Since NBA regular season is at the halfway it’s right time to compare preseason’s predictions to real situation in mid-season. I decided to compare ESPN preseason Power Ranking with standings in NBA at the moment. It’s obvious that for example Golden State Warriors can’t be among the biggest surprises this season since they are ranked #1 preseason. And vice-versa if Atlanta, New York or Chicago play bad that’s not surprise or disappointment either.

Article is published next day so there might be slight changes in standing but in big picture it doesn’t change the main idea of article.

nba rankings real

ranking nba


NBA season’s biggest surprise. Interesting to watch. One of the fastest teams in NBA having probably the fastest player in NBA in their roster Fox. One of best 3-point shooting teams in NBA. High of points comes from fast breaks and opponent’s turnovers. Low % of points comes from FT line. One of the youngest teams in NBA. Play-offs? Sacramento owns NBA’s longest playoff drought!


#2 team in NBA at the moment. Giannis MVP?. The first part of the season Bucks play stable. Coach Buldenhozer system works great . 5-out offense + maximize of Greek Freak’s talents + high volume 3-point shooting .Similarities with Houston Rockets. Among the best teams in NBA = Points/Defense/Shooting %/3-point shooting/Def.Reb.  No midrange shots. 3pointers or paint. FG% OPP lowest . Plays fast. Started season 7-0. Knows how to win close games 22-2 (10 or less). Best team at home 20-4. Serious NBA Title contender?


Depth + best bench in NBA (52.6 PPG). Only 15.6 points from Point Guard position players (29th). Lou Williams 2nd best bench player in NBA (18.62). Depth.  T. Harris candidate of MOP. After great start of the season 15-6 start not play that impressive anymore. Don’t shoot lot of 3-pointers but gets to the free-throw line very often (TOP3 FT team), Most fouls per game of any NBA team. Average shooting distance = closest to the basket. One of the oldest teams in the league. Probably one of the best European PG Teodosic still sitting on bench more than playing. Won all 4 OT (overtimes).  Should make a play-offs.


Teamwork. High % shots made were assisted. One the last teams in NBA drives per basket. Great defensive team. Jokič great performance being C/PG at the same time (19.7PTS+10.1REB+7.5AST) is one of the main reasons for Denver’s successful season. Mile-High city is tough place to play 18W-4L (3th/4th best in NBA). Season started 9-1. Despite injuries of Harris, Millsap and Barton Denver Nuggets still was able to maintain their positions among Top teams in West. I. Thomas hasn’t played yet. Denver is 2nd best offensive rebounding team (12.4 per game). Opponent’s having hard time to collect defensive rebounds after Nuggets missed shots – 1st place in NBA. Slow. One of the youngest teams in NBA.


One of the biggest surprises this season. Nets bench is 2nd best in NBA (46.7 points per game). Dinwiddie is one of the leading bench players in NBA points per game (16.69 4th). There was unlucky period this season when Levert was injured + lost few of close games that they should win. Started 8-18. Injuries (Levert). 2nd draft pick Kurucs (Latvia) playing better than expected helping to replace injured teammates. Shoots lot of 3pointers. Last place % PTS 2PTS (not scoring lot of 2-pointers). Worst team in NBA – % fast break points of total points. Team who has tendency to drive to the basket (52.6 drives per game; 2nd in NBA). Play-offs? D’Angelo Russell has great season so far. One of the lowest attendances in NBA.


Defensive-minded coach Clifford took over in Orlando this season. If defense maybe is alright then Orlando is one of the worst teams offensive teams in NBA (PTS/G 103.3 27th). Despite that Orlando plays better than expected. Vučevič has the best season in his career. Half of games lost by 15 or more points. Not able get to Free-Throw line – 30th (Free-Throw is highest value shot in NBA). One of the slowest teams. One of the worst Offensive rebounding teams. They won both games in Mexico. Orlando was expected to be one of the worst teams in NBA but they play better than expected.


The worst team in preseason predictions but play little bit better than expected. No play-off hopes + worst attendance in NBA despite being the fastest NBA team. Big hopes on their first draft pick Trae Young who has to improve his shooting (FG% 39.7) to compete against best in NBA. Rookie with most assits per game .Top 3 in NBA TO per game. One of the worst offenses in NBA . Shoots lot of 3’s but 3P% is one of the lowest in NBA. TO – most turnovers in NBA! Only 3 games won by 9 or more points. Huerter shoots 3-pointers with highest accuracy among rookies 39.1 %.



