Dec 27 2017

NBA 2017-2018: OLD YEAR

The second of five sub-chapters to this season’s NBA Lightweight Report is here. Now that every team has played at least 32 games, here are the 16-game splits for each team’s performance from games 17-32 (with asterisks placed on teams that would make the postseason if only 6 teams made it per conference):

I’m going to run through each team’s offensive, defensive, and net rankings (efficiency) from November 23 through December 26. I’ll also spotlight the most used lineup for each team from that range. First, the offensive, defensive, and net efficiency rankings for the entire season all in one place:

Toronto: (7th offense, 1st defense) – K. Lowry/D. DeRozan/O. Anunoby/S. Ibaka/J. Valanciunas (28.0 net rating in 216 minutes) 1

Boston: (9th offense, 13th defense) – K. Irving/J. Brown/J. Tatum/A. Horford/A. Baynes (17.1 net rating in 106 minutes) 2

New York: (21st offense, 7th defense) – J. Jack/C. Lee/L. Thomas/K. Porzingis/E. Kanter (3.0 net rating in 140 minutes) 3

Brooklyn: (19th offense, 17th defense) – S. Dinwiddie/A. Crabbe/D. Carroll/R. Hollis-Jefferson/T. Zeller (25.8 net rating in 143 minutes) 4

Philadelphia: (22nd offense, 11th defense) – B. Simmons/J. Redick/R. Covington/D. Saric/J. Embiid (-3.5 net rating in 105 minutes) 5

Cleveland: (2nd offense, 19th defense) – J. Calderon/J. Smith/L. James/J. Crowder/K. Love (5.8 net rating in 231 minutes) 6

Indiana: (8th offense, 20th defense) – D. Collison/V. Oladipo/B. Bogdanovic/T. Young/M. Turner (1.6 net rating in 235 minutes) 7

Milwaukee: (4th offense, 25th defense) – E. Bledsoe/T. Snell/K. Middleton/G. Antetokounmpo/J. Henson (21.0 net rating in 132 minutes) 8

Detroit: (23rd offense, 6th defense) – R. Jackson/A. Bradley/S. Johnson/T. Harris/A. Drummond (-0.7 net rating in 170 minutes) 9

Chicago: (18th offense, 16th defense) – K. Dunn/J. Holiday/D. Valentine/L. Markkanen/R. Lopez (-4.6 net rating in 258 minutes) 10

Miami: (16th offense, 8th defense) – G. Dragic/D. Waiters/J. Richardson/J. Johnson/K. Olynyk (-6.1 net rating in 55 minutes) 11

Washington: (17th offense, 4th defense) – T. Frazier/B. Beal/O. Porter Jr./M. Morris/M. Gortat (-3.7 net rating in 153 minutes) 12

Atlanta: (14th offense, 29th defense) – D. Schroder/K. Bazemore/T. Prince/E. Ilyasova/M. Plumlee (9.8 net rating in 101 minutes) 13

Charlotte: (28th offense, 10th defense) – K. Walker/N. Batum/M. Kidd-Gilchrist/M. Williams/D. Howard (-2.6 net rating in 208 minutes) 14

Orlando: (29th offense, 30th defense) – E. Payton/E. Fournier/J. Simmons/A. Gordon/N. Vucevic (-12.4 net rating in 155 minutes) 15


Oklahoma City: (20th offense, 5th defense) – R. Westbrook/A. Roberson/P. George/C. Anthony/S. Adams (14.4 net rating in 206 minutes) 16

Minnesota: (3rd offense, 23rd defense) – J. Teague/J. Butler/A. Wiggins/T. Gibson/K. Towns (7.8 net rating in 277 minutes) 17

Utah: (11th offense, 21st defense) – R. Rubio/D. Mitchell/J. Ingles/J. Jerebko/D. Favors (-1.5 net rating in 73 minutes) 18

Denver: (10th offense, 12th defense) – J. Murray/G. Harris/W. Barton/W. Chandler/M. Plumlee (20.6 net rating in 60 minutes) 19

Portland: (26th offense, 14th defense) – D. Lillard/C. McCollum/P. Connaughton/N. Vonleh/J. Nurkic (-5.4 net rating in 88 minutes) 20


Golden State: (5th offense, 2nd defense) – S. Curry/K. Thompson/K. Durant/D. Green/Z. Pachulia (36.2 net rating in 47 minutes) 21

LA: (15th offense, 15th defense) – M. Teodosic/A. Rivers/C. Williams/J. Wilson/D. Jordan (25.0 net rating in 56 minutes) 22

Sacramento: (27th offense, 28th defense) – D. Fox/G. Hill/G. Temple/S. Labissiere/Z. Randolph (-14.1 net rating in 72 minutes) 23

Phoenix: (24th offense, 24th defense) – T. Ulis/J. Jackson/T. Warren/M. Chriss/T. Chandler (-35.7 net rating in 75 minutes) 24

Los Angeles: (25th offense, 22nd defense) – L. Ball/K. Caldwell-Pope/B. Ingram/L. Nance Jr./B. Lopez (-9.2 net rating in 118 minutes) 25



Houston: (1st offense, 18th defense) – C. Paul/J. Harden/T. Ariza/R. Anderson/C. Capela (15.8 net rating in 104 minutes) 26

