Posts Tagged ‘Indiana Pacers’

Legitimate Contenders in the NBA [2008-2009]: Part I

December 16, 2008

The 2008-2009 NBA regular season schedule has reached the 1/4 pole, as all 30 teams have played at least 20 games. Given the history of this league and …

What it takes to win the NBA Championship

… it is helpful to evaluate where they rank against one another at this juncture.

QUALITY RATING & QUALITY INDEX RANKING

NBA 2008-2009
[as of Mon Dec 15 2008]

Team

W/L

Win%

PDR

PAR

RDR

QR

QIR

EC

WC

Cavaliers

20/4

.833

1

1

3

5

1

2

 

Celtics

23/2

.920

3

2

1

6

2

1

 

Hornets

13/7

.650

6

3

10

19

3

 

4

Blazers

15/10

.600

10

9

1

20

T-4

 

7

Rockets

15/9

.625

8

5

7

20

T-4

 

5

Lakers

20/3

.870

2

14

6

22

6

 

1

Spurs

15/8

.652

7

6

11

24

7

 

3

76ers

10/14

.417

16

8

4

28

 

11

 

Jazz

15/11

.577

9

11

9

29

8

 

8

Mavericks

13/10

.625

11

16

7

34

 

 

9

 

Nuggets

17/7

.708

4

15

16

35

9

 

2

Hawks

15/9

.625

12

7

17

36

10

4

 

Magic

19/6

.760

5

10

24

39

11

3

 

Bucks

11/15

.423

18

17

5

40

 

10

 

Pistons

13/9

.591

14

12

22

48

12

5

 

Suns

15/10

.600

13

22

14

49

13

 

6

Bobcats

7/18

.280

24

4

22

50

 

14

 

Heat

12/12

.500

15

13

25

53

14

7

 

Nets

12/11

.522

20

24

12

56

15

6

 

Bulls

11/12

.478

17

21

18

56

16

8

 

 

Pacers

8/16

.333

21

25

13

59

 

13

 

Grizzlies

9/15

.375

22

18

19

59

 

 

10

Timberwolves

4/20

.167

28

23

14

65

 

 

14

Clippers

6/17

.261

25

19

25

69

 

 

13

Raptors

10/14

.417

23

20

30

73

 

12

 

Thunder

2/23

.080

30

26

20

76

 

 

15

Knicks

11/13

.458

19

29

28

76

 

9

 

Kings

7/18

.280

29

28

20

77

 

 

11

Wizards

4/18

.182

27

27

27

81

 

15

 

Warriors

7/18

.261

26

30

29

85

 

 

12

Legend:
W-L – Won Loss Record; Win% – Winning Percentage; PDR – Points Differential Rank; PAR – Points Allowed Rank; RDR – Rebound Differential Rank; QR – Quality Rating; QIR – Quality Index Ranking; EC – Eastern Conference Playoff Position; WC – Western Conference Playoff Position 

Note:
1. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion and Finalist has had a QR ≤ 34.
2. Since 2000-2001 each NBA Champion has had a QIR ≤ #9.
3. Since 2000-2001 7 of the 8 NBA Champions have had a QIR ≤ #4. 

Take note of where your favourite team stands today … and where it will need to get to, over the course of the next five months, in order to be considered a legit contender for the 2009 NBA Championship.

NBA’s upper echelon begins to emerge

November 28, 2008

The NBA’s regular season schedule is now in full swing with each team having played a minimum of 13 games.

As was mentioned earlier in this space, there are three tiers of teams in this League that reveal themselves on an annual basis:

1. HIGH END [above a .549 Win %]
2. MIDDLE-of-the-Pack [between a .450-.549 Win %]
3. LOW END [below a .450 Win %]

At this point, here’s what each team’s W-L record is, in conjunction with their respective Rebounding Differential Ranking [which regular readers here know is a crucial factor towards playoff success]:

HIGH END

1 LA Lakers 12-1/.923; +5.00/#3
2 Boston 14-2/.875; +3.43/#7
3 Cleveland 12-3/.750; +4.33/#5
4 Phoenix 11-5/.688; -0.25/#14
T5 Detroit 9-5/.643; +0.92/#11
T5 Atlanta 9-5/.643; -0.42/#16
T5 Orlando 12-4/.643; -0.37/#15
T5 New Orleans 9-5/.643; +0.07/#13
T9 Utah 10-6/.625; +3.50/#6
T9 Portland 10-6/.625; +4.37/#4
T9 Houston 10-6/.625; +2.06/#9
T9 Denver 10-6/.625; -0.43/#17
13 San Antonio 8-6/.571; -2.28/#24 *

