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Brad Stevens and his Boston Celtics reached this season’s Three-quarter Pole this past Tuesday with the second of consecutive overtime home losses, the coach uncharacteristically expressing criticism of his squad’s performance.

AP Photo/Mary Schwalm
He had ample cause … especially when you consider these numbers. In their first 59 games, Boston’s opposition had misfired on 178 “rebound-able” foul shots and re-acquired but 18 of them with an Offensive Rebound (player or team)

The victorious Nets missed seven “live-ball” free throws and regained possession FOUR times, converting two of those additional scoring opportunities – the difference in the ballgame? (You decide.)

As for the Houston defeat three nights earlier – the C’s finished with 51 conversions (39 FG’s + 12 FT conversions) and 7 “stripes” (13 3FG’s “minus” 6 missed FT’s) for an “expected” 109 points. The Rockets produced 48 conversions (41 FG’s + 7 FTC’s) and 11 “stripes” (15 3FG’s “minus” 4 missed FT’s), an expectation of 107 points. (Alas, the Rockets’ FOUR “and-1” opportunities – which don’t boost the Conversion Count but do count on the scoreboard – trumped expectation.)

[And though it falls outside the timeline of this analysis, the theme of improbability maintained through Friday night’s encounter with Utah, in which the C’s lost despite holding a numerical edge in both Total Rebounds and Turnovers.]

Nevertheless – and at the risk of being labeled a “homer” – Boston’s seasonal statistical record sits them atop my Algebraic rankings … seems as if Brad’s boys are adhering to his mantra of “Make the right play on the next possession” with a fair degree of frequency.

These ranking reflect all play through and including games of Tuesday March 3. The Grading Scale is explained below.

No. 1 Boston Celtics, 41-19 (16)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 7]

Flow: +2.32 – No. 5 overall         Striping: +0.99 – No. 4 overall
SPOR-t: +48 – No. 3 overall        Road Swag: +11 – No. 3* overall


No. 2 Toronto Raptors, 43-18 (21)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 1
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 3]

Flow: +3.49 – No. 3 overall        Striping: +0.76 – No. 7 overall
SPOR-t: +27 – No. 7 overall       Road Swag: +11 – No. 3* overall


No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks, 52-9 (29)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 2]

Flow: +7.38 – No. 1 overall         Striping: -0.93 – No. 26 overall
SPOR-t: +89 – No. 1 overall        Road Swag: +22 – No. 1 overall


No. 3 Los Angeles Clippers, 42-19 (29)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 15]

Flow: +2.31 – No. 6 overall        Striping: +0.24 – No. 13 overall
SPOR-t: +35 – No. 6 overall       Road Swag: +11 – No. 3* overall


No. 3 Los Angeles Lakers, 47-13 (29)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 6
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 20]

Flow: +4.52 – No. 2 overall        Striping: -0.75 – No. 23 overall
SPOR-t: +80 – No. 2 overall       Road Swag: +18 – No. 2 overall


No. 6 Philadelphia 76ers, 37-25 (31.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 5
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 6
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 8]

Flow: +0.77 – No. 11 overall       Striping: +0.86 – No. 5 overall
SPOR-t: +40 – No. 5 overall        Road Swag: +7 – No. 10* overall


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Masters of the Craft (Part 1)

Which teams are performing the rudimentary skills of the game most proficiently at both ends of the floor? Let’s consider six elements of play: FG shooting, three-point shooting, Points per Game, Offensive Rebounding, the matter of turnovers and the SPOR-t score of our ratings. These teams hold a Top Ten rank offensively and defensively:

FG%: Indiana, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Miami, Milwaukee
3FG%: Dallas, LA Clippers, Miami, Toronto
PPG: Boston, LA Lakers, Milwaukee
OR%: LA Lakers, New York
TO%: Boston, Houston, Orlando, Washington
SPOR-t: Boston, LA Clippers, LA Lakers, Philadelphia


No. 7 Dallas Mavericks, 37-25 (34.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 2
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 14
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 23]

Flow: +0.85 – No. 10 overall        Striping: +1.65 – No. 2 overall
SPOR-t: +12 – No. 12 overall       Road Swag: +7 – No. 10* overall


No. 8 Denver Nuggets, 41-20 (39.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 6
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 4]

