Team Production by Position Ranks
With over 4,000 pages of content updated daily per season, you might have missed the Production by Position numbers we create for both teams and individual players.
On the team side, this data is meant to showcase the kind of performance the team is seeing at each position (PG, SG, SF, PF, C) in a variety of stats -- Points, eFG%, Free Throw Attempts, Shot Selection (Inside Shot%), Rebounds, Assists, Turnovers, Blocks, and Fouls.
We also show a PER rating based upon John Hollinger's formula from his excellent Pro Basketball Forecast books. This allows for direct single-number comparisons and analysis of an overall production measure.
Nearing the end of the season here, we figured it would make a nice feature to see how teams rank in net production (own minus opponent) by position for some key stats...
Comments: Well, the Hawks have a fair way go in their climb to becoming a quality team. When Joe Johnson is playing at the SG spot he has a healthy +3.3 "PER difference" which is why Atlanta ends up with a solid #14 rank at that position, but otherwise they've been getting beat at every spot in total production. Some areas to improve are clearly the frontcourt net FG% (ranks of 25, 30, 30 for SF-PF-C leave a lot to be desired!) and a lack of assists at the PG position has been a problem (#25 in net).
Comments: The Celtics have got top ten net production from the two swing positions (SG-SF) and Paul Pierce has helped them secure a nifty #3 rank at Small Forward. Ah, but you're not going to win too many when you rank 27th in the league at the PG, PF, and C positions! The power positions (PF/C) have been a big disappointment although Al Jefferson still is young and has plenty of potential.
Comments: The Bobcats are respectable at four of the five positions in net production, and are marvelous in turnovers with top seven ranks at each floor spot. How come the record is so poor then? Um, those FG percentages tell a sorry story, which is also explained by the lack of passing at any spot other than PG. Given Okafor missed most of the season, there's reason to be optimistic that there's a good core developing here, especially if Sean May and other youngsters can step forward. Of course the real story in Charlotte is Gerald Wallace who remains an under-rated player throughout the league (but not on the Roland Ratings!)
Comments: The Bulls have got their act together of late to make a push for one of the last playoff spots in the East. They are not getting standout play at any specific position, with a best rank of #11 overall at Shooting Guard. Luol Deng is the best player on the team and goes about it in quiet understated fashion, whereas Nocioni may post some big box score stats at times, but the team has been 6 points worse per 48 minutes when he's on court! The glaring issue perhaps is in Free Throw Attempts, where the opposition is shooting far more than the Bulls everywhere except Center.
Comments: The Cavs have a powerful duo emerging with LeBron James landing the #1 rank in the league at the Small Forward spot, while Ilgauskas has earned them the #2 rank at Center, so that's a very healthy start to a team! The problem is they've been getting creamed in overall production at the backcourt -- the #30 PG rank and #29 SG rank combine to give them the "least productive" backcourt in the league. Maybe a healthy Larry Hughes or -gulp- Flip Murray can improve things, but it does look like they are a couple of pieces away from being a strong title contender this year.
Comments: The Mavs have seen above average production at all spots, with of course the mighty Dirk Nowitzki being the highlight and earning them a #2 Power Forward rank. This isn't just Dirk and roleplayers though -- Josh Howard and Jason Terry have both had outstanding seasons. At the same time they are deep and can use many different lineups against opponents. Could this be the year Dallas breaks through?
Comments: We get the feeling that the Carmelo-LeBron rivalry will be one for the ages, and Mr. Anthony has been the key for Denver locking down the #2 SF rank. Of course with names like K-Mart and Camby you might expect better placings at the PF and C floor spots. Their W-L record has been below expectations and a lack of consistency has to be worrying, but they do have the talent to be a tough playoff matchup.
Comments: No surprise -- the Pistons have been fabulous and with three top five positions are definitely the team to beat in the East. Chauncey Billups' MVP credentials are right there among the leaders, and has led the team to the #1 PG placement. Best raw plus/minus player in the league this year? That's Tayshaun Prince, who can lay claim to being a premier perimeter defender as the 12.9 Opponent production at Small Forward attests to.
Golden State Warriors
Comments: The Warriors in a nutshell -- solid at the PG, SG, SF spots and getting pummeled in production at PF and C. There's hope for this franchise though as they are loaded with young talent.
Comments: Injuries have no doubt been a factor for the Rockets, but we can't explain some of the playing time decisions -- 33 yr old and declining Juwan Howard gets huge minutes, while 26 yr old free agent $$ signing Stromile Swift sits. Heck Charlie Hayes needs to get on court more! The backcourt is obviously a problem, but Yao Ming has been dominant and T-Mac while not his usual self perhaps is still a force to be reckoned with. No reason to panic, since next season's prospects should be bright, but this year is way below expectations.
Comments: A tough year for what started out with such reasonable high hopes, and it seems like forever ago that the Pacers and Pistons were locked in a tense Eastern Conference finals series (dunk the ball Reggie! dunk the ball!) and you have to wonder how different things would be if Indiana had got through that series. A decent showing at all positions by the numbers, but for a team that was on the cusp of a championship, decent now has a hollow ring.
Los Angeles Clippers
Comments: The Clippers aren't a downtrodden team any more, not with Elton Brand leading them to the #1 rank at the Power Forward spot. Chris Kaman has been a nice surprise, and Sam Cassell has brought his winning ways nicely into the mix. The SG spot numbers are brought down by Ross, while Mobley's minutes there provide a better outlook.