MIDDLE

T14 Dallas 7-7/.500; +3.07/#8
T14 New Jersey 7-7/.500; +0.21/#12
T14 Toronto 7-7/.500; -2.14/#23
T17 Miami 7-8/.467; -5.26/#28
T17 Philadelphia 6-7/.467; +6.33/#1
T17 New York 7-8/.467; -7.20/#30

LOW END

20 Chicago 7-9/.438; -1.31/#19
21 Indiana 6-8/.429; +1.00/#10
22 Milwaukee 7-10/.412; +5.58/#2
23 Golden State 5-10/.333; -3.20/#26
24 Sacramento 5-12/.294; -1.64/#20
25 Memphis 4-11/.267; -2.40/#25
26 Charlotte 4-10/.286; -2.07/#22
27 Minnesota 3-10/.231; -1.30/#18
28 Washington 2-11/.154; -3.46/#27
29 LA Clippers/2-13/.133; -5.53/#29
30 Oklahoma City 1-15/.063; -1.81/#21

* Have played mostly without Ginobili-M and Parker-T, thus far.

Rebounding Differential Rankings in the NBA [Nov 6]

November 7, 2008

When this corner of the sports blogosphere told you earlier this fall/summer that the Raptors trade for Jermaine O’Neal was not going to be enough, by itself, to fundamentally improve Toronto’s Rebounding Deficiency from the last few seasons there were boatloads of delusional fans some who did not want to believe this specific assessment of this team, in advance of actually seeing real live NBA games this season with their own two eyes.

—————–

How could the acquisition of a former 6-time NBA All-Star …

in exchange for a smallish, erractic [but talented] Point Guard [i.e. TJ Ford], an over-the-hill, lumbering, strictly speaking part-time Center [i.e. Rasho Nesterovic], the 15th player from their roster last season [i.e. Maceo Baston], and a flip-flop of the No. 17 [overall] and No. 41 Draft Picks from the 2008 NBA Draft, who turned out to be Roy Hibbert [C] and Nathan Jawai [C], respectively …

possibly NOT improve the Raptors decidely mediocre rebounding numbers from the last few years in any significant way, shape or form?

—————–

Well … as of Thursday, November 6, 2008 the Basketball Acumen of this specific correspondent seems to be as sharp [and accurate] as ever:

[Statistics from NBA.com]

NBA

Rebounding Differential

Per Game

2008-2009

[as of Thu Nov 6]

Rank

Team

+/-

1

L.A. Lakers

+12.25

2

Detroit

+11.00

 

Philadelphia

+11.00

4

Cleveland

+9.00

5

Phoenix

+5.20

6

Utah

+5.00

7

Atlanta

+3.66

8

Boston

+2.40

 

Milwaukee

+2.40

10

Golden State

+0.40

 

Portland

+0.40

12

Orlando

+0.20

13

Charlotte

-0.25

14

Chicago

-0.60

15

Houston

-1.40

16

New Jersey

-1.66

17

Sacramento

-1.80

18

Memphis

-2.00

19

Oklahoma City

-2.25

20

New Orleans

-3.00

21

Denver

-3.50

 

Minnesota

-3.50

23

Dallas

-3.75

24

Miami

-4.00

25

San Antonio

-4.25

26

Indiana

-4.66

27

Washington

-7.33

28

New York

-8.75

29

L.A. Clippers

-9.00

30

Toronto

-10.50

When a certain NBA observer tells you something about ‘How the Game actually Works in this League’, in advance … it might well be in your best interests to believe what this person has to say, even though you are not able to fully comprehend it, at that point in time.

—————–

“The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”Anonymous

Comprehending pre-season standings in the NBA

October 24, 2008

The NBA’s pre-season schedulae of games is rapidly coming to a close.

In general, how a team fares in its pre-season games … in this League, at least … provides a preliminary indication of where it actually stands, relative to the competition, heading into the new campaign.

