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These RPM power ratings, however, are based on the talent of the players on hand for each team. A: Those are generated via the aforementioned long-term RPM talent ratings, rather than the short-term numbers from the power rankings themselves.
The Jazz have been steadily rising in these rankings for weeks, a spot or two at a time, but this is the first week they've breached the top half of the league.
I don't really have any more analysis on this yet -- we've talked at length about Dennis Lindsey's addiction to playing Marginal NBA Player 10-Day Contract Roulette, and it seems like these moves are aimed in that direction. With the NBA playoffs rapidly approaching (they begin April 18), here’s a look at how the playoff picture in each conference has come together since the first time we issued power rankings and postseason odds on Jan. Fast-forward to today, and seven Western Conference slots are practically set in stone (according to our model), as Houston quickly added the remaining 20 percent to its playoff probability not long after our inaugural rankings. As measured by the average RPM power rating of their remaining opponents after adjusting for home-court advantage. But this week, with many teams resting key players in preparation for the playoffs, we’re ranking every team according to its projected playoff power rating. With only eight days remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, it’s time to check in on FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings. The Celtics, aided by a 3-1 record over the past week (and an improved power rating), now sport a 57 percent playoff probability and more expected end-of-season wins than either Miami or Indiana. This week, we tweaked the simulation methodology to include the NBA’s official tie-breaking procedures.
As we near the NBA All-Star break, it’s time to update FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings.

The Los Angeles Clippers dropped seven spots in the rankings, and it’s not hard to see why. On Friday night, the Atlanta Hawks won what was billed as a potential NBA Finals preview, beating the top-ranked Warriors 124-116. The Oklahoma City Thunder climbed more in the rankings from last week than any other team, leaping from No.
Related to the previous point, it’s worth mentioning that the Utah Jazz have a zero percent probability of making the playoffs despite ranking 12th in talent. With just about five weeks remaining in the 2014-15 regular season, we present another edition of FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings.
The Atlanta Hawks, owners of the league’s second-best record, still rank just 8th in our power ratings. Pelicans superstar Anthony Davis, owner of the seventh-best RPM in the NBA, suited up last week for the first time since aggravating his nagging shoulder injury on February 21, and his presence alone improved New Orleans by 2.5 rating points (to say nothing of the points gained by not having to play his backups as much). The long-term ratings are used to simulate every remaining game in the 2014-15 schedule, and the simulated results are added to the NBA’s actual standings. Utah also recently made its first incursion into the top half of ESPN's Hollinger Power Rankings.
They take the Jazz roster up to a full 15 players (the inclusion of Grant Jerrett in the Enes Kanter trade satisfied the minimum NBA requirement of 13). And with that in mind, we’re going to shake things up a bit with regard to FiveThirtyEight’s NBA Power Ratings.
Miami has lost four straight games, and its power rating is down because several of its good RPM players (such as Luol Deng, Hassan Whiteside and Chris Andersen) are listed as day-to-day with injuries.

This marks the first time that’s been true since we introduced the rankings in mid-January. But in the case of early-season rankings, or when a team experiences roster changes midseason (via trades or injuries), it takes time for traditional power ratings to catch up to the team’s new quality.
In other words, injuries, trades and signings are instantly accounted for in these rankings. And the FiveThirtyEight preseason projections, which used a similar methodology, are performing well in a prediction contest against other metrics.
Playoff probabilities and expected end-of-season wins are still driven by projected minute distributions over the next few days, but the power ratings themselves have been geared to capture the talent that each team is bringing into the playoffs. The loss of Butler was much more damaging to the Bulls than that of Derrick Rose, whose injury only cost the team about 0.4 points of power rating after his backups were accounted for. Because the Celtics face a much more difficult remaining schedule (as measured by the power ratings of teams they must still play) than the Pacers.
Similarly, the New Orleans Pelicans have a better chance than the Phoenix Suns of catching the Thunder for the last playoff spot in the West because the Suns have the hardest remaining schedule of any team in the NBA.
This time, FiveThirtyEight favorite Kyle Korver sat out over the weekend and is listed as day-to-day in the injury report, which means more projected minutes for Kent Bazemore.

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