„Silent Killer”. Team basketball. #1 % of 2PTS (60.2). Great defense! Don’t shoot lot of 3-pointers.  2nd best FG%. 2nd least DUNKS per game. Rebounding should improve. Leads the League in fouls per game and opponent free-throw attempts. OK offense/great defense. Sabonis leads NBA bench players for rebounds per game. Tough team to play against. From Dec. 24th to Jan. 4th 13 Wins-2 Losses (the worst defeat only by 3 points).



#1 The best team in NBA at the moment. Balanced offense – despite having the best record now, they are not even TOP 3 best team in lot of teams ratings although ranking TOP 10 in most of them. 2P% among the best in NBA. Kawhi happy, team play well. Depth, Siakam’s improvement. Even when Kawhi/Valanciunas/Lowry was out for few games Toronto still played great (depth). Lowry in the beginning of the season was assist leader. One of the highest attendances in NBA. Let’s wait Play-Offs and see if firing of COY Casey was the right decision. None of Raptors players haven’t played all games this season. Started season 12-1. Plays great at home.


Started season so so (10-12). Lost PG Murray in the beginning of season. One of the least 3p shooting teams in NBA but leads NBA 3p accuracy, and also leads 2PA. 3-point attempt rate lowest in NBA (don’t shoot lot of 3s’)/ Lot of points comes from mid-range since team’s leaders are DeRozan and Aldridge. Discipline = No Turnovers, no Fouls. 2nd oldest team in NBA. Team with less DUNKS in NBA. DeRozan among league leaders in drives per game. Aldridge scored 56 points in OT triller against OKC without any 3-point attempt. Plays great at home.


Team’s roster didn’t change a lot compared to last season. Dragič out. Below average offense/above average defense. One of the worst FG% and FT% in league. Since they have great rim protector Whiteside opponent’s FG% and 2P% is one of the worst in NBA. One of the best offensive rebounding teams. Their strenght is defense. We were able to see Zone Defense from Coach Spoelstra team pretty often this season.


The first thing that comes in mind if someone mentions Hornets is Kemba’s 60 and owner Micheal Jordan, otherwise it’s another mid-table team in NBA. Kemba was the best point scorer in NBA for 1 day. He is also player who plays pick-and-roll as ball-handler the most in NBA. Overall average NBA team. Play-offs? Starting C Zeller injured. Least TO per game in NBA. Lost all 4 OT. Games decided 3 points or less 2-7… (Philadelphia 76ers -1,-1,-3). Maybe play-offs maybe not but definitely nothing more than 1st round. One of the best benches in NBA – 3rd place bench points.


Very talented trio (Embiid/Butler/Simmons) + one of the best shooters in NBA JJ Redick.  Coach Brett Brown has challenge to make everyone happy and find their roles in ball-movement (2nd AST) offense. One of the highest scoring teams in NBA. Lack of depth… Among leaders in NBAin free-throw attempts and points per game. One of the best rebounding teams. Turnovers is their problem… Most of their made shots are assisted. #1 in NBA percentage of three-pointers assisted  (95.0% of all 3-pointers AST). Completely opposite to HOU – team which players create the most of their three-pointers off the dribble (Harden). Team with least drives to the basket per game. 2nd best team at home 19-4. 2nd best attendance. 21-9 after Butler trade.


Preseason predicition 10th place, now 10th place. Play-off team but hard to imagine them playing in Western Conference semi-finals or finals. Team who has one of the lowest % of FG and 3PGM assisted since Lillard and McCollum are good at creating shots for themselves. One of the best in defensive rebounds. Lillard is one of the leading player in NBA pick-and-rolls as ball-handler per game. Highest attendance in NBA. Only 3 players average more than 10 points per game (Lillard/McCollum/Nurkic). Portland is 6-0 when bench players scores more than 50 points.



First European coach as NBA Head Coach Koskorov. #1 Draft pick Ayton (one of the best rookies this season). Without doubts the worst team in West. Started season terrible = 4-24. Suns won 4 games in a row for 1st time in nearly 4 years. Bad offensive/bad defensive team 29/28. One of the youngest teams in NBA.