Annually, there are three major categories of teams in the NBA:

1. Above .549 [High End]
2. .450-.549 [Middle]
3. Below .450 [Low End]

——————————————-

When you examine the current standings for the pre-season: 

2008-2009 Conference Preseason Standings
Eastern Conference
Eastern W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
Orlando 6 1 0.857 0.0 4-1 4-1 3-1 3-0 6-1 W 6
Boston 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-2 3-2 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 2
Detroit 6 2 0.750 0.5 5-1 3-0 3-2 3-0 6-2 L 1
Atlanta 5 3 0.625 1.5 4-1 3-1 1-2 4-1 5-3 W 1
Philadelphia 4 3 0.571 2.0 4-3 4-1 1-2 3-1 4-3 W 1
Indiana 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-0 1-0 3-1 1-3 4-4 W 1
New York 3 3 0.500 2.5 3-3 3-3 0-2 3-1 3-3 L 1
Toronto 4 4 0.500 2.5 1-1 1-1 2-3 2-1 4-4 L 2
Chicago 3 4 0.429 3.0 0-1 0-1 1-3 2-1 3-4 W 2
New Jersey 2 4 0.333 3.5 1-4 0-4 1-3 1-1 2-4 L 4
Washington 2 4 0.333 3.5 0-1 0-0 0-2 2-2 2-4 W 1
Cleveland 2 5 0.286 4.0 2-3 0-1 1-3 1-2 2-5 L 1
Miami 1 5 0.167 4.5 0-3 0-1 1-3 0-2 1-5 L 1
Milwaukee 1 6 0.143 5.0 0-2 0-2 1-3 0-3 1-6 L 2
Charlotte 0 8 0.000 6.5 0-4 0-4 0-2 0-6 0-8 L 8
Western Conference
Western W L PCT GB CONF DIV HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK
New Orleans 7 0 1.000 0.0 2-0 1-0 4-0 3-0 7-0 W 7
Minnesota 6 2 0.750 1.5 2-1 2-1 3-1 3-1 6-2 W 1
Denver 4 1 0.800 2.0 2-1 2-1 3-0 1-1 4-1 W 1
Houston 5 2 0.714 2.0 5-0 3-0 3-1 2-1 5-2 W 3
L.A. Lakers 5 2 0.714 2.0 1-2 1-1 5-2 0-0 5-2 W 5
Phoenix 5 2 0.714 2.0 3-0 1-0 2-1 3-1 5-2 W 3
Golden State 4 2 0.667 2.5 2-1 0-0 3-0 1-2 4-2 W 2
L.A. Clippers 4 3 0.571 3.0 2-2 2-1 0-3 4-0 4-3 L 2
Portland 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-3 0-2 2-2 2-1 4-3 L 1
Utah 4 3 0.571 3.0 3-2 2-1 1-1 3-2 4-3 W 2
Dallas 4 4 0.500 3.5 1-0 0-0 2-2 2-2 4-4 L 2
San Antonio 3 3 0.500 3.5 0-2 0-2 1-2 2-1 3-3 L 1
Memphis 2 6 0.250 5.5 0-2 0-2 2-2 0-4 2-6 L 4
Oklahoma City 1 5 0.167 5.5 0-4 0-1 0-1 1-4 1-5 L 2
Sacramento 1 7 0.125 6.5 1-7 0-2 1-3 0-4 1-7 L 6

——————————————

what you see, with only 4 days left, is generally speaking fairly representative of what you should now expect to get over the course of the 82-game regular season from these teams, in a broad sense.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Above .549
Orlando, Detroit, Boston, Atlanta, Philadelphia

.450-.549
Indiana, New York, Toronto

Below .450
Chicago, New Jersey, Washington [playing without Arenas], Cleveland [playing few minutes with LBJ] , Miami, Milwaukee, Charlotte

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Above .549
New Orleans, Minnesota, Denver, Houston, LA Lakers, Phoenix, Golden State, LA Clippers, Portland, Utah

.450-.549
Dallas, San Antonio [playing with Ginobili]

Below .450
Memphis, Oklahoma City, Sacramento

——————————————-

Although it’s not uncommon for a team to shift from the High End to the Middle over the course of the regular season; it is rare for a team to move from the High End to the Low End … and vice versa … once the regular season starts unless, of course, it has to play [or is playing currently] without 1 or more of its marquee players for an extending number of games.

What is usually the most interesting thing to see, however, over the course of the 82-game regular season, is which few teams are able to elevate their performance (i) from the Middle into the High End, and (ii) from the Low End into the Middle … automatically making them one of the ‘Feel Good’ stories of the year; and, which few teams, if any, will go in the opposite direction … automatically making them one of the ‘Biggest Disappointment’ stories.

Into which specific category does it look as though your favourite team is going to fit this season?