Los Angeles Lakers
Comments: Kobe Bryant's wonderful season gets the Lakers the #2 rank for the Shooting Guard position, and they also nab a top ten for SF. Still when you are the worst team in the league in net assists from the PG spot you have to think that Kobe could use a bit more help!
Comments: Memphis just gets the job done. Not flashy, not loaded with big names, but this group of savvy team-oriented players may well land the 5th best record in the powerhouse Western Conference. Outside of the PG spot, the net FG% ranks are brilliant, but on the downside the frontcourt rebounding is ugly.
Comments: Do you want a team with five quality players on the court like Detroit has, or two absolute superstars like Miami? With only five number one billings to go around in the league, the Heat have two with Wade at the SG spot and O'Neal/Mourning tearing up the league at C. Miami-Detroit sure figures to be a great series if it happens.
Comments: The Milwaukee hot first half always seemed a bit of a mirage since they had an unbelievable record in winning the close games. Still, Michael Redd has firmly established himself as not just an effective scorer but a difference maker in helping his team play better. An up and coming team? Perhaps, but it's no sure thing they will get much better.
Comments: Ah, the suffering of Kevin Garnett. KG is good for a #3 team rank at Power Forward, but we feel his pain as the T'Wolves will miss the playoffs again. Trading Szczerbiak isn't looking good at present, and it's always a risk breaking up guys who have played together a long time and know each other's game so well. With Garnett and Wally on the court together Minnesota was +109 in plus/minus and outscored opponents by 4 points per 48 minutes. It's not fair perhaps to call attention to the Garnett/Davis contrasting numbers without more time to get used to each other, but they've got a ways together to be as effective.
New Jersey Nets
Comments: We were high on the Nets at the beginning of the year since there 1-2-3 guys are so good and the ranks speak to that with three top tens. It's taken them a while to get in gear, but these guys should be dangerous in the post-season. A little more rebounding at the power positions would be nice but in part the ranks are depressed since Jason, Vince and Richard pull down quite a few.
New Orleans Hornets
Comments: Chris Paul rookie of the year is a given, but the net FG% is bad across the board (#20 or worse at each position) so there's a few things to take care of. In particular, finding a Small Forward is imperative. Fortunately the SF guys aren't usually the hardest to find.
New York Knicks
Comments: New York's season has been one long fiasco, and outside of Channing Frye you'd be hard pressed to find a silver lining to this dark cloud. A big overhaul in the off-season seems likely, but how much maneuver room can a team have when it's carrying so many huge contracts and "untradeable" players.
Comments: The Magic look poised to be a very good team next year. A great young core is already making strides towards showing playoff-caliber standing, and the cap room for coming years looks excellent. Expect the Magic to be a major player in future NBA seasons.
Comments: The Iverson/Webber pairing may be fun to watch but it's doubtful anyone's a believer that the Sixers can stay with the better teams in the league. A.I. has been fabulous and Philly does gain a nifty #2 rank at PG, but no position shines in net assists, which may speak to the one-man army aspect of the team at times.
Comments: The Suns have done it again, wowing the league in spite of massive turnover and no Amare. These guys play smart and a look at the net FG% tells a strong story -- top ten at every position, and #6 or better at four of them! Kurt Thomas has been missed, and we don't see them winning a Dallas rematch if it happens, but a tremendous season nonetheless.
Comments: Um, yeah. Portland's got problems, both on and off the court. A brutal season and you can expect a lot of off-season happenings we would imagine.
Comments: It would be fun to run these ranks for pre and post Artest, but clearly there are quality players in Sacto, and the Kings are one of the better balanced teams, being able to extract production from any position. Do they look like a genuine post-season threat? Not yet, but give them another year and they may be more formidable.
San Antonio Spurs
Comments: The Champs have great numbers, and none more striking than the #1 ranking net FG% at PG, SG and SF. Tony Parker is a little turnover prone some might say, but his bold drives to the rim pay off so often that the risk/reward ratio is clearly in his corner. While the Pistons lock down the opponent Point Guards and Small Forwards, the Spurs put the net over SG's and SF's. As everybody knows, this team is very good.
Comments: The worst defensive team ever some have proclaimed, and a look at the PF/C opponent production is certainly frightening! They've got the offense, but can whoever coaches here next season make them play defense?
Comments: It feels like the Raptors threw in the towel after making a little run, and there are numerous areas to improve for next season if they want in for the post-season parties. Take out the Mike James PG efforts and the net FG% is horrible, not a good sign!
Comments: The Jazz backcourt is ugly, #29 at PG, #28 at SG, which may be why coach Sloan has turned to the "big lineup" -- we applaud the move and just wish Deron Williams hadn't been benched in the middle of the season in favor or Palacio, McLeod and other NBA journeymen. Another team with bad FG% numbers (20th or worse at each position), but good health could make the Jazz an '06-07 frontrunner.
Comments: Gilbert Arenas gives the Wizards an amazing scoring point guard, but the team's recent slide has put them in a precarious place of barely qualifying for the playoffs -- not exactly where they wanted to be! Along with the #4 PG rank they do show well at SF where Jamison and Butler are the key drivers. Antonio Daniels has taken some time to get acclimated to the team but may well play a large role in whatever playoff action they partake in.
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