Stats & Info: Memphis Grizzlies

The excitement factor of NBA playoff series

April, 30, 2014
The two tables below show an alternative way to look at the excitement levels of a couple NBA playoff series, which better captures the excitement of the series over traditional stats.

What is the Excitement Factor?

Excitement: Amount of change in win probability during the game.

Winner Chance: Average in-game win probability that the eventual winner had during the game.

Overall, the average game in the Portland-Houston series has had a total change of in-game win probability of 981 percent. This is higher than the 804 percent in the Memphis-OKC series.

Beyond this, the Portland-Houston series also had two games where the team that was losing much of the game came back to win (Games 1 and 4), whereas the winners of every game in the Memphis-OKC series generally controlled their games.

Despite having four overtime games to “just three” for Portland-Houston, the Memphis-OKC series hasn’t been quite as close or “exciting” as the Portland-Houston series.

The top 6 most exciting games of the playoffs thus far have been from these two series. (No. 7 was the Vince Carter buzzer-beater.)

The average excitement of 981 percent for the Portland-Houston series is higher than any single game of any series outside of these two.

Next Level nuggets from Saturday

April, 20, 2014
It was a wild opening to the NBA playoffs. Three of the four games were won by road teams, just the second time in NBA history that three road teams won Game 1 of the First Round on the first day of the postseason. It also happened in 1996.

Playoff games are all about matchups. Here are the biggest ones from the four Saturday games.

Nets 94, Raptors 87

Paul Pierce
The story of this game was Paul Pierce, who scored nine of his 15 points in the 4th quarter. Seven of those nine points were scored when Patrick Patterson was the primary defender.

DeMar DeRozan, however, had a much more disappointing day. He was 3-for-13 from the floor, including 1-for-9 on jump shots.

DeRozan averaged 9.6 points per game on jump shots during the regular season, tied for seventh best in the NBA..

Warriors 109, Clippers 105

Chris Paul scored 28 points Saturday, but struggled with Klay Thompson as his primary defender. Paul missed his first eight shots when guarded by Thompson, who also forced three of his six turnovers.

But Doc Rivers and the Clippers shouldn't want Paul to score that much. They now have seven wins and five losses this season when Paul scores 25 points or more. They're 37-12 when Paul scores fewer than 25.

Hawks 101, Pacers 93

Jeff Teague helped to snap the Hawks eight-game road playoff losing streak, scoring 28 points, a new playoff career high. 78 percent of his field goal attempts came on drives, and he scored 20 points on those shots (including free throws).

Teague averaged just 5.6 points per game on drives during the regular season.

Roy Hibbert, however, continued to struggle. Hibbert was 4-for-9 from the floor Saturday and has not made a shot outside the paint since April 4.

In his first 77 games this season, he shot 40 percent on such shots.

Thunder 100, Grizzlies 86

Kevin Durant
Kevin Durant had 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. That makes nine straight postseason games where Durant had 20 points, five rebounds and five assists, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NBA history.

The only Grizzlies player that could contain Durant Saturday was Tony Allen. He held Durant to 13 points on 5-of-14 shooting (36 percent) Saturday, but Durant scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting (73 percent) against everyone else.

But we all knew Durant is good and would be tough to stop. What we didn't know was how bad the Grizzlies would be outside of the paint.

Memphis missed its first 18 shots from outside the paint Saturday before hitting their last attempt of the second quarter. The Thunder outscored the Grizzlies 23-3 outside the paint in the first half, making up most of Memphis' 22-point halftime deficit.

"Wow Stats" for every NBA Playoff series

April, 18, 2014
David Liam Kyle/NBAE/Getty ImagesKevin Durant has the fourth-highest postseason scoring average in NBA history.
The NBA playoffs get underway on Saturday. Before they do, here’s a stat you should know on each of the eight first-round series.

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs (8) Dallas Mavericks

• 29: The Spurs and Mavericks have played 29 playoff games dating back to the 2000-01 season, one behind the Spurs and Lakers for the most playoff games between two teams in that time. Dallas and San Antonio are separated by just 33 points over those 29 meetings, just over one point per game.