High End now that stays in the High End
High End now that drops down into the Middle
Middle now that steps up into the High End
Middle now that stays in the Middle
Middle now that drops down into the Low End
Low End now that steps up into the Middle
Low End now that stays in the Low End

Tracking the Raptors’ Key Stretch of 19 Games (#19)

March 1, 2008

The Anatomy of Wins and Losses in the NBA:
Breaking Down Key Possessions

Game 19 – TOR 111 vs Ind (22-36) 122, L 12-7 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 18 – TOR 107 vs Min (11-43) 85, W 12-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 17 – Tor 102 @ IND (22-34) 98, W 11-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 16 – TOR 115 vs Nyk (17-38) 92, W 10-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 15 – Tor 99 @ NYK (16-38) 103, L 9-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 14 – TOR 127 vs Orl (34-21) 110, W 9-5 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 13 – TOR 109 vs Njn (22-30) 91, W 8-5 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 12 – TOR 88 vs Sas (33-17) 93, L 7-5 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 11 – Tor 105 @ MIN (10-38) 82, W 7-4 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 10 – TOR 98 v Lac (15-31) 102, L 6-4 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 9 – Tor 114 @ MIA (9-36) 82, W 6-3 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 8 – TOR 101 vs LAL (28-16) 121, L 5-3 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 7 – TOR 122 vs Was (24-19) 85, W 5-2 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 6 – Tor 104 @ WAS (23-19) 108, OT, L 4-2 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 5 – TOR 106 vs Mil (17-26) 75, W 4-1 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 4 – Tor 114 @ BOS (33-6) 112, W 3-1 … Boxscore 
Game 3 – Tor 95 @ PHI (15-25) 99, L 2-1 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 2 – TOR 89 vs Atl (17-18) 78, W 2-0 … Boxscore, Full Play-By-Play
Game 1 – TOR 116 vs Sac (15-21) 91, W 1-0

Record vs >.500 Opp: 3-3 (.500)
Record vs .500 Opp: 9-4 (.692)

===============================================

Key Possessions which determined the W-L result:

Some NBA games are decided during a specific ’sub-set’ of possessions during the 3rd Quarter … like this one, when

(with Indiana’s 16-pt lead reduced to a single digit … TOR 73, Ind 74 … following Toronto’s 15-0 run)

03:37 … Ind/subbed Travis Diener (PG/Starter) back into the game for Kareem Rush (G), after a rest of only 01:12
03:24 … Ind/Diener, Fade Away Jump Shot: Made/8 PTS, Ast: Foster/3 (Ind 76, TOR 73)
03:09 … TOR/Bargnani, 3pt Shot: Missed
03:08 … Ind/Dunleavy, Rebound
02:50 … Ind/Graham, Jump Shot: Missed
02:49 … Ind/Daniels, Rebound (Off:2 Def:2)|TOR/Delfino, Foul:Personal (2PF)
02:40 … Ind/Dunleavy, 3pt Shot: Made/20 PTS, Ast: Graham/2 (Ind 79, TOR 73)

after which the Pacers were never seriously headed, again; maintaining at least a 4-pt margin for the rest of the game.

Key Raptors: Andrea Bargnani (0-1, FGA/00.0%; 0-1, 3FGA/00.0%; 2 Defensive Miscues: i. failed to ‘Step out’ quickly and ‘Switch’ vs Diener, who used the dribble hand-off 2nd screen in the staggerred sequence; ii. failed to rotate properly vs Mike Dunleavy, coming out of an ‘Elbow Pick & Roll’ with a ‘Trap/Sag & Rotate’ sequence); Carlos Delfino (2 Defensive Miscues: i. failed to ‘Box-out’ vs Marquis Daniels/O-Rb; ii. Foul/Marquis Daniels)

Vital Components:
– 4 Defensive Miscues by Andrea Bargnani & Carlos Delfino during this specific ‘sub-set’ of possessions, plus 1 crucial Missed 3-pt Shot by Bargnani (in reply to Indiana’s successful ‘set play’) … gave the Pacers an extra Offensive possession & allowed Indiana to score 5 consecutive points during this sequence, creating a 6-pt deficit from which the Raptors never recovered against an inferior opponent. 

Next Game:
The key stretch of 19 games for the Raptors is finished.