Another mid-table NBA team. Probably can make play-offs but it will be very hard to do it West. Drafted #1 contender for ROY title – Dončič who has great season. One of the best NBA teams at home but at the same time plays bad their away games together (similar away games record with Cleveland) Shoots lot of 3s’ and get to FT line. Only 49% comes from 2P. Turnovers is a problem.. Back-up point guard JJ Barea out for Season.


„Grit and Grind” Alive in Memphis? Is it winning strategy in today’s game? Grizzlies scoring is low 100.9 (29th) and at the same time they don’t let opponent’s to score 102.9 (1st). Slowest team in NBA. One of the worst offenses but solid defense. Rookie Jaren Jackson is team’s third best point scorer. One of the worst teams at home in NBA. M.Gasol leads NBA in Elbow touches. In my opinion one of the least entertaining basketball team to watch. Has the problem with making 3-pointers = 3PM one of the worst in League. Worst rebounding team in NBA. Only 29th in attendance. Started season great 12-5. Since then 7-19.


#1 Rank before season. Heavily rely on Curry/Durant/Thompson offensively. This season they look more vulberable than we used to see in last few seasons but as we know regular season 73-9 doesn’t mean to win Championship. Curry possible MVP candidate and probably KD as well. Thompson despite setting new NBA records have one of his worst seasons ever. Green offensively not help a lot. Drama between KD and Green also not help team to play better. Cousins back, let’s see. Lack of depth 27th bench points (30.2). The last place in NBA by huge margin C position players points per game (14.5). One of the best offenses in NBA and highest FG%. Leads NBA in assists per game and blocks. Most of their made shots were assisted. % PTS PAINT last in NBA. Team who has least drives to the basket in NBA per game. Average shooting distance is furthest in whole League. Together with SAS and HOU is One of the oldest teams in NBA . GSW has lost all 4 OTs this season. Still #1 Title contender in my opinion.


Started season 0-4. OKC is tough team to beat for any opponent. One of the best defences in NBA. Play fast but at the same time one of the worst 3-point shooting teams. One of the leading teams points in paint. 58.6% of points = 2pointers. Offensive rebounding (OKC have League’s toughest guy Adams in their roster) and steals (Westbrook and George) are their strengths. PG13 probably has the best season in his career. Westbrook has one of the worst shooting seasons but I like that instead taking more shots he is focusing on Triple-Doubles (Career best REB/AST) and create opportunities for teammates. Even when Westbrook missed 8 games team played great.


Unicorn still not playing. He was injured almost 1 yearago and looks like New York don’t want to let him play. One of the worst shooting teams in NBA. Bad defensive team. The worst team in NBA FGM %AST.. Youngest team in NBA. Only 28th dunks per game. I can understand Kanter that he is not happy to play for team which can’t win and don’t want to win because of bigger chance to have better draft picks next year… Last 22 games 3W-19L. Not too many positive things to say about Knicks. Plays very bad at home 4-14 (worst in NBA).


Lot of drama in Minnesota this season. Butler–Saric/Covington trade. Head Coach Tom Thibodeau fired and replaced with 32 years old Saunders. KAT has great season. Rose shoots 3-pointers 45.7% (!) and is one of the candidates of Sixth Man of the Year title. 1st round playoffs maximum, another mid-table NBA team in my opinion.


Tallest team. Leads NBA dunks per game. Play very effective in first 12 seconds of possession but completely opposite their last 12 seconds of possession. Play fast. Leads the League in Point in the Paint. One the leading teams % of points Fast break points. One of the best attendance in NBA. Since Lebron’s groin injury 4-7 (9 of 11 games with teams who were below LAL in standings). With Lebron and without Lebron two different teams. Very possible that Lakers will play their best game in Play-Offs of course if they qualify..


One of the worst teams in NBA. Injuries.. Coach Hoiberg (5-19) fired and replaced by tough and defensive-minded coach Jim Boylen (5-15). 77:133 lost vs. Boston was the worst loss in franchise history (‘’Bulls players contacted the NBPA due to ‘’extreme tactics’’ from head coach Jim Boylen’’). The worst offense in NBA this season. Only 2 of their 44 games they won by more than 10 points. 8 game losing streak at the moment. One of youngest teams in NBA. Lack of quality C position player – only 17.3 points from C position players (2nd lowest in NBA).


