5 games in: How are those Blazers doing?

The NBA season is now a little more than a week old, and my Blazers’ 4-1 record (3-1 away) has me excited about their potential big year. I’m starting up my possession analysis again this season (which is similar to John Hollinger’s model on ESPN and Kevin Pelton’s model at basketball prospectus).

I will refer to the number of possessions a team gets per game as its pace. The bottom 25% of all teams will be considered slow-paced, while the upper quarter will be denoted as the league’s fast-paced teams. Perhaps you can guess what I’ll call the teams in the middle.

This defining of slow, medium and fast-paced teams will allow to me look at how Portland plays against each type of team, and whether or not the Trailblazers are able to control the pace against faster teams.


For now, I leave you with the top and bottom 3 in overall efficiency (offensive points per league-average possessions minus defensive).

Team Poss/Gm Pts/Gm* Pts/Gm* of Victory
Miami Heat 96.20 105.00 87.67 17.33
Los Angeles Lakers 103.03 111.38 98.23 13.16
Atlanta Hawks 97.64 108.49 97.28 11.21


Team Poss/Gm Pts/Gm* Pts/Gm* of Victory
Washington Wizards 105.26 93.48 103.68 -10.21
Los Angeles Clippers 98.33 89.35 101.09 -11.74
Minn. Timberwolves 108.21 92.32 105.41 -13.08


From this chart, it seems as though pace has no effect on efficiency, however for the entire league the correlation coefficient between pace and margin of victory is -0.31. This indicates that perhaps a faster pace results in less efficiency. I’ll be monitoring this all year!

Your Trailblazers are 6th in the league in overall efficiency with a margin of victory of +6.52. Portland is still one of the slowest-paced teams in the league, finishing just faster than the last-placed Bobcats. Chalupas are still in question every night…

*Per game refers to points per 100.4 possessions, the league average pace.




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