NBA Power Rankings: The Hornets Are Buzzing
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
|27||Oklahoma City Thunder||5-5||31.5||26||-1|
|26||New York Knicks||5-6||35.8||25||-1|
|25||Golden States Warriors||6-5||37.7||27||+2|
- The Minnesota Timberwolves have lost seven of their last eight games and currently possess a net rating that's 2.7 points worse than any other team in the league. The Wolves are bottom-six in both offensive and defensive rating, so their struggles extend to both ends of the court.
- Winners of four of their last six, the Golden State Warriors are certainly upping their game. During that stretch, Golden State has defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers, and Toronto Raptors.
- Right behind the Wolves in net rating are the Sacramento Kings. To date, Sacramento is dead last in defensive rating. Over their last five, the Kings are allowing an average of 130.4 points. Yikes. That definitely explains their seven-spot drop.
- In a day in age where 21 teams are averaging at least 110 points per game, the Cleveland Cavaliers have not been part of the scoring revolution. The Cavs have failed to record 100 in any of their last nine games, which is almost unheard of these days. Their inability to score has led to Cleveland losing five of their last six.
The Middle of the Pack
|T19||San Antonio Spurs||6-5||43.0||T19||0|
|15||Portland Trail Blazers||6-4||48.4||T19||+4|
|13||Los Angeles Clippers||7-4||51.9||10||-3|
|12||New Orleans Pelicans||4-5||52.1||11||-1|
- The Charlotte Hornets are on a four-game win streak and are quietly 14th in the league with a net rating of 0.9. Charlotte is also first in the league in assist percentage -- they're playing like a cohesive unit. That's enough to give them a five-spot bump in our rankings.
- After their hot start, the Orlando Magic continue to plummet back down to earth. Orlando lost three in a row this week by an average of 26 points. Not great, Bob!
- On the opposite end of the spectrum are the Portland Trail Blazers. Portland started out a bit slow, but they've now been victorious in each of their last three matchups.
- The Houston Rockets moved up two spots, but I'm writing this as the news of a James Harden trade to the Brooklyn Nets is unfolding. Houston will reportedly be adding Victor Oladipo in the blockbuster deal, so they should be able to stay afloat in the Western Conference.
The Best of the Best
|2||Los Angeles Lakers||9-3||72.0||2||0|
- Though they still possess the league's fifth-best net rating, the Atlanta Hawks have lost four of their last five. The silver lining of those losses is that none of them came by double-digits.
- The Indiana Pacers flipped Oladipo for Caris LeVert in the Harden deal, and we'll see in the near future how what kind of impact that will have. As of this writing, Indiana has the fourth-best net rating in the league.
- Since starting 0-2, the Dallas Mavericks have beaten the Clippers, Heat, Rockets, Denver Nuggets, and Magic -- not too shabby. Dallas will be getting Kristaps Porzingis back tonight, so things should only look up from here.
- Now, onto the Brooklyn Nets, who just mortgaged their entire future for James Harden. Brooklyn will be losing LeVert and Jarrett Allen in the deal, which leaves them with only DeAndre Jordan at center -- that could definitely be an area of concern. Neither Harden, Kyrie Irving, or Kevin Durant are known to be among the easiest superstars to work with, so let's get our popcorn ready and enjoy the show!