(2) Oklahoma City Thunder vs (7) Memphis Grizzlies
• 28.6: Kevin Durant is averaging 28.6 points per game in his playoff career. In NBA history, the only players with a higher playoff scoring average are Michael Jordan (33.4), Allen Iverson (29.7) and Jerry West (29.1).

(3) Los Angeles Clippers vs (6) Golden State Warriors
• 484: The “Splash Brothers”, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, have combined for 484 3-pointers this season, the most by a pair of teammates in a single NBA season. Whose record did they break? Their own (483 last season).

(4) Houston Rockets vs (5) Portland Trail Blazers
• 45.6: The Blazers allowed 45.6 points in the paint per game this season, the worst of any playoff team. Houston’s Dwight Howard averaged 13.1 paint points per game this season, fifth-most in the league.

(1) Indiana Pacers vs (8) Atlanta Hawks
• .480: Both teams went 12-13 in their final 25 games for a .480 winning percentage. Only two teams in NBA history were under .500 in their final 25 games and went on to win the NBA championship: the 1957-58 Hawks and 1994-95 Rockets.

(2) Miami Heat vs (7) Charlotte Bobcats
• 15: The Heat and Bobcats have met 15 times since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces before the 2010-11 season. Miami has won all 15. In that same time, Miami is 14-0 against the Raptors, a possible opponent in the next round.

(3) Toronto Raptors vs (6) Brooklyn Nets
• 2 and 3: On the morning of January 1st, the Raptors and Nets both had a losing record. Since then, however, they’ve been two of the Eastern Conference’s best. The Nets have the second-best win percentage since January 1 (.667), the Raptors are third (.642).

(4) Chicago Bulls vs (5) Washington Wizards
• 7.8: Nobody dominated the ball like John Wall this season. He averaged 7.8 minutes of possession per game, most in the league. That’s roughly 16 percent of a regulation game.

Picking the most clutch in NBA playoffs

April, 18, 2014
With the NBA playoffs starting Saturday, we’re bound to see tight games and pressure-packed situations. The question then becomes, whose hands do you want the ball in?

The top chart above shows each playoff team’s leader in clutch-time usage percentage this season, along with his true shooting percentage (which weighs three-point field goals greater and accounts for free throw shooting). Clutch-time is defined as situations in which the game is within five points in the final five minutes of the fourth quarter and overtime.

The bottom chart shows each of those 16 players’ overall Player Efficiency Rating along with his PER in clutch-time situations.

Kevin Durant less efficient
Kevin Durant
First, no playoff team leans more on a player in clutch time than the Oklahoma City Thunder do with Kevin Durant. He’s the only one of the 16 who has a clutch-time usage percentage over 40 percent, and Durant’s is nearing 46 percent. However, his efficiency numbers drop off in crunch-time, as his PER drops from nearly 30 in all situations to just over 25 in crunch-time. That's still above league average, but it's below average among these 16 "go-to" guys.

His main opponent for league MVP, LeBron James, increases his already-high efficiency numbers in crunch-time, despite the Miami Heat leaning on him heavily.

Harden: Mister Clutch?
James Harden
Watch out for the Houston Rockets and James Harden. Harden has the highest clutch-time efficiency rating of the 16 players, with the second-highest usage rate. Mike Conley also ups his performance in crunch-time, which could put the Thunder on upset alert if the Memphis Grizzlies point guard gets hot late in their series.

Sticking with the Western Conference, Stephen Curry has hit all 31 of his crunch-time free throws this year, but has shot just 28 percent from 3-point range for the Golden State Warriors in those situations.

Who could struggle
Despite the Brooklyn Nets second-half surge, their clutch-time leader, Joe Johnson, is the worst of the 16 team leaders in terms of PER. LaMarcus Aldridge has also struggled in crunch-time for the Portland Trail Blazers, with an effective field goal percentage of 33 percent.

