2012-2013 Wins Through Point Differential

2013-14 NBA Standings and Projections 

With the NBA season starting tomorrow night, I wanted to take a look and see if teams overachieved, underachieved or performed like they were supposed to.  A way to see how teams performed is through point differential. I was able to calculate expected wins through point differential using two different formulas. The two ways are Projected Winning Percentage and The Pythagorean Winning Percentage. The equations for each are shown below.

 

Projected Win%=[(Points Differential)*2.7)+41]/82

Pythagorean Winning Percentage Formula=(Points Scored)16.5/[Points Scored)16.5 + (Points Allowed)16.5)]

 

I took the average wins and losses from each formula to get an average expected wins. The average expected wins were compared against the teams’ actual wins to determine how the team performed during the year. The table below shows each teams wins +/- differential.

2013 Team +/- Differential

TEAM
Actual Wins
Average Expected Wins
+/- wins differential
Oklahoma City6066.5-6.5
Miami6663.52.5
LA Clippers5660-4
San Antonio5859.5-1.5
Denver57561
New York54540
Memphis56542
Indiana4953.5-4.5
Houston4551-6
Brooklyn4946.52.5
LA Lakers4544.50.5
Golden State4743.53.5
Atlanta44422
Chicago45423
Utah43412
Boston41401
Dallas41392
Toronto3436.5-2.5
Milwaukee3836.51.5
Minnesota3134-3
Washington2933-4
Portland33312
Philadelphia3430.53.5
New Orleans2729.5-2.5
Detroit29290
Cleveland2427-3
Sacramento28271
Phoenix2522.52.5
Orlando2020.5-0.5
Charlotte21156

To better analyze the information in the table above I will look at teams that have +/- wins differential of 4 or more in either direction.

+/- wins differential of 4 or more

TEAM
Actual Wins
Average Expected Wins
+/- wins differential
Oklahoma City6066.5-6.5
LA Clippers5660-4
Indiana4953.5-4.5
Houston4551-6
Washington2933-4
Charlotte21156

Based on point differential we see that OKC and Houston under-performed the most by 6.5 and 6 wins respectively. While Charlotte outplayed its potential by winning 6 more games than their point differential calculated they should.  This shows that teams that under-performed most likely lost close games that if they won would have allowed those teams to achieve their expected wins and vice versa. If the teams that underachieved last season continue to underachieve, by losing close games, they will likely repeat the same fate they experienced last year… spending June at home.

 
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