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Just askin', but ...

... is the NBA’s balance of power beginning to make a shift Eastward?



Criteria: (all data reflects play through Tuesday Dec. 3)

(1) Flow: An estimate of a team’s per-game performance (measured in “stops” of the opponent) in converting its possessions.

(2) Striping: An exact count (represented in “conversions”) of the impact of three-point shooting and foul shooting.

(3) SPOR-t: The calculation of a team’s total performance using percentages in overall FG shooting, Offensive Rebounding and Turnovers.

(4) Road Swag: The difference between a team’s Road wins and its Home losses – an attempt to measure a team’s “grit” and savvy.

For Flow, Striping and SPOR-t scores, the posted “plus or minus” is the differential between the team’s performance and that of its Opponents.

A team’s Final Grade is the sum of its four Category rankings. (An asterisk with a category ranking indicates a tie with one or more other teams.)


No. 1 Toronto Raptors, 15-5 (24)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 3]

Flow: +3.65 – No. 3 overall         Striping: +1.43 – No. 1* overall
SPOR-t: -6 – No. 14 overall         Road Swag: +5 – No. 5* overall


No. 2 Dallas Mavericks, 14-6 (25.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 14
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 23]

Flow: +1.50 – No. 8 overall          Striping: +1.43 – No. 1* overall
SPOR-t: +17 – No. 9 overall         Road Swag: +4 – No. 7 overall


No. 3 Miami Heat, 15-5 (26.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 15]

Flow: +2.85 – No. 5 overall           Striping: +0.53 – No. 12 overall
SPOR-t: +44 – No. 6* overall        Road Swag: +7 – No. 2* overall 


No. 4 Philadelphia 76ers, 15-6 (27.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 6
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 8]

Flow: +0.10 – No. 15 overall        Striping: +1.31 – No. 3 overall
SPOR-t: +68 – No. 4 overall         Road Swag: +5 – No. 5* overall


No. 5 Milwaukee Bucks, 18-3 (29)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 2]

Flow: +8.10 – No. 1 overall          Striping: -1.40 – No. 26 overall
SPOR-t: +92 – No. 1 overall         Road Swag: +8 – No. 1 overall



No. 5 Boston Celtics, 14-5 (29)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 7]

Flow: +2.05 – No. 7 overall          Striping: +0.53 – No. 11 overall
SPOR-t: +34 – No. 8 overall         Road Swag: +7 – No. 2* overall


No. 7 Los Angeles Lakers, 18-3 (31)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 20] 

Flow: +5.62 – No. 2 overall          Striping: -0.98 – No. 24 overall
SPOR-t: +78 – No. 2 overall         Road Swag: +7 – No. 2* overall


No. 8 Indiana Pacers, 13-7 (33)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 11]

Flow: +3.05 – No. 4 overall          Striping: +0.08 – No. 15 overall
SPOR-t: +70 – No. 3 overall         Road Swag: +2 – No. 10* overall


No. 9 Houston Rockets, 13-7 (34.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 12] 

Flow: +1.30 – No. 9 overall          Striping: +1.15 – No. 6 overall
SPOR-t: +8 – No. 11 overall         Road Swag: +3 – No. 8* overall


No. 10 Los Angeles Clippers, 16-6 (41)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 15]

Flow: +2.32 – No. 6 overall          Striping: -0.16 – No. 19 overall
SPOR-t: +54 – No. 5 overall         Road Swag: +2 – No. 10* overall


No. 11 Denver Nuggets, 13-5 (43)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 4]

Flow: +1.00 – No. 11* overall        Striping: +0.36 – No. 14 overall
SPOR-t: +44 – No. 6* overall         Road Swag: +2 – No. 10* overall


No. 12 Phoenix Suns, 9-10 (55.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 27]

Flow: +0.63 – No. 13 overall         Striping: +1.29 – No. 4 overall
SPOR-t: -10 – No. 16 overall         Road Swag: -3 – No. 22* overall


No. 13 Portland Trailblazers, 8-13 (56.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 6]

Flow: -0.95 – No. 20 overall            Striping: +1.19 – No. 5 overall
SPOR-t: -19 – No. 18* overall         Road Swag: +1 – No. 13 overall


No. 14 Utah Jazz, 12-9 (57)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 4]

Flow: +1.14 – No. 10 overall           Striping: -0.05 – No. 18 overall
SPOR-t: -20 – No. 20* overall         Road Swag: +3 – No. 8* overall


No. 15 Detroit Pistons, 8-13 (59) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 22
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 14]

Flow: +0.14 – No. 14 overall       Striping: +0.38 – No. 13 overall
SPOR-t: -1 – No. 13 overall         Road Swag: -2 – No. 17* overall



No. 16 Minnesota T’wolves, 10-9 (64.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 20]

Flow: -0.32 – No. 18 overall        Striping: 0.00 – No. 17 overall
SPOR-t: -8 – No. 15 overall         Road Swag: 0 – No. 14* overall


No. 16 Sacramento Kings, 8-11 (64.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 21
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 18] 

Flow: -2.79 – No. 23* overall        Striping: +0.84 – No. 8 overall
SPOR-t: -13 – No. 17 overall         Road Swag: -1 – No. 16 overall


No. 18 Orlando Magic, 9-11 (66) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 12]