One of the main takeaways is that the crunch-time leader for the eighth-seeded Dallas Mavericks is not former NBA season and Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, but instead Monta Ellis, who has taken possessions at a slightly-higher rate than Nowitzki.

Top stats to know: The surging Grizzlies

April, 16, 2014
The Memphis Grizzlies will be making their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Last season, they made it to the Western Conference Finals, their best finish in franchise history.

How important is it for the Grizzlies to win tonight against the Dallas Mavericks and avoid a first-round matchup with the Spurs by taking the No. 7 seed?

Memphis went 0-4 against San Antonio during the regular season. The Grizzlies went 1-3 against the Thunder and 2-1 against the Clippers.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that there have been 55 instances in which a team was swept 4-0 or worse in the regular season and then went on to face that opponent in the postseason. The team that swept the regular-season series went on to win 51 of those 55 postseason meetings.

What else do you need to know about the Grizzlies, who rank among the NBA’s hottest teams?

The Grizzlies are 0-3 against the Mavericks this season, losing by an average of 13.4 PPG. Dallas is averaging 31.3 free throw attempts per game over the three games, 10.6 more than the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies have won 13 consecutive home games, tied for their longest single-season streak in franchise history (won 13 straight last season). Prior to this streak, the Grizzlies were just 13-14 at home for the season.

Nine coaches made their NBA head-coaching debut this season. Dave Joerger’s .605 win percentage is the best among those nine rookie head coaches. Dating back to 1950-51, only three rookie head coaches won a title: George Senesky with the 195-56 Warriors, Paul Westhead with the 1979-80 Lakers and Pat Riley with the 1981-82 Lakers.

In addition to Joerger – rookie head coaches Jason Kidd, Steve Clifford and Mike Budenholzer will be in the playoffs.

The Grizzlies entered Jan. 1 in 12th place in the Western Conference with a 13-17 record but have gone 36-15 since that date, tied for the 3rd-best record in the NBA. In that time, their opponents’ points per game has dropped from 97.2 to 92.8.

The Grizzlies are allowing just 100.0 points per 100 possessions, third- fewest in the league dating back to Jan. 1.

Memphis was allowing 105.5 points per 100 possessions through Dec. 31st, which ranked 25th in that category.

A big reason why Memphis had to dig itself out of a hole was the Grizzlies were without Marc Gasol for much of the first half of the season. Gasol missed 23 straight games spanning Nov. 25 to Jan. 12 and the Grizzlies went just 10-13.

Gasol is also averaging 3.6 assists per game this season, 2nd most in the NBA among centers behind Joakim Noah (5.4).

The Grizzlies play at the slowest pace in the league, averaging just 92.3 possessions per 48 minutes. They aren’t too wrapped up in the 3-point craze as a league-high 83.0 percent of their attempts come from 2-point range.

Memphis is averaging 47.5 points in the paint per game, fourth-most in the NBA. The Grizzlies are outscoring opponents by a league-leading 8.9 points in the paint per game.

It’s important to get out in transition against Memphis. The Grizzlies allow 1.14 points per play in transition, ranking 21st in that category – while they only yield 0.89 points per play in the half-court, seventh-best in the league.

Similar styles collide tonight in Chicago

March, 7, 2014
The Memphis Grizzlies will be in the Windy City to face the Chicago Bulls tonight at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Both of these teams have been two of the NBA’s best since the calendar flipped to 2014.

The Bulls are 22-9 since January 1, the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. The Grizzlies are 21-9 in 2014, the third-best mark in the Western Conference.

These two squads rely heavily on defense and the play of their centers.

Marc Gasol's return fuels Memphis
A big reason why the Grizzlies had to dig itself out of a hole was because they were without Marc Gasol for much of the first half of the season.

Gasol missed 23 straight games spanning Nov. 25 to Jan. 12 and the Grizzlies went just 10-13 over that stretch. With him this season they’ve posted a 24-13 record.