San Antonio: (13th offense, 3rd defense) – T. Parker/D. Green/K. Anderson/L. Aldridge/P. Gasol (38.0 net rating in 30 minutes) 27

New Orleans: (6th offense, 26th defense) – R. Rondo/J. Holiday/E. Moore/A. Davis/D. Cousins (-3.7 net rating in 151 minutes) 28

Dallas: (12th offense, 9th defense) – D. Smith Jr./W. Matthews/H. Barnes/M. Kleber/D. Nowitzki (-29.1 net rating in 95 minutes) 29

Memphis: (30th offense, 27th defense) – T. Evans/A. Harrison/D. Brooks/J. Green/M. Gasol (12.3 net rating in 91 minutes) 30

Show 30 footnotes

  1. No team has allowed fewer made 3s per game (8.3) or a lower 3-point% (32.6) since Thanksgiving than Toronto.
  2. The Celtics are starting to hurt teams with the 3. Since Thanksgiving, six players are making at least 1.4 3s per game while making at least 37.2%: Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Terry Rozier, and Al Horford.
  3. Only the 76ers have a worse turnover rate since Thanksgiving than the Knicks. Power forwards Kristaps Porzingis and Michael Beasley have combined to average 2.6 assists and 5.0 turnovers per game in that span.
  4. The Nets are another team with turnover issues as they adjust to the loss of opening night starting guards Jeremy Lin and D’Angelo Russell.
  5. The NBA has caught up with Philadelphia’s jumbo lineup, in part because Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have combined to average 8.4 turnovers per game since Thanksgiving.
  6. Similar to Boston, the Cavaliers have five players since Thanksgiving averaging at least 1.3 made 3s per game while making at least 38.7% of 3-point attempts: Kevin Love, Kyle Korver, LeBron James, JR Smith, and Jose Calderon.
  7. The Pacers are the only team since Thanksgiving making more than half of their field goals in the non-restricted area paint (50.9%).
  8. Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 10.9 free throw attempts per game since Thanksgiving, a major factor in his 29.4 points per game average in that span.
  9. Only the Nets, Grizzlies, and Hornets have a worse field goal percentage since Thanksgiving than the Pistons (44.2%).
  10. The return of Nikola Mirotic has helped, but the Bulls still have a hard time getting to the free throw line, and the team is shooting only 69.6% since Thanksgiving when they do get there.
  11. The Heat have been a top-five defensive rebounding team since Thanksgiving despite injuries to everyone except Josh Richardson, Kelly Olynyk, and Wayne Ellington.
  12. SG Bradley Beal is shooting a career-low 35.2% from 3 this season, including a below average 33.0% since Thanksgiving.
  13. The injury to C Dewayne Dedmon has been a major factor in Atlanta’s defense allowing a league-worst 49.2% from the field since Thanksgiving.
  14. No team has been worse inside the restricted area than the Hornets since Thanksgiving (55.2%).
  15. Orlando has gone cold from 3, as only the 76ers have made worse than Orlando’s 33.2% since Thanksgiving. Marreese Speights, Nikola Vucevic, and Jonathon Simmons have all attempted at least 3.8 3s per game since Thanksgiving, and all three are well under 30% from distance in that span.
  16. Paul George and Russell Westbrook are both averaging more than 2.0 steals per game since Thanksgiving.
  17. Only the Lakers and 76ers are averaging more second chance points since Thanksgiving than the Timberwolves.
  18. The Jazz have four players who are making at least 1.3 3s per game since Thanksgiving while making at least 39.8%: Rodney Hood, Donovan Mitchell, Joe Ingles, and Alec Burks.
  19. Only the Thunder and 76ers have been better on the offensive glass since Thanksgiving than the Nuggets.
  20. Only the Mavericks and Kings have a worse free throw rate since Thanksgiving than the Trail Blazers. SG CJ McCollum is attempting 18.7 field goals per game in that span, but only 2.5 free throws.
  21. SF Kevin Durant is leading a defense that is averaging a league-best 8.3 blocks per game since Thanksgiving.
  22. Backup SG Lou Williams is averaging 6.7 free throw attempts and 24.7 points per game since Thanksgiving to help keep LA’s offense afloat despite injuries to starting forwards Danilo Gallinari and Blake Griffin.
  23. Only the Rockets, Magic, and Hawks have allowed a higher field goal percentage than the Kings since Thanksgiving (47.5%).
  24. Only the Nets have been worse at forcing turnovers than the Suns since Thanksgiving.
  25. Only the Nets have been worse from midrange than the Lakers since Thanksgiving.
  26. James Harden continues to dominate opponents by getting to the free throw line, averaging 11.1 attempts per game since Thanksgiving to supply his 34.2 points per game in that span.
  27. The Spurs average the fewest fouls per game in the league since Thanksgiving. Some things never change.
  28. New Orleans’ great shooting is being undone by porous defense. It doesn’t help that neither PG Rajon Rondo nor SF E’Twaun Moore average at least 1.0 steals per game since Thanksgiving.
  29. The Mavericks have been the worst offensive rebounding team in the NBA since Thanksgiving, only the Kings have been worse at getting to the free throw line, and they have an unfathomable -68.0 net rating in the clutch in that span as well (Dallas has lost 9 of 10 games since Thanksgiving that have involved clutch minutes).
  30. The Grizzlies are the only team in the league since Thanksgiving that is under 30% from the non-restricted area paint (29.2%).

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