Flow: -0.25 – No. 17 overall           Striping: -0.55 – No. 20 overall
SPOR-t: +15 – No. 10 overall         Road Swag: -2 – No. 17* overall


No. 19 Brooklyn Nets, 10-10 (72.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 17
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 17]

Flow: -0.50 – No. 19 overall          Striping: +0.05 – No. 16 overall
SPOR-t: -25 – No. 23 overall         Road Swag: 0 – No. 14* overall


No. 20 Washington Wizards, 6-13 (75.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 23
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 26]

Flow: -2.79 – No. 23* overall        Striping: +0.82 – No. 9 overall
SPOR-t: -38 – No. 24 overall         Road Swag: -2 – No. 17* overall


No. 21 New Orleans Pelicans, 6-15 (76.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 24
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 20]

Flow: +2.52 – No. 22 overall           Striping: +0.76 – No. 10 overall
SPOR-t: -19 – No. 18* overall         Road Swag: -5 – No. 25* overall


No. 22 Oklahoma City Thunder, 8-11 (78.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 20
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 9]

Flow: +1.00 – No. 11* overall       Striping: -0.66 – No. 22 overall
SPOR-t: -46 – No. 26 overall         Road Swag: -2 – No. 17* overall


No. 23 San Antonio Spurs, 8-14 (81) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 16
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 10]

Flow: +0.09 – No. 16 overall        Striping: -1.84 – No. 29 overall
SPOR-t: +7 – No. 12 overall         Road Swag: -4 – No. 24 overall


No. 24 Chicago Bulls, 7-14 (82.5) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 25
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 29]

Flow: -3.76 – No. 28 overall          Striping: +1.12 – No. 7 overall
SPOR-t: -44 – No. 25 overall         Road Swag: -3 – No. 22* overall


No. 25 Memphis Grizzlies, 6-14 (92) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 23]

Flow: -2.45 – No. 21 overall            Striping: -0.57 – No. 21 overall
SPOR-t: -20 – No. 20* overall         Road Swag: -7 – No. 29* overall



No. 26 Charlotte Hornets, 8-14 (97) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 28
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 19]

Flow: -2.91 – No. 25 overall          Striping: -0.68 – No. 23 overall
SPOR-t: -68 – No. 30 overall         Road Swag: -2 – No. 17* overall


No. 27 New York Knicks, 4-17 (107.5)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 27
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 30]

Flow: -3.19 – No. 26 overall          Striping: -1.86 – No. 30 overall
SPOR-t: -23 – No. 22 overall         Road Swag: -7 – No. 29* overall


No. 28 Golden State Warriors, 4-18 (108)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 30
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 1]

Flow: -3.27 – No. 27 overall          Striping: -1.43 – No. 28 overall
SPOR-t: -57 – No. 27 overall         Road Swag: -5 – No. 25* overall


No. 29 Cleveland Cavaliers, 5-15 (111)
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 19
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 28]

Flow: -4.20 – No. 29 overall          Striping: -1.00 – No. 25 overall
SPOR-t: -63 – No. 29 overall         Road Swag: -6 – No. 28 overall


No. 29 Atlanta Hawks, 5-16 (111) 
[3-week Abacus Rank: No. 26
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 23]

Flow: -4.33 – No. 30 overall          Striping: -1.43 – No. 27 overall
SPOR-t: -62 – No. 28 overall         Road Swag: -5 – No. 25* overall



Abacus Revelation for the Road

So … just how competitive are NBA games in 2019-20?

Scoring Differential 305 games
1-5 points: 89 games (29.2%)
6-10 points: 96 games (31.5%)
11-15 points: 43 games (14.1%)
16-20 points: 33 games (10.8%)
21-25 points: 21 games (6.9%)
>25: 23 games (7.5%)


The Grading Scale

“Flow”: this calculation puts a number to a team’s unsuccessful possessions (i.e. the other guys’ “stops”). Just take their missed field goals (attempts minus makes), subtract the offensive rebounds, and then add the turnovers. The “scores” represent per-game performance.

“Striping”: this calculation measures the impact of missed free throws and made treys. By subtracting the former from the latter [3’s minus missed FT’s], we identify a team’s gain or loss in points through “specialty shooting.” Again the “scores” are per-game. (A further division by two converts “points” to “conversions” – thus they can be combined with the “Flow” score.)

"Road Swag": this calculation is a way to measure a team’s grit and savvy through its ability to defend its home court and win on the road, a simple calculation (road wins minus home losses) for generally reliable info.

“SPOR-t”: SPOR-t stands for “Shooting Plus Offensive Rebounds minus turnovers.” Add a team’s FG percentage and its offensive rebounding percentage (o. boards divided by the sum of those o. boards and the opposition's d. boards). Then subtract the percentage of a team’s possessions lost to turnovers. For example, a team shoots field goals at a .488 clip, offensive rebounds at a rate of .199, and commits a turnover on .143 of its possessions. So its SPOR-t is (488+199-143) or 544. Once again, our measurement will be the difference between the SPOR-t scores of a team and its opposition.

We’ll rank the teams from 1 to 30 in all criteria and simply add up the rankings. Low score wins, naturally.

Abacus Reveals 12/06/2019 01:13:00 PM Edit
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