Also his impact on the defensive end has been felt. Opponents are averaging five points fewer per game when Gasol is in the lineup.

Joakim Noah the facilitator

Joakim Noah is currently leading the Bulls in total assists this season. The last time a center led his team in total assists for a season was David Robinson (1993-94).

Noah’s distribution has had a tremendous impact on the team’s offensive performance. When Noah sits, the Bulls score just 93.9 points per 100 possessions. For perspective the 76ers have a better offensive efficiency than that.

Quick Hitters
* Both of these teams are strong on the glass – the Bulls rank second in rebound percentage while the Grizzlies are sixth. Not surprisingly, the Grizzlies give up the fewest second-chance points this season (11.5) while the Bulls yield the second-fewest (11.6).

* Noah is averaging a career-high 4.8 assists this season, the most among centers. Second-most among centers in assists per game is Gasol with 3.7.

* The Bulls were 14-18 when they traded Luol Deng to the Cavaliers but have gone 20-9 since.

* Tom Thibodeau has gone with Taj Gibson over Carlos Boozer in the fourth quarter this season. Dating back to Feb. 1, Boozer has played in just three fourth quarters for a total of 11 minutes.

Gasol's stingy defense earns award

April, 24, 2013

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Gasol earned his first Defensive Player of the Year award by anchoring the NBA’s stingiest defense.
Since the 1982-83 season, when the first Defensive Player of the Year award was given, a power forward or a center has won it 22 of the 30 times.

Marc Gasol will be the 23rd this season as he accepts the award for the first time in his career, becoming the second first-time winner in as many years. Last season New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler was the recipient of the award for the first time.

Since 1996-97, Gasol is tied for the fourth-highest defensive efficiency among Defensive Player of the Year award winners.

Gasol averaged 1.7 blocks and 1.0 steals for Memphis, which allowed 97.4 points per 100 possessions this season, second only to the Indiana Pacers (96.6 points per 100 possessions).

The Grizzlies’ defensive efficiency was 95.4 with Gasol on the court. However, with him on the bench, that number jumped to 102.2.

The anchor

With Gasol on the court, teams turned the ball over against the Grizzlies 17.3 percent of the time, a rate that would have led the NBA (the Clippers' 17.2 percent led the league this season). However, with him off the court, that percentage dropped to 15.8 percent, which would've ranked 12th.

His impact on the defensive end extends to turning turnovers into points, as well. With Gasol on the court, Memphis averaged 18 points per game off turnovers, which would've ranked fourth in the NBA. But with him off the court, the team averaged 15.5 points, which would've rank 20th.

Defense wins games

According to, Gasol had 5.4 defensive win shares this season, which was second in the NBA behind Paul George. Defensive win shares are an estimate of the number of wins contributed by a player due to his defense.

Gasol’s defensive efficiency of 95.4 points per 100 possessions allowed was third in the NBA (minimum 2,000 minutes, 126 players). Teammates Tony Allen (94.3) and Mike Conley (95.1) were first and second, respectively.

The second half of the season was when Gasol really earned the honor. Gasol’s defensive efficiency after the All-Star break was 92.1, which was best in the NBA.

On the ball

As an on-ball defender, Gasol led the NBA with his 0.76 points per play allowed per game (minimum 800 plays, 55 players). Players turned the ball over an average of 14.5 times per game when covered by Gasol, sixth best in the league.

Defending Carmelo's post-up game

November, 20, 2012
US PresswireDefending Carmelo Anthony in the post is not easy, but there are ways to slow him down.
More than ever, Carmelo Anthony is relying on his post-up game this season. After ranking among the best post-up players in the league last season, Carmelo is relying on post-up plays twice as often this season, with more than 25 percent of his points coming on post-ups.

This doesn’t mean Anthony is just posting up on the low block, especially now that he’s often being guarded by power forwards. He is using a variety of post-up moves on different parts of the court to get his points.

