Jason Miller/Getty Images

Does adjusting for playoff rotations show Cavaliers’ burden?

Leave a comment

A team’s won-loss record, seed and point difference tell us something about its quality.

But by this point, the second round of the playoffs, many of the players involved in assembling that won-loss record, seed and point difference have changed.

Teams have made in-season trades and signed players after buyouts. Injuries have happened. Rotations have been shortened.

As we did before the playoffs:

I’ve found how many points per 100 possessions teams score and allow when five players projected to be in the postseason rotation are on the floor together.

This is hardly a perfect measure. Teams rarely announce their playoff rotations, so we’re left with my predictions of which players will receive regular playing time. The minutes distribution among players in the adjusted rating can vary from what it’ll be during the playoffs. This doesn’t take into account opponent quality. Some teams have larger samples than others.

But I find it useful, another data point among the many necessary to evaluate the upcoming playoffs. It shows how the players we project to see on the court for the next few months have played together, without someone else affecting the chemistry.

Here’s each team’s offensive, defensive and net ratings adjust from the regular season to counting only lineups (regular season and first round) that include five players projected to be in the playoff rotation (using nbawowy! to calculate):

Eastern Conference

1. Boston Celtics

  • Offensive rating: 112.4 to 114.4 to 116.2
  • Defensive rating: 109.8 to 109.2 to 110.4
  • Net rating: +2.6 to +5.2 to +5.8

3. Toronto Raptors

  • Offensive rating: 113.1 to 116.8 to 113.8
  • Defensive rating:  108.9 to 106.6 to 108.1
  • Net rating: +4.2 to +10.2 to +5.7

4. Washington Wizards

  • Offensive rating: 111.7 to 116.5 to 115.6
  • Defensive rating:  110.0 to 110.7 to 110.5
  • Net rating: +1.7 to +5.8 to +5.1

2. Cleveland Cavaliers

  • Offensive rating: 114.4 to 118.0 to 117.9
  • Defensive rating:  111.1 to 112.1 to 113.6
  • Net rating: +3.3 to +5.9 to +4.3

Western Conference

1. Golden State Warriors

  • Offensive rating: 116.6 to 121.7 to 122.9
  • Defensive rating:  104.9 to 102.9 to 102.8
  • Net rating: +11.7 to +18.8 to +20.1

3. Houston Rockets

  • Offensive rating: 115.5 to 118.5 to 118.1
  • Defensive rating: 109.7 to 109.5 to 109.2
  • Net rating: +5.8 to +9.0 to +8.9

2. San Antonio Spurs

  • Offensive rating: 111.7 to 115.4 to 116.3
  • Defensive rating: 104.2 to 106.9 to 108.1
  • Net rating: +7.5 to +8.5 to +8.2

5. Utah Jazz

  • Offensive rating: 110.7 to 112.5 to 112.9
  • Defensive rating:  106.4 to 107.2 to 104.7
  • Net rating: +4.3 to +5.3 to +8.2

Observations:

  • The Warriors continue to soar above everyone else.
  • The Cavaliers, after a close sweep of the Pacers and better look at their playoff rotation, have the lowest adjusted net rating of the eight remaining teams. They can probably flip a switch, but this shows that’s necessary.
  • Every remaining Western Conference team has a higher adjusted net rating than every remaining Eastern Conference team.
  • I projected the Celtics’ and Wizards’ rotations before their Game 1 yesterday. Boston used a couple more players – Amir Johnson and Jaylen Brown – than I expected. Include them, and the Celtics’ adjusted net rating drops to +5.2.
  • Neither Raul Neto nor Shelvin Mack were included in the Jazz’s projected second-round rotation. Include one of the backup point guards, and Utah’s adjusted net rating drops between half a point and two points per 100 possessions.

Report: NBA not headed toward 1-16 playoff seeding

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Leave a comment

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said the league would continue look at 1-16 playoff seeding.

Ken Berger of Bleacher Report:

Silver is well-intentioned on this issue, and open-minded, too—as he is on most agenda items that could, in theory, make the league better. But despite his willingness to discuss postseason reformatting, multiple people familiar with league discussions say it’s not anywhere near the top of the agenda.

