and offensive efficiency.
- The Golden State Warriors won two of their three games this week, improving from the worst record in the league...to the worst record in the league. Golden State has a one-game lead in the tank ranks.
- A three-loss week by an average of 17 points resulted in the Chicago Bulls dropping two spots in our rankings. Chicago had come into the week winners of 6 of their last 10 and are somehow just 4.0 games behind the eighth seed in the East.
The Middle of the Pack
|20||New Orleans Pelicans||20-31||43.9||19||-1|
|17||Portland Trail Blazers||23-28||46.8||17||0|
|14||San Antonio Spurs||22-28||49.2||15||+1|
|11||Oklahoma City Thunder||30-20||58.2||12||+1|
- A 3-1 week is enough to bump the Brooklyn Nets two spots and back into the middle-tier of our rankings. Despite a 22-27 record, Brooklyn currently finds themselves the seventh seed in the East. Four of their next five games are against some the East's top squads -- so we're about to find out if the Nets can actually compete.
- Another winless week has the Phoenix Suns dropping further down our ranks. The Suns had won 6 of 10 coming into the week, so there's hope that this was just a hiccup.
- Our Faller of the Week Award goes to the Philadelphia 76ers. Philly lost another three road games this week by an average of 20.7 points. The difference between the 76ers at home versus on the road is staggering. The Sixers have a 10.0 net rating at home, good for third-best in the league. However, on the road, that number drops to -4.8. That's a 14.8-point difference. In fact, Philly has more losses on the road than four teams ahead of them in the East have in total.
- A team that beats the Utah Jazz and Milwaukee Bucks in one week is certain to get a bump -- and that is the case for the Denver Nuggets -- though the bump is mitigated a bit by a loss to the Pistons.
The Best of the Best
|6||Los Angeles Clippers||35-15||63.1||6||0|
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||38-11||72.8||2||0|
- The Miami Heat take home our Riser of the Week Award on the back of a 2-0 week. Jimmy Butler, in particular, probably enjoyed Miami's 31-point thrashing of the 76ers the most, as he posted 38 points in just 28 minutes of action. The Heat have been fairly consistent, losing back-to-back games just once this season. Erik Spoelstra's squad has also defeated each of the current Eastern Conference playoff teams, aside from the Boston Celtics.
- Speaking of the Boston Celtics, they move up to fourth in our rankings on the basis of a 3-0 week. Boston is third in the league in net and defensive rating, as well as fifth in offensive efficiency.
- The Los Angeles Lakers have held on to the number two spot in our rankings for nearly the entire season, but the gap between them and the third spot -- in terms of nERD score -- is the tightest it's been since early December. After losing just 3 of their first 27 contests, the Lakers have dropped four of their last nine -- including multiple losses by 17 or more. In terms of net rating, Los Angeles is significantly closer to third (0.3 points) than they are to first (4.4 points).