Flow: +1.16 – No. 9 overall         Striping: -0.05 – No. 19 overall
SPOR-t: +41 – No. 4 overall        Road Swag: +9 – No. 7* overall


No. 9 Houston Rockets, 39-21 (42)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 9
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 12]

Flow: +0.37 – No. 15 overall        Striping: +1.77 – No. 1 overall
SPOR-t: -17 – No. 20 overall        Road Swag: +10 – No. 6 overall


No. 10 Utah Jazz, 38-22 (43)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 14
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 4]

Flow: +0.72 – No. 12 overall       Striping: +0.83 – No. 6 overall
SPOR-t: +1 – No. 16 overall        Road Swag: +8 – No. 9 overall

No. 11 Miami Heat, 39-22 (43.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 3
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 15]

Flow: +1.46 – No. 8 overall          Striping: -0.04 – No. 18 overall
SPOR-t: +16 – No. 10 overall       Road Swag: +9 – No. 7* overall


No. 12 Indiana Pacers, 37-24 (47)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 10
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 8
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 7
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 11]

Flow: +2.38 – No. 4 overall          Striping: -0.37 – No. 20 overall
SPOR-t: +15 – No. 11 overall       Road Swag: +6 – No. 12 overall


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Home Court Advantage

Overall, “Home” teams are 507-408, .554
In Overtime games, “Home” teams are 30-27, .526.
2nd night of B2B, Home teams are 56-49, .533


No. 13 Memphis Grizzlies, 30-31 (59.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 25
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 23]

Flow: +0.70 – No. 13 overall         Striping: -0.80 – No. 24 overall
SPOR-t: +19 – No. 8* overall        Road Swag: -1 – No. 14 overall


No. 14 Sacramento Kings, 27-34 (61.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 20
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 21
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 16
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 16
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 21
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 18]

Flow: -0.80 – No. 19 overall         Striping: +0.30 – No. 12 overall
SPOR-t: +3 – No. 14* overall       Road Swag: -2 – No. 15* overall


No. 15 New Orleans Pelicans, 26-35 (63.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 17
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 17
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 21
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 21
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 24
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 20]

Flow: -0.87 – No. 20 overall         Striping: +0.48 – No. 9 overall
SPOR-t: +3 – No. 14* overall       Road Swag: -5 – No. 20 overall


No. 16 Portland Trailblazers, 27-35 (67)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 14
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 11
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 6]

Flow: -0.66 – No. 18 overall         Striping: +0.37 – No. 11 overall
SPOR-t: -26 – No. 22 overall        Road Swag: -2 – No. 15* overall

No. 17 Oklahoma City Thunder, 37-24 (68)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 17
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 22
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 20
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 9]

Flow: +2.07 – No. 7 overall         Striping: -1.12 – No. 27 overall
SPOR-t: -22 – No. 21 overall       Road Swag: +4 – No. 13 overall

No. 18 Phoenix Suns, 24-38 (70)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 13
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 16
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 4
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 27]

Flow: +0.23 – No. 16 overall       Striping: +0.19 – No. 14 overall
SPOR-t: 0 – No. 17 overall          Road Swag: -9 – No. 23 overall


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL

Scoring Differential (915 games)
1-5 points: 237 games [25.9%]
6-10 points: 276 games [30.2%]
11-15 points: 169 games [18.5%]
16-20 points: 93 games [10.2%]
21-25 points: 66 games [7.2%]
>25: 74 games [8.1%]


No. 19 Brooklyn Nets, 27-33 (72)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 19
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 22
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 14
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 19
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 17
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 17]

Flow: -0.93 – No. 21 overall         Striping: +0.07 – No. 16 overall
SPOR-t: -10 – No. 19 overall        Road Swag: -2 – No. 15* overall


No. 20 San Antonio Spurs, 26-34 (75)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 19
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 23
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 16
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 10]

Flow: +0.47 – No. 14 overall      Striping: -0.88 – No. 25 overall
SPOR-t: -3 – No. 18 overall        Road Swag: -3 – No. 18 overall


No. 21 Orlando Magic, 27-34 (77)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 20
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 19
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 12]

Flow: +0.13 – No. 17 overall       Striping: -1.15 – No. 28 overall
SPOR-t: +9 – No. 13 overall        Road Swag: -4 – No. 19 overall


