Our friends at numberFire know a thing or two about statistics. And while we here at SLAM tend to rely more on the eye test when it comes to our NBA opinions, we appreciate that advanced stats are an important thing to keep an eye on. With that in mind, we’re letting the dorks into the discussion with a statistic they so aptly have dubbed “NERD.” We’ll let them explain…

numberFire Efficiency Rating Derivative (NERD) is a system of evaluating every team in the NBA based on various offensive and defensive efficiency metrics. NERD rating for teams shows complete production on both sides of the ball. The team ranking is on a scale from 0-100, with 50 as the League average. This ranking is predictive of the team’s ultimate winning percentage. For example, in the 2014-15 season, the Warriors ended with a 82.5 NERD rating—and a 81.7 win percentage. To calculate the NERD rankings we use the Four Factors, which are the factors most predictive in winning games: shooting, turnovers, rebounding, and fouls. Visit numberFire to check out a detailed explanation of the NERD stat for team efficiency and basketball efficiency stats in general.

Below are numberFire’s NBA team power rankings to this point in the year. “Playoffs” and “Champs” refer to each team’s odds of making the playoffs and winning the NBA Finals. “Off.” and “Def.” refer to the teams’ offensive and defensive ratings; these represent the points scored and allowed per 100 possessions.

Here are this week’s NBA team power rankings, based on NERD:

Extra points:

  • According to projections, it is going to take 40 wins to make the playoffs in the Western Conference. Last season, the 8-seed had 45 wins.
  • Four teams appear to be fighting for the final two spots as the top six teams (LAC, Dallas, Golden State, Memphis, San Antonio, Oklahoma City) all have over a 95 percent shot to make the playoffs. The contenders for the remaining spots are (by percentage to make playoffs, over 10%):
    • Houston Rockets – 77.95% (Since Last Week: -5.20%)
    • Utah Jazz – 58.60% (Since Last Week: +16.50%)
    • Portland Trail Blazers – 49.75% (Since Last Week: +11.25%)
    • Sacramento Kings – 14.70% (Since Last Week: -19.85%)
  • The remaining West teams (NO, DEN, PHO, MIN, LA) have under a 3.2 percent chance to make the playoffs.
  • In the Eastern Conference, Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Miami and Toronto all have an over 89 percent shot to make the playoffs. That leaves the following teams for three spots (by percentage to make playoffs, over 10 percent):
    • Indiana Pacers – 85.45% (Since Last Week: +10.50%)
    • Chicago Bulls – 82.15% (Since Last Week: -3.9%)
    • Detroit Pistons – 81.30% (Since Last Week: -7.60%)
    • Charlotte Hornets – 51.55% (Since Last Week: +6.50%)
  • Washington and New York now have less than a projected 10 percent chance to make the playoffs.
  • According to projections, it is going to take 44 wins to make the playoffs in the East. Last season, the 8-seed had 38 wins.