Let's throw some things together and see what come of it. Teams will be ranked using 4 criteria: Luck Adjusted Net Rating - Crafted NBA Net

NBA Playoff Teams, Ranked

May 18, 2021

Let's throw some things together and see what comes of it. Teams will be ranked using 4 criteria:

  1. Luck Adjusted Net Rating - Crafted NBA
  2. Net Rating against teams with > 44 wins - Seth Partnow
  3. Net Rating in games where top 3 players played - Saurabhr.com
  4. FiveThirtyEight Team Rating - FiveThirtyEight

Our first order of business will to be to convert all ratings to the same scale, which we will do by standardizing each rating. This will allow us to compare teams using all four of these variables while giving equal weight to each of them. Next, we will adjust to give slightly more weight to the FiveThirtyEight and Saurabhr ratings, of which we will only count games where a teams top 3 or so currently healthy players played. Let's get to it! The full table can be seen at the bottom of this post.

1. LA Clippers (+600 Vegas Odds)

An excellent +9.3 net rating in games with PG, Kawhi, and Zubac. 

2. Utah Jazz (+750)

A notch below the Clips, Lakers, and Nets in top-tier talent, but the sum of its part could make the difference.

3. Milwaukee Bucks (+900)

Only 7th best net rating against top-tier teams, but solid by all other measures.

4. Philadelphia 76ers (+750)

Have been pretty bad against the other elite teams this year, but have the best "healthy" net rating of all teams.

5. Phoenix Suns (+1600)

Solid by all measures, including second best net rating against top-tier teams.

6. Denver Nuggets (+3000)

Sport a very solid +4.5 in games without Jamal Murray.

7. Brooklyn Nets (+225)

Durant. Harden. Kyrie. Can they overcome the lack of familiarity?

8. LA Lakers (+425)

Dragged down by their rating against top-tier teams, but many of those games came without LeBron and AD. Second best FiveThirtyEight rating and 4th best "healthy" net rating.

9. Dallas Mavericks (+4000)

Solid by all metrics, great by none. Probably just a bit shy of talent outside of Luka.

10. Portland Trail Blazers (+6600)

Have been a different team since Nurkic came back from injury, but there's just not enough there to challenge the top dogs.

11. Atlanta Hawks (+6600)

Solid overall but have not fared well against the top-tier teams this season, though the firepower could be enough to cause headaches for opponents.

12. Golden State Warriors (+8000)

+6.3. That's their net rating in games with Draymond and Curry, and without Wiseman this season. 

13. Boston Celtics (+10000)

Surprisingly solid in games without Jaylen Brown (+4.2 net rating) thus far and should be a tough out, though a lack of depth could really hurt.

14. Memphis Grizzlies (+25000)

Too soon.

15. New York Knicks (+10000)

The Knicks have been excellent since Derrick Rose came to town, sporting the fourth best "healthy" net rating amongst the playoff teams.

16. Miami Heat (+3000)

Have been horrible against top-tier teams this year, but should be a tough out if all of Dragic, Bam, and Butler are able to stay healthy.

17. Washington Wizards (+15000)

Have been fairly decent against the top-tier teams this year, but the lack of overall talent is too much to overcome.

18. San Antonio Spurs (+50000)

Have been abysmal without Derrick White this season. 

19. Charlotte Hornets (+25000)

One year away from being one year away.

20. Indiana Pacers (+50000)

No Warren, No Turner, No LeVert, No Playoffs.

*Rank = cumulative rank of 538, saurabhr, crafted, and partnow

*538 = 538 Team Rating (healthy players only)

*partnow = net ratings in games against teams with 44 wins or more

*saurabhr = net rating in games with best 3 players available (healthy only, i.e. no Jaylen Brown for Celtics)

*crafted = full season luck adjusted net rating

Team Rank 538 saurabhr crafted partnow Saurabhr Players Used
Clippers 6.93 1765 9.3 2.6 0.2 Kawhi, PG, Zubac
Jazz 6.79 1694 8.2 6.2 0.9 Mitchell, Gobert, Conley
Bucks 5.97 1690 6.5 7.3 -0.7 Giannis, Middleton, Jrue
76ers 5.35 1713 10.1 5.3 -5.4 Simmons, Embiid, Harris
Suns 5.17 1657 5.9 5.4 1.7 Booker, Paul, Ayton
Nuggets 4.97 1663 4.5 5.3 2.4 no Murray
Nets 4.33 1702 4 3.5 0.9 you know
Lakers 3.35 1715 6.7 2.1 -4 LeBron, Schroder, AD
Mavericks 2.75 1610 3.8 2.9 2.5 Luka, Porzingis, Richardson
Trail Blazers -0.25 1641 2.8 2.4 -6.4 Lillard, McCollum, Nurkic
Hawks -0.35 1622 4.3 1 -5.6 Trae, Capela, Bogdanovic
Warriors -0.64 1577 6.3 1 -6 Curry, Draymond - no Wiseman
Celtics -1.01 1508 4.2 2.8 -2.9 Tatum, Kemba, Smart - no Jaylen
Grizzlies -2.53 1514 1.1 1.8 -3.2 Ja, JV, Anderson
Knicks -2.70 1530 7.4 -1.4 -7.7 Randle, Rose, Barrett
Heat -2.83 1612 2.9 0.5 -10.2 Bam, Jimmy, Dragic
Wizards -4.90 1479 -0.8 -0.6 -3.3 Westbrook, Beal, Bertans
Spurs -9.66 1452 -8.2 0 -8.4 no White or Aldridge
Hornets -10.18 1427 -4.9 -1.4 -10.4 without Hayward
Pacers -10.55 1472 -10 0.4 -10.7 no LeVert, Turner, or Oladipo

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