NBA Power Rankings: The Hawks Take Flight
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.
Here's a look at how each team stacks up.
The Bottom 10
|28||New York Knicks||2-2||33.5||28||0|
|T23||Golden State Warriors||1-2||39.8||11||-12|
|22||Oklahoma City Thunder||1-2||42.8||23||+1|
- The Detroit Pistons have failed to register a win despite matchups with three bottom-tier teams and the Atlanta Hawks. Not great, Bob! It'll be a real nail-biter to see if they can pick up a victory before the Lions play their 2020 season-opener in nine months.
- One of the teams to beat Detroit was the Minnesota Timberwolves. Minnesota started out with consecutive wins before losing to the two Los Angeles teams by 35 and 23.
- Through three games, the Golden State Warriors have the second-worst net rating, fifth-worst offensive rating, and sixth-worst defensive rating. The Warriors did manage wins over the Chicago Bulls and Pistons, so that's...something.
The Middle of the Pack
|19||San Antonio Spurs||2-1||46.6||21||+2|
|17||Portland Trail Blazers||2-1||47.3||13||-3|
|14||New Orleans Pelicans||2-2||50.1||14||0|
- The Houston Rockets' season got off to a delayed start because, through no fault of his own, James Harden found himself attending a "private indoor party" at a strip club. Houston's next win will be their first of the season.
- While the bubble may have ended, the Orlando Magic are still enjoying a fairy tale start to their season. Orlando has the seventh-best net rating through four games and are currently the league's only four-win team.
- The Boston Celtics are bottom-10 in both net and defensive rating to start the season. The Celtics are also in the lower tier in true shooting percentage and assist percentage, so their offense isn't humming along, either.
- An 0-3 started has resulted in the Toronto Raptors dropping eight spots since the preseason. With one week passed, Toronto has the league's worst offensive rating and fifth-worst net rating. The Raptors are also bottom-five in rebounding percentage, effective field goal percentage, true shooting percentage, and scoring. They're about as cold as a mid-January night in Winnipeg.
The Best of the Best
|T6||Los Angeles Clippers||3-1||56.5||4||-2|
|1||Los Angeles Lakers||2-2||71.2||1||0|
- Somehow, the Atlanta Hawks are just one of two teams that have not lost a game yet -- that makes them deserving of their nine-slot bump. With the fantastically small sample size of three games, Atlanta is second in the league with a net rating of 12.2. Atlanta has hit 41.6% of their shots from outside the arc -- regression is coming.
- Despite a 3-1 start, the Los Angeles Clippers drop two spots in our rankings and deservedly so. You can't go down 50 at halftime of a professional basketball game and pretend like it didn't happen.
- Speaking of bad losses, the Milwaukee Bucks crapped the bed against the New York Knicks of all teams, losing by 20 in a game that was never close. Milwaukee then turned around and trounced the Miami Heat by 47 points the very next time out. Basketball is a weird sport, man.