In The Last 10 NBA Games The Best Team…Is Not The Miami Heat?

by JB

Which NBA team has been the most efficient over the past 10 games?  Surprisingly enough, it is not the Miami Heat or the Oklahoma City Thunder.  The most efficient team (judging by Net Point Differential per 100 Possessions) has been the Denver Nuggets.

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Denver has been the most efficient team in the past 10 games due to its very good offensive efficiency and excellent defensive efficiency.  Surprisingly, Miami is scoring three less points per 100 possessions and giving up 2.2 points more per 100 possessions than Denver.  If we take a look at more advanced metrics the differences between the three teams is pretty marginal (as expected).

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Some things to point out are Miami’s relatively poor offensive rebounding rate and the Thunder’s high true shooting percentage, even though the Thunder have a relatively low assist percentage (the number of made shots that are assisted).  The latter is surprising because usually more/better passing leads to better scoring opportunities.  However, due to the Thunder’s assortment of scoring threats, perhaps they are very effective off pick-and-roll actions where the ball handler (i.e. Kevin Durant) keeps the ball — another explanation is that the chucking of Russell I-Never-Saw-A-Shot-I-Didn’t-Like Westbrook is balanced by the scoring efficiency of Kevin Durant.

If we examine the schedules of the three teams, the Heat probably had the easiest schedule (at least on paper) with the tougher opponents being Atlanta, Memphis, Knicks, and the Pacers.  That being said, one could argue that the Heat faced everybody’s A-game as they were riding a historic win streak and everybody wanted to end it, but there is no evidence of this….yet.  The Thunder probably have had the hardest schedule, having to face Denver, the Lakers, the Clippers, the Knicks, Boston, and San Antonio. The Nuggets did not have a walk in the park either having to face the Lakers, At Portland, the Thunder, Atlanta, the Clippers, the Knicks, and Memphis.

The metrics data can be found here.

Nuggets Schedule (Last 10 Games):

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Thunder Schedule (Last 10 Games):

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Heat Schedule (Last 10 Games):

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