Simply bad team. Injuries. Play slow. Worst defense in NBA. Coach Lue was fired after 0-6 and replaced by L.Drew (9-29). Since ‘’Cavaliers veterans feel rookie Sexton doesn’t ‘’know how to play’’ he gained confidence and had few solid games. ’’JR Smith stepping away from Cavs, won’t play until traded’’. 22 different players have played at least 1 minute for Cavaliers this season! No questions Cavs focus on better draft pick next season and team rebuilding. TOP3 team in NBA % of PTS of mid-range. Recent win over Lakers ended Cavs 12 game losing streak…


Not the best start of the season for last year’s regular season’s best team. Injuries, team chemistry, team spirit problems, defense below average, Carmelo situation. CP3 didn’t find his rhythm. But Things changed and team plays much better now. The Beard is setting new NBA records every next game + addition of Rivers who brings energy to team. Houston plays much better (last 19 games 14-5). Having Gordon/CP3/and also Capela now injured Houston heavy rely on MVP candidate Harden offensive talent and it works. Rockets still shoots the most 3’s in NBA and not taking mid-range shots. One of the best offenses in NBA. Oldest team in NBA this season. Rebounding should improve. Last place in NBA for bench players points Play slow. West conference Finals? Hard to say..


Started season great 4-0. Heavily rely on their starters – 88.2 PTS per game (1st in NBA). Lack of depth. Pelicans need wing player who can improve their play-off chances. AD plays great but he definitely needs more help. Mirotic started season great. NOP leads NBA in points scored per C position. Pelicans play fast, Offense works fine but their below average defense should improve. I could say Pelicans are streaky team, they have losing and winning streaks very often. One the best teams in FG% and assists in NBA. TOP 3 points in the paint. Plays much better at home compared to away games. Should be play-off team. One of the lowest attendances in NBA.

bos real

High expectations but reality is slightly different. One of the main title contenders is the 8th best team in NBA (25-18) at the moment. Team’s chemistry.  Too many good players?? Too many players who play for same position? From Nov. 26th to Dec 14th definitely the best team in NBA (8-0). Celtics NBA season-high 37 assists vs Brooklyn. 5 games in a row 30+ assists (4W-1L). 3-point shooting team, one of the highest 3pAr% in NBA. One of the lowest % of points in League comes from free-throw line and paint area. Still one of the best defensive teams. Huge potential but recent accidents shows that there’s problem with team’s chemistry and finding roles. If it’s the beginning of the season it could be easier to understand it but now it’s the middle of the season and these issues should be fixed by Coach Brad Stevens if Boston seriously thinks of winning NBA Title. Celtics definitely can play better.


One of the biggest disappointments this season. Pistons started season very well 13W-7L but continue with 5W-17L. Despite having one of the leading rebounders Drummond and star player Griffin who has great season overall… Detroit simply isn’t good basketball team and group of players they have doesn’t mix together too well. One of the worst offenses in NBA/above average defense. Bad shooting team. One of the worst 3-point shooting teams. Lack of fast break points and too many fouls per game. Their strength is rebounding. Despite playing bad recently still 9th in East and only 1 win away from Play-Off spot. In best case scenario I have see them losing at first round of Play-Offs. Coach of The Year Dwayne Casey definitely is one of their strengths as well. “Pistons are perfectly crafter 35 win team”.


After having great 2017/18 season Utah started this season with high expectations. Season didn’t start as good as Jazz organisation and fans expected. Both Mitchell and Rubio played pretty bad in the beginning of the season. 68 points in loss vs Mavericks (68:118) definitely not thing that makes Jazz players proud. Start of the season 9-12, since then 16-9. One of the best defences in NBA. Have a tendency to drive to the basket. TOP 3 team in NBA Dunks per game. Lack of fast break points. 5 game-winning streak at the moment. After slow start of the season I can tell Jazz are back!


The biggest disappointment of 2018/19 NBA season. High hopes but reality is quite different. Injuries. Howard didn’t play too much this season. Wall out for the season. One of the worst defenses in NBA. Started season very bad 2-9. Last 8 games 5-3. Wizards is bad 3-point shooting team and consistently among the worst rebounding teams in League this season. Beal has the ball in his hands more and have career’s best season in points/rebounds/assists per game. I am concerned if there’s enough help for him to bring Wizards back to play-off zone what actually it’s not impossible if we looks at the standings of Eastern Conference.


CoachKris@HUPU! Thanks for reading!



Author: abouthegame

Basketball coaching/sports data

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