NBA AWP Rankings: Gainers, Losers And Mavs

The Mavs had a disappointing loss to the Bucks (ending their 12-game streak this week), but were able to right the ship with a win over Portland (even though that looked shaky at times!). So where has the NBA's action over the last two weeks left the landscape as teams position early for respect? Let's take a look at how our Adjusted Winning Percentage Rankings place the 20-5 Mavs…

The following are the results for all NBA play through December 16, 2010:

Adjusted Winning Percentage

Last

Change

1

Celtics

83.6

3

2

2

Mavericks

78.0

2

0

3

Spurs

77.6

1

-2

4

Jazz

69.3

4

0

5

Heat

69.0

12

7

6

Bulls

67.2

8

2

7

Nuggets

61.0

7

0

8

Thunder

60.0

9

1

9

Magic

57.2

5

-4

10

Hornets

55.4

6

-4

11

Lakers

55.4

10

-1

12

Hawks

51.6

13

1

13

Trailblazers

48.2

16

3

14

Knicks

47.9

19

5

15

Grizzlies

47.1

15

0

16

Pacers

46.6

11

-5

17

Bucks

45.6

17

0

18

Suns

45.5

14

-4

19

Rockets

44.9

18

-1

20

76ers

41.3

23

3

21

Raptors

35.2

20

-1

22

Bobcats

32.1

21

-1

23

Warriors

31.5

22

-1

24

Pistons

25.6

26

2

25

Nets

24.8

25

0

26

Clippers

24.8

27

1

27

Wolves

24.1

30

3

28

Wizards

20.5

28

0

29

Cavaliers

20.5

24

-5

30

Kings

19.1

29

-1

What do we see in these rankings?

  • We still see 6 teams above the 65.0% mark. This number matters because over the last decade the average AWP of the NBA Champion was around 70.0% with the only team dipping below the 65.0% mark being the anomalous 2006 Miami Heat. It is very early in the season and these rankings can change a lot, but it seems that our NBA champion this year will almost certainly come from a team in the 65.0+ bracket. With more than ¼ of the season behind us the Celtics, Mavs, Spurs, Jazz, Heat, and Bulls are the only teams that are exhibiting championship pedigree.

  • The Celtics, Mavs, and Spurs have separated themselves as the elite teams in the league so far with all three teams having an AWP above 75.0 while no other team even crests the 70.0 mark.

  • The Lakers dropped even further, falling one spot to 11th (and are almost a full 10.0% below the 65.0% threshold) even though they sport the 4th best record in the NBA at 19-7. Why? The Lakers are a pathetic 2-4 against winning teams, have played the number one weakest schedule in the league, and are only 6-4 over the last ten games. We still expect the Lakers to move themselves back into the mix by the end of the season, but once again, at this juncture their 19-7 record is truly deceptive.

  • The Headlinin' Heat have made a big move in the last two weeks and have jumped up to fifth with their big win streak. Their record versus +0.500 teams is now 5-6, they are 7-5 on the road, and they sport a league best +9.6 point differential.

  • The Mavs are still in 2nd place in the league in AWP and have leap-frogged the Spurs. Why? They have been stellar on the road (8-1), have played one of the toughest schedules in the league, are a wonderful 9-3 against winning teams, have a decent margin of victory (+5.7 compared to +2.7 last year), and are 9-1 over their last 10 games.

The Big Gainers:

1) Heat: +7 spots

2) Knicks: +5 spots

3) Wolves: +3 spots

4) Trailblazers: +3 spots

5) 76ers: +3 spots

6) Celtics: +2 spots

7) Bulls: +2 spots

The Big Losers:

1) Cavs: -5 spots

2) Pacers: -5 spots

3) Suns: -4 spots

4) Magic: -4 spots

5) Hornets: -4 spots

6) Spurs: -2 spots

A comparison to some other rankings around the league…

AWP

W/L

Hollinger

Stein

Average

Celtics

1

2

2

2

1.8

Mavericks

2

3

6

1

3.0

Spurs

3

1

3

3

2.5

Jazz

4

6

7

7

6.0

Heat

5

5

1

5

4.0

Bulls

6

8

5

4

5.8

Nuggets

7

10

8

12

9.3

Thunder

8

6

10

9

8.3

Magic

9

9

9

8

8.8

Hornets

10

13

17

14

13.5

Lakers

11

4

4

6

6.3

Hawks

12

11

13

11

11.8

Trailblazers

13

15

15

13

14.0

Knicks

14

11

14

10

12.3

Grizzlies

15

15

16

18

16.0

Pacers

16

17

18

15

16.5

Bucks

17

18

19

17

17.8

Suns

18

14

20

16

17.0

Rockets

19

19

11

19

17.0

76ers

20

19

12

20

17.8

Raptors

21

23

21

21

21.5

Bobcats

22

21

25

22

22.5

Warriors

23

21

22

23

22.3

Pistons

24

24

27

26

25.3

Nets

25

27

26

27

26.3

Clippers

26

30

24

25

26.3

Wolves

27

28

23

24

25.5

Wizards

28

26

28

30

28.0

Cavaliers

29

25

30

29

28.3

Kings

30

29

29

28

29.0

Hollinger's rankings absolutely love the glamorous Heat and Lakers, ranking them 4 spots and 7 spots respectively higher than the AWP rankings. And as seems to be usual over the last calendar year or so, Hollinger's rankings do not care for the Mavs, placing them 6th and far below any other ranking.

So what about the Mavs?

The Mavs should celebrate their 12-game win streak even if it ended in a frustrating way (against a sub 0.500 team at home after having a 20 point lead). The Mavs have positioned themselves wonderfully through their first 25 games and can take some solace that their biggest problem is holding on to huge leads (if you are going to have a problem that is a good one to have!). The Mavs will face some big challenges in the next two weeks as they face Phoenix, Miami, Orlando, Oklahoma City, Toronto, and San Antonio. If the Mavs can maintain their solid top 5 positioning through that stretch then it should be considered a victory. We have learned a lot from the Mavs in the first 25 games (and most of it is very good), but there is a lot more to learn even in the next 6 games.


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