View Full Version : Pacers recent W-L margins

02-22-2013, 02:29 AM
I'm sure the last few games stand out, and I'm sure that the two tough home losses weigh on the more passionate fans heavier than a few big wins.

But from an outside "analyzing the team" view, I was stunned to have not noticed just how long the extremely strong W-L margin totals have been.
Put them in buckets like a pareto chart, 4 buckets with Wins and Losses split again by 10+ points or within 10. Now let's look at the games they've played since that bad loss in Orlando more than a month ago....14 games

8 - W by 10+
1 - W close
4 - L close
1 - L by 10+

9-5 doesn't tell it all because in terms of weight or average margin of the games they are heavily on the plus side in this stretch. Their 14 game average point differential has hit, by far, their season high at +7.8. For the season they are only at +3.5 and their previous best was a brief stay at +5.9. A +7.8 for the year would have them in the company of SAS and OKC who would be the only teams ahead of them. But even that is skewed because for the year OKC and SAS have won more games which means they have taken less nights in the red to reduce their average. The Pacers +7.8 in over a stretch where they were "only" 9-5, or a .640 winning PCT. Contrast that with the 786 and 722 by SAS and OKC.

Had the Pacers simply won those 2 homes games by 2 they would have an 11-3 or .785 win PCT and their point differential would have been +8.6...meaning they just missed putting on a "best in the NBA" run over the last 14 games.

You have 4 close losses, 3 of which went to OT and 2 of which featured clearly questionable (or admitted even) bad calls that possibly cost them the game. People overlooked Utah and Denver because the team got so far behind early on and used late rallies to make it close, but if you were looking at Miami, NYK, OKC or SAS you'd mark that as a sign of a great team. The same thinking must be applied to the Pacers.

The Pacers led the Raps by 4 with 7 seconds left. The Pacers led Brooklyn by 4 with 1 minute left. It's bad that they failed to close these out, but one was a pure fluke and the other featured a terrible night by Paul.

Their only close win was the tough game vs Memphis on MLK day, in Memphis and while they still had Rudy Gay. And the Pacers led that game by 6 with 4:30 to go. It was Memphis who rallied to make it tight.

So the theme is that the NBA was a little lucky to keep the Pacers from going 13-1 in those 14 games. They only had 1 win that was close, and that required Memphis to make it close. The other wins were all decisive and obvious. Meanwhile calls in Utah and Denver, a fluke by Amir and some tired looking plays after a week where they played 3 games in 3 days are the only thing that kept them from winning those 4 close losses.

Right now the Pacers are one of those teams that can be beat, but when you beat them it feels a bit lucky or rare. It's the vibe of "you can beat them, but can you beat them 4 times in a row". If they had won those games and gone 13-1 it would have stood out more, but make no mistake that this is a team that ranges from unstoppable to barely losing if they really blow it or have things go against them. They may not have had the proper start that OKC and SAS did, and 14 games does not a season make, but what they have been doing the last month is playing like an elite team and it matches their consistent improvement all season, pointing them toward peaking at the playoffs it would seem.

* this stretch also featured perhaps 9 playoff teams

02-22-2013, 02:34 AM
The offense has really picked up recently. We've already jumped from 2nd worst to 8th worst offensive rating on the season, while maintaining #1 def rating.

02-22-2013, 09:43 AM
You lost me with all those numbers. All I know, the last 4 Pacers losses all went down to the last possession and two of those went to OT. All the wins have been by comfortable margins. (that is a sign of a very good team playing well) They still need to win their share of the close ones though

02-22-2013, 09:45 AM
And Danny isn't here yet.

02-25-2013, 05:42 PM
So being off in Detroit took me out of the follow-up loop and I'm still working on the photos for that, but in the same vein as the OP I noticed on Hollinger's Formula based rankings that he has the Points Diff for the last 25% of the games as one of his stats, and that's just about 13-14 games right now so it's virtually the same thing I posted.

Not only are the Pacers up to 5th in season long Points Diff, but they are SECOND IN THE NBA in the last 25% of the season. The only problem is the Heat are first at +10.43 with the Pacers at +9.93. Both teams are scorching hot, but Miami won the few close games where Indiana just barely lost. That's why Miami has an 11 game win streak going and the higher Points Diff.

And when did the Miami streak begin? Right after the Pacers beat them by 13. They haven't lost since. It worries me a little because it strongly suggests that the Pacers game was a wake up call for the Heat. It's not just easy teams or home games either, they put together 3 straight road wins vs playoff teams all by 10+ points.

So I guess as great as the Pacers have been, there is still another rung they need to climb just a bit above them.