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2012-13 NBA Power Rankings 5.0

 

With another week of games in the books, it's time for an update of the Broom on the Warpath NBA Power Rankings (and awards watch). Rankings have largely stabilized. The biggest mover in rank was Sacramento, which moved from 29th to 22nd. Next biggest was San Antonio, which moved from 5th to 1st, but teams in the top 5 remain tightly bunched. There's no clear "best team" even if we're talking "so far."

The Wizards maintained their grip on last, but inched closer to the other bottom feeders. It interests me to hear the loud and frequent griping about what's wrong with the Lakers, and then note that they're still hovering in the top 10.

This power ranking is stat-based. It combines measures of team strength shown to have the best predictive power, including scoring differential and stats reflecting their performance in the four factors that decide which teams win and lose, as well as a strength of schedule adjustment. The top score is always 100 and other teams are scaled below.

RANK  LW  TEAM  POW 
 1  5 SAS  100 
 2  1 OKC  100 
 3  4 LAC 99 
 4  2 NYK 95 
 5  3 MEM 92 
 6  6 MIA 87 
 7  9 ATL 82 
 8  8 LAL 81 
 9  7 BRK 78 
10 13 UTA 77 
11 11  CHI 75 
12 10 HOU 71 
13 12 DEN 70 
14 15 BOS 70 
15 18 MIN 69 
16 14 GSW 68
17 16 MIL 66
18 20 IND 61 
19 19 DAL 60 
20 17 PHI 59 
21 22 DET 56 
22 29 SAC 53 
23 24 ORL 53 
24 25 NOH 53 
25 21 POR 53 
26 23 PHO 51 
27 28 CHA 46 
28 27 TOR 46 
29 26 CLE 45 
30 30 WAS 42 
       

Let's move now to the "awards watch." Rankings are based on the Player Production Average, a per minute statistical rating system I've developed. PPA is derived from the box score and includes accounting for defense. In PPA, 100 = average and higher is better.

MVP

MVP LW  PLAYER  TEAM  PPA 
-- Lebron James  MIA  226 
2 1 Tim Duncan SAS  221 
3 5 Chris Paul LAC  220 
4 2 Kevin Durant OKC  219 
5 -- Tyson Chandler NYK 206 
         

I know what you're thinking. You can go along with the first four guys, no problem. But Chandler? Are you nuts?! Haven't you heard that Carmelo Anthony is the Knicks MVP -- possibly the league's MVP this season?

Here's my response: Look at what Chandler is actually doing. His offensive rating (points produced per 100 possessions) is an astronomical 145. He's shooting better than 70% FROM THE FIELD. He's a dominating rebounder, and he plays great defense.

Carmelo is having an excellent season. He's more efficient offensively than he's been in previous years, but he's still only about average in rebounding and he lags in defensive categories.

6th MAN

6MY  LW  PLAYER  TEAM  PPA 
--  Greg Smith HOU  190 
2 1 Eric Bledsoe LAC  186 
3 2 Andre Drummond DET  174 
4 3 Javale McGee DEN  167 
5 -- Tiago Splitter SAS  159 
         

You're probably saying...Greg Smith? From the Springfield, MA Smith's? Again, look at the numbers. Limited minutes, but a productive rebounder, competent shot-blocker and insanely efficient on offense. My guess is that by the end of the year, someone like Splitter or Atlanta's Louis Williams will be atop this category.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

ROY  LW  PLAYER  TEAM  PPA 
1 Anthony Davis  NOH  196 
2 2 Andre Drummond DET  174 
3 4 Michael Kidd-Gilchrist CHA  118 
4 5 Damian Lillard POR  113 
5 3 Bernard James DAL  106 
         

Davis has played just six games, but still makes the minutes cutoff. He'll need to get back on the floor this week to stay on the list. Drummond continues his productive play off the bench in Detroit. He still can't shoot free throws, but he rebounds and plays within himself, which means he's efficient overall on the offensive end.

DIAMOND RATING

Here's an updated look at my "Diamond" rating, which is intended to develop a "shopping list" of players whose per minute production suggests they may deserve an increase in playing time. To make the list players must be 26 years old or younger and play fewer than 28 minutes per game. The table below lists the player, their minutes per game and their PPA.

PLAYER  TEAM  MPG  PPA 
Greg Smith HOU  12.5 190 
Eric Bledsoe LAC  18.6  186 
Brandan Wright DAL  18.2  182 
Andre Drummond DET  18.0  174 
Marshon Brooks BRK  11.4  140 
Andray Blatche BRK 20.2 183
DeMarre Carroll UTA 17.9 163 
Jimmer Fredette SAC 11.3  131 
Reggie Williams CHA  9.6  124 
Javale McGee DEN  19.7  167 
       
The Diamond rating is not intended for use as something to knock coaches for stupidly not giving a guy more minutes. There are sometimes good reasons why players get less playing times than their production would seem to warrant. However, there are other times where players are undervalued by their teams. This rating is an attempt to identify some potential "undervalued" candidates for further research and analysis.

Have questions? Want to know where your favorite player rates? Leave a comment or tweet me @Broom_Kevin.

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