NERD Rankings: Team Edition

Last week, we introduced you to the NERD Rankings for players, and this week, we’ve got team power rankings. numberFire is a sports analytics platform that uses algorithmic modeling to better understand sports—and they’ve developed the numberFire Efficiency Rating Derivative (NERD) to better evaluate every team in the NBA using offensive and defensive efficiency numbers. The nerdier, the better, according to these guys. The 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 2010-11 season, the Bulls ended with a 75.1 NERD rating—and a 75.6 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.

numberFire says:

Big movers this week include the Memphis Grizzlies and Utah Jazz. The Grizz have won 7 straight, including an impressive 102-86 domination over the Bulls and a ridiculous comeback win over the Warriors last night. Memphis increased their chances of making the playoffs by 9.3% since last week.

The Jazz have won 4 of their last 5, and their playoff odds have increased by 17.2% as a result. Paul Millsap has been unbelievably efficient, scoring 1.2 points per possession while using almost a quarter of Utah’s possessions. It’s tough to score 1.2 points per possession, let alone maintain that number at such a high usage rate.

The Knicks continue to struggle, having lost 6 straight. They are scoring 98.6 points per 100 possessions, which groups them with offenses like the Raptors, Kings, Bobcats, and Pistons. The Knicks do a great job getting to the line, forcing turnovers, and rebounding, but they need to improve their shot selection. They rank 25th in the league in effective field goal percentage, which takes into account the fact that three-pointers are worth more than two-point field goals.

The NERD power rankings are powered by numberFire, a sports analytics platform that uses algorithmic modeling to better understand sports. Follow Nik Bonaddio at @numberfire, and Keith Goldner at @drivebyfootball. Check out numberFire on Facebook.