NERD: NBA Team Power Rankings

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.

  • In the Eastern Conference, Cleveland, Toronto, Boston, Miami, and Indiana all currently have over a 92% chance of making the playoffs.
  • The contenders for the remaining three spots are (by percentage to make playoffs, over 10%):
  1. Atlanta Hawks: 81.0% (Since Last Week: -14.4%)
  2. Charlotte Hornets: 80.1% (Since Last Week: +2.5%)
  3. Chicago Bulls: 70.3% (Since Last Week: +10.1%)
  4. Detroit Pistons: 60.1% (Since Last Week: -7.1%)
  5. Washington Wizards: 15.9% (Since Last Week: -1.3%)
  • Of the remaining Eastern Conference teams, only Orlando (4.5%) has over a 1 percent chance of making the playoffs. New York now has just a 0.2 percent chance of making the playoffs.
  • Projected Seeding East: 1-Cleveland, 2-Toronto, 3-Boston, 4-Miami, 5-Indiana, 6-Atlanta, 7-Charlotte, 8-Chicago
  • In the Western Conference, the top five teams (Golden State, San Antonio, Oklahoma City, LAC, Memphis) all have over a 98% chance of making the playoffs.
  • The contenders for the remaining three spots are (by percentage to make playoffs, over 10%):
  1. Portland Trail Blazers: 86.1% (Since Last Week: +15.6%)
  2. Dallas Mavericks: 82.2% (Since Last Week: -8.00%)
  3. Utah Jazz: 70.4% (Since Last Week: -3.2%)
  4. Houston Rockets: 54.2% (Since Last Week: -3.3%)
  • Sacramento (6.3%) is the only other team in the West with over a 2 percent chance of making the postseason.
  • Projected Seeding West: 1-Golden State, 2-San Antonio, 3-OKC, 4-LAC, 5-Memphis, 6-Portland, 7-Dallas, 8-Utah