One Of These Seven Teams Will Win The ’12-13 NBA Title…GUARANTEED

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In October I identified the number one stat in determining who will most likely be hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy this June. After analyzing where the top defensive teams from the previous season stacked up at the start of this current season, I determined that the following teams had the most legit shots of winning it all this year:

  • Boston
  • Miami
  • Memphis
  • Indiana
  • New York
  • Los Angeles Clippers
Paul George and the Pacers have taken the defense up a notch this season and are a legit threat to Miami's throne. (photo via in.gov)
Paul George and the Pacers have taken the defense up a notch this season and are a legit threat to Miami’s throne. (photo via in.gov)

Before you get all up in my grill about leaving out a few teams, I did mention that although the Spurs, Lakers, Thunder and Nuggets were glaringly missing from my list of contenders, recent history says that their lack of defensive prowess going into the ’12-13 season didn’t bode well for them moving forward.

As for how my picks are performing so this season:

  • Miami, Indiana and New York are the top three seeds in the East
  • The Clippers and Memphis are the third and fourth seed respectively in the West
  • The Rondo-less Celtics are the “outlier” as they’re currently sitting at the seventh spot in the East and don’t stand a chance at winning it all without their star point guard

Not too shabby, but those picks were based on last season’s data regarding opponent points per game. Let’s take a look at the best defensive teams based on that stat so far this year:

Team Opponent Points per Game (as of 2/26)

Source: http://www.teamrankings.com/nba/stat/opponent-points-per-game

Rank

Team

2012

Last 3

Last 1

Home

Away

2011

1

Indiana

89.4

81.7

72.0

88.1

90.8

93.7

2

Memphis

89.6

78.7

72.0

87.3

92.3

92.8

3

Chicago

91.2

87.7

102.0

88.8

93.7

88.0

4

LA Clippers

94.1

103.7

94.0

93.4

94.7

95.1

5

Brooklyn

94.8

92.0

76.0

95.1

94.4

99.1

6

Washington

95.5

100.0

84.0

96.2

94.7

98.4

7

Philadelphia

95.8

102.3

99.0

95.2

96.5

89.0

8

San Antonio

95.8

94.7

87.0

91.7

98.7

96.4

9

Boston

95.9

97.7

92.0

92.9

99.1

89.1

10

Miami

96.1

87.3

105.0

96.9

95.4

91.9

11

New York

96.3

106.0

93.0

94.6

98.2

94.8

12

Atlanta

96.7

104.3

103.0

97.9

95.6

92.6

13

New Orleans

97.3

101.3

95.0

94.1

100.1

93.4

All of the teams I mentioned as “legit” contenders are in the top 13 defensively so far this season and three out of the top four are from my list as well.

The Spurs jumped up into the top 10 defensively, which is SCARY considering they are the fourth-highest scoring team in the Association.

It’s not like Miami needed any numbers to back up their legitimacy, but they’re equally as scary as the Spurs as they rank as the 10th best defensive team and field a top-five scoring offense. That doesn’t even take into account Lebron reaching Super-Saiyan status this year.

How does OKC stack up you ask? We’ll they’re the top scoring team in the NBA and are thisclose to being in that crucial top 13 defensive tier. As of writing this, the Thunder are .2 points away from claiming the 13th spot from the Pelicans. I’m thinking the addition of Ronnie Brewer should help them shave a half of a half of a point the rest of the way. That’s assuming Scotty Brooks doesn’t lose his mind and place the also newly acquired Derek Fisher in front of Reggie Jackson and Brewer in the rotation though.

OKC is on the verge of entering the crucial top 13 defensive tier. (photo via cnnsi.com)
OKC is on the verge of entering the crucial top 13 defensive tier. (photo via cnnsi.com)

If it wasn’t for Rondo’s injury I would have stuck with my list from the beginning of the season and added OKC and San Antonio, but now I’m going to replace Boston with the Thunder and add the Spurs on my list of legit contenders. As a Nuggets fan it pains me to say it, but bet the house on one of these seven teams winning the ‘ship this year (in no particular order):

  • Oklahoma City
  • Miami
  • Memphis
  • Indiana
  • New York
  • Los Angeles Clippers
  • San Antonio Spurs

What are your thoughts about this data? Do you have any other metrics you think I should consider? Let me know in the comments section.

 

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I'm the founder of NoCoastBias.com and when I'm not too busy "founding" things I follow College Football and the NBA religiously. I'll also chime in about the NFL, College Basketball, the WWE and pop culture from time to time.Feel free to shoot me a line at Derek (at) NoCoastBias (dot) com if these 58 words don't suffice.

2 COMMENTS

  1. As a Bulls fan I am saddened by this data and don’t want to believe it. But as a man of reason I see your points and if my Bulls cannot be there then I will root for my former hometown OKC and if it can’t be them then go MEMPHIS!

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