No. 22 Chicago Bulls, 21-40 (77.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 22
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 20
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 18
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 24
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 25
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 29]

Flow: -3.00 – No. 26 overall         Striping: +1.11 – No. 3 overall
SPOR-t: -27 – No. 23 overall        Road Swag: -11 – No. 24* overall


No. 23 Washington Wizards, 22-38 (84.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 23
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 24
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 21
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 20
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 23
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 26]

Flow: -2.07 – No. 23 overall          Striping: +0.19 – No. 15 overall
SPOR-t: -41 – No. 25* overall       Road Swag: -7 – No. 21 overall


No. 24 New York Knicks, 19-42 (86)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 25
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 28
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 28
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 27
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 27
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 30]

Flow: -1.74 – No. 22 overall          Striping: -2.18 – No. 30 overall
SPOR-t: +19 – No. 8* overall        Road Swag: -11 – No. 24* overall


ABACUS INFOMERCIAL
Masters of the Craft (Part 2)

Are not the exceptionally inept worthy of some recognition? Here are the teams that hold a Bottom Four offensive and defensive ranking in our key elements of play: FG shooting, three-point shooting, PPG, Offensive Rebounding, Turnovers and SPOR-t.

FG%: Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Golden State, Minnesota
3FG%: Golden State, Memphis, Minnesota, New York, Orlando, Phoenix
PPG: Cleveland, Golden State
OR%: Atlanta, Golden State, Oklahoma City, Toronto
TO%: Brooklyn, Cleveland, Miami, New Orleans, Utah
SPOR-t: Atlanta, Charlotte, Golden State, Minnesota


No. 25 Minnesota T’wolves, 18-42 (87.5)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 26
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 23
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 24
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 16
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 12
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 20]

Flow: -3.28 – No. 28 overall        Striping: +0.43 – No. 10 overall
SPOR-t: -39 – No. 24 overall       Road Swag: -11 – No. 24* overall


No. 26 Detroit Pistons, 20-42 (92)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 24
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 25
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 23
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 15
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 22
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 14]

Flow: -2.19 – No. 24 overall          Striping: +0.06 – No. 17 overall
SPOR-t: -41 – No. 25* overall       Road Swag: -11 – No. 24* overall


No. 27 Atlanta Hawks, 19-44 (96)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 27
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 26
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 26
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 23]

Flow: -4.94 – No. 30 overall         Striping: +0.73 – No. 8 overall
SPOR-t: -80 – No. 30 overall        Road Swag: -13 – No. 28 overall


No. 28 Charlotte Hornets, 21-40 (100)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 28
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 27
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 26
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 26
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 28
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 19]

Flow: -3.11 – No. 27 overall          Striping: -0.74 – No. 22 overall
SPOR-t: -62 – No. 29 overall         Road Swag: -8 – No. 22 overall


No. 29 Cleveland Cavaliers, 17-44 (106)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 30
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 30
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 19
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 28]

Flow: -4.89 – No. 29 overall          Striping: -0.71 – No. 21 overall
SPOR-t: -44 – No. 27 overall         Road Swag: -16 – No. 29 overall


No. 30 Golden State Warriors, 14-48 (112)
[15-week Abacus Rank: No. 30
12-week Abacus Rank: No. 29
9-week Abacus Rank: No. 27
6-week Abacus Rank: No. 28
3-week Abacus Rank: No. 30
2018-19 Abacus Rank: No. 1]

Flow: -2.71 – No. 25 overall          Striping: -1.33 – No. 29 overall
SPOR-t: -55 – No. 28 overall         Road Swag: -17 – No. 30 overall


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 Revelation for the Road

Just over one of every four NBA games (26.6%) this season has involved at least one team playing the second night of a back-to-back in 2019-20 … believe it or not, one of these games is more likely to produce a close contest decided by five points or fewer than a match-up of two rested teams.

Scoring Differential (243 2nd-night games)
1-5 points: 67 games [27.6%]
6-10 points: 63 games [25.9%]
11-15 points: 45 games [18.5%]
16-20 points: 27 games [11.1%]
21-25 points: 20 games [8.2%]
>25: 21 games [8.6%]

Abacus Reveals 3/07/2020 10:35:00 PM Edit
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