After its analysis of the issue in ’15, the league concluded that, for a variety of reasons, it wasn’t sensible to change the playoff format. The two key factors, according to league sources, were 1) travel; and 2) a belief among league officials that conference imbalance was a temporary trend that would correct itself, as it typically has in the past.

For playoff qualification to truly be fair, teams would have to play a balanced schedule. As is, teams play teams in their own conference 52 times and teams from the other conference 30 times.

More 10 p.m. starts on the East Coast and 4 p.m. starts on the West Coast would hurt TV ratings.

Plus, as relative conference strength exists now and has existed for several years, 1-16 playoff seeding would make it harder for bigger Eastern Conference markets and easier for smaller Western Conference markets to qualify for the postseason.

Quality of competition matters, and there would be value in the NBA building a playoff field of its 16 best teams. But follow the money. There isn’t nearly enough urgency with this issue to overcome the direct financial setbacks reform would cause.

Draymond Green’s MRI comes back negative

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Warriors can exhale. Their status as overwhelming championship favorites remains intact.

Draymond Green injured his knee in Golden State’s season-opening loss to the Rockets, but it appears he didn’t suffer major damage.

Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area:

Even if Green misses a little time, the Warriors should be fine. They can cruise until playoffs – maybe even a round or two into the playoffs.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry are Golden State’s best players, but Green’s defense is so important, especially in small-ball lineups with him at center. The Warriors led Houston by 13 when Green left the game and then couldn’t get enough fourth-quarter stops in a one-point loss.

Golden State values rest and built a supporting cast around its stars to follow through. If Green misses tomorrow’s game against the Pelicans or any beyond, Jordan Bell, David West, Kevon Looney and Omri Casspi could all see bigger roles.

Report: Grizzlies starting power forward JaMychal Green out several weeks

Steve Dykes/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Grizzlies are undefeated, having topped another playoff hopeful (Pelicans) in their season-opener.

But things seem tenuous in Memphis.

Not only is Chandler Parsons feuding with Grizzlies fans, JaMychal Green is hurt.

Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports:

The supporting cast looks rickety around Mike Conley and Marc Gasol unless second-rounder Dillon Brooks (19 points on 7-of-13 shooting +17 against New Orleans) keeps humming. And maybe even still then.

Green’s injury opens the door for bigger roles for Jarell Martin and maybe Parsons (gulp).

At least Green locked in his guaranteed money. This shows why he couldn’t afford to risk taking the qualifying offer.

Booed by Grizzlies fans, Chandler Parsons says he’ll treat home games like road games

Rob Carr/Getty Images
6 Comments

Chandler Parsons‘ great sin? Signing a four-year, $94 million contract and failing to justify it due to injuries. He missed 48 games last season and struggled mightily while on the court.

His more recent transgression? Missing a couple free throws.

The Grizzlies forward missed a pair from the line in yesterday’s season-opening win over the Pelicans, and Memphis fans booed him:

Later, Parsons drew a three-shot foul, and Marc Gasol tried to rally the crowd behind Parsons:

Plenty of fans cheered, but as Parsons went 1-for-3, others still booed.

Parsons, via Geoff Calkins of The Commercial Appeal:

“I’ll just go into every game with the mentality that it’s a road game, if that’s how it’s going to be,” he said.

Finally, Parsons stuck up for himself, saying, “They can boo me, they can sarcastically cheer me, they can do whatever they want. … It’s tasteless , man, it makes no sense. We’re athletes, we’re human beings. I don’t know them personally, so, it’s just a little strange to me, but that’s sports.”

If Parsons didn’t understand Mavericks fans booing him after he left Dallas, he sure isn’t going to understand Grizzlies fans booing him while he’s still in Memphis.

Fans largely see Parsons as a character in the drama that is the Grizzlies – something removed from their everyday reality. Of course, Parsons is taking it personally. He’s a person, and it’s his everyday reality.

It’s unclear what portion of Memphis fans booed him. Grizzlies fans probably aren’t excited about cheering him right now, but many did – as a direct response to the boos. Even if they would’ve preferred no reaction a vacuum, those cheering fans didn’t want the boo birds speaking for them.

Parsons ought to remember those supportive fans before painting the entire home crowd as the enemy, or else he’ll turn everyone against him. None of this is fair to Parsons, who has surely been frustrated with his injuries, but he can control how he reacts to the fans.