Tracking the Raptors’ Key Stretch of 19 Games (#17)

February 26, 2008

The Anatomy of Wins and Losses in the NBA:
Breaking Down Key Possessions

Game 17 – Tor 102 @ IND (22-34) 98, W 11-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 16 – TOR 115 vs Nyk (17-38) 92, W 10-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 15 – Tor 99 @ NYK (16-38) 103, L 9-6 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 14 – TOR 127 vs Orl (34-21) 110, W 9-5 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 13 – TOR 109 vs Njn (22-30) 91, W 8-5 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 12 – TOR 88 vs Sas (33-17) 93, L 7-5 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 11 – Tor 105 @ MIN (10-38) 82, W 7-4 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 10 – TOR 98 v Lac (15-31) 102, L 6-4 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 9 – Tor 114 @ MIA (9-36) 82, W 6-3 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 8 – TOR 101 vs LAL (28-16) 121, L 5-3 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 7 – TOR 122 vs Was (24-19) 85, W 5-2 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 6 – Tor 104 @ WAS (23-19) 108, OT, L 4-2 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 5 – TOR 106 vs Mil (17-26) 75, W 4-1 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 4 – Tor 114 @ BOS (33-6) 112, W 3-1 … Boxscore 
Game 3 – Tor 95 @ PHI (15-25) 99, L 2-1 … Full Play-By-Play
Game 2 – TOR 89 vs Atl (17-18) 78, W 2-0 … Boxscore, Full Play-By-Play
Game 1 – TOR 116 vs Sac (15-21) 91, W 1-0

Record vs >.500 Opp: 3-3 (.500)
Record vs .500 Opp: 8-3 (.727)

===============================================

Key Possessions which determined the W-L result:

Some NBA games are decided during a specific ‘sub-set’ of possessions during the 4th Quarter   … like this one, when

during these 10 trips up the floor …


 
  7:34
[IND 86-84]
Granger 3pt Shot: Made (18 PTS)
Assist: Murphy (7 AST)
Delfino 3pt Shot: Made (19 PTS)
Assist: Bosh (4 AST)
7:13
[TOR 87-86]
 
  6:45 Granger 3pt Shot: Missed
Bosh Rebound (Off:6 Def:4) 6:44  
  6:36 Granger Foul:Personal (4 PF)
Ford Pullup Jump shot: Made (16 PTS) 6:24
[TOR 89-86]
 
  6:08 Dunleavy Layup Shot: Missed Block: Parker (1 BLK)
Ford Rebound (Off:0 Def:2) 6:06  
  6:01 Murphy Foul:Shooting (3 PF)
Bosh Free Throw 1 of 2 (21 PTS) 6:01
[TOR 90-86]
 
  6:01 Murphy Substitution replaced by Foster
Bosh Free Throw 2 of 2 (22 PTS) 6:01
[TOR 91-86]
 
  5:48 Daniels Turnover:Bad Pass (1 TO) Steal:Moon (1 ST)
  5:40 Dunleavy Foul:Shooting (5 PF)
(5:40) Timeout: Official
  5:40 Daniels Substitution replaced by Rush
Delfino Free Throw 1 of 2 missed 5:40  
Team Rebound 5:40  
Delfino Free Throw 2 of 2 (20 PTS) 5:40
[TOR 92-86]
 
  5:19
[IND 88-92]
Granger Pullup Jump shot: Made (20 PTS)
Assist: Rush (2 AST)
Bosh Pullup Jump shot: Made (24 PTS) 4:53
[TOR 94-88]

… the Raptors:

Answered Granger’s 3 – that put the Pacers up by 2 pts (Tor 84, IND 86) – with a 3 of their own by Delfino (6-7, 3FGA/85.7%)
* Scored on their next 3 possessions
* Stopped the Pacers on their 3 corresponding possessions
* Answered Granger’s ‘2’ with a 2FG by Chris Bosh, which kept their lead at 6 pts (Tor 94, IND 88 … 04:43)

Key Raptors: Carlos Delfino (2-2, FGA/100.0%; 1-1, 3FGA/100.0%; 1-1, FTA/100.0%), TJ Ford (1-1, FGA/100.0%; 1 Rb), Anthony Parker (1 BS) & Chris Bosh (1-1, FGA/100.0%; 2-2, FTA/100.0%; 1 Rb; 1 Ast) 

Vital Components:
– Delfino, Bosh, Parker & Ford made the plays they needed to make during these 10 possessions for the Raptors to win this game vs an inferior opponent (that played 48 minutes with a ‘back-up‘ quality PG).

Next Game:
vs Minnesota, 11-43 (Wed Feb 27)