The Memphis Grizzlies are the only team to beat the New York Knicks this season, largely because they successfully defended Anthony in the post. They held him to just 1-for-5 shooting with two turnovers on post-up plays.

How did they stop him?

In the first quarter, Anthony posted up on the left elbow and drove left to the basket. Once he put the ball on the ground, help defense came and he missed a contested layup.

In the third quarter he posted up, again from the left elbow. Help defense came once he dribbled, and this time Anthony kicked it out to the perimeter.

Twice in the fourth quarter, he posted up on the right block. In both instances, a double team came after he began dribbling. On the first play, the Grizzlies forced a turnover. On the second play, they forced him to pass the ball out to the perimeter.

What’s the best way for teams to defend Carmelo in the post?

• Force him to back down his defender. With his back to the basket, Carmelo is shooting 6-for-15 this season.

• Once he starts backing down his defender, it may be wise to bring a hard double team. When Anthony has been double-teamed with his back to the basket, he has passed the ball on nine of 12 plays. All of those nine passes have been kick-outs to the perimeter. In fact, Anthony hasn’t passed the ball once to a cutter with his back to the basket this season.

• Once he faces up, Carmelo will almost always either take a one-dribble jumper or drive all the way to the basket. On one-dribble jumpers, he’s shooting 4-of-8 and has been fouled twice.

• If Carmelo faces up, don’t let him drive to the basket without help defense. This season when Anthony faces up and drives without help defense, he’s 5-for-8, and all three of his misses came in the Knicks’ opening game against the Miami Heat.

• After his first dribble, send a hard double team. Anthony has faced a hard double team only twice this season when he faces up and drives to the basket. On those two plays, he has a missed shot and a turnover.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories

1. SPURS FINISH OFF SWEEP: The San Antonio Spurs defeated the Utah Jazz, 87-81, finishing a four-game sweep to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals. This was the Spurs sixth postseason sweep since Tim Duncan was a rookie in the 1997-98 season. According to Elias, that ranks second in the NBA. Only the Los Angeles Lakers, with seven, have more over the last 15 seasons.

2. PAUL & GRIFFIN LEAD CLIPPERS TO VICTORY: The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 101-97 in overtime, to take a 3-1 series lead. According to Elias, the Clippers became the first NBA team to have a pair of players (Chris Paul, Blake Griffin), with at least 25 points and at least seven assists in a playoff game since they did it themselves back on May 14, 2006 (Elton Brand had 30 and eight and Sam Cassell had 28 and nine in a victory over the Phoenix Suns).

3. RANGERS EARN HISTORIC WIN: The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals, 3-2 in overtime to take a 3-2 series lead. That win would not have been possible if Brad Richards hadn’t tied the game with seven seconds left in regulation. According to Elias, this is the first NHL postseason to have three games feature game-tying goals in the final 15 seconds of regulation. The first-two games in the Phoenix Coyotes - Chicago Blackhawks series also had such goals.

4. COYOTES IN UNCHARTED TERRITORY: The Coyotes defeated the Nashville Predators, 2-1, to win the Western Conference Semifinals in five games. The Coyotes advanced to their first Conference Finals since joining the NHL in 1979-80. Prior to joining the NHL, the franchise (then known as the Winnipeg Jets) reached the WHA (Avco Cup) Finals five times in seven seasons.

5. WEAVER PERFECT 5-0: Jered Weaver allowed one earned run in six innings, as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Minnesota Twins, 8-3. For the third time, Weaver has started a season 5-0. According to Elias, he joined Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Christy Mathewson as the only pitchers to start 5-0 in three seasons.

6. RED HOT ROOKIE: The Boston Red Sox defeated the Kansas City Royals, 11-5 to snap a five-game losing streak. Red Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks remained hot, going 3 for 5, with two home runs and five RBI. According to Elias, he tied the MLB record for most RBI (nine) in a player’s first four games to start career.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

1. CLIPPERS MAKE HISTORIC COMEBACK: The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Memphis Grizzlies, 99-98, in Game One of their First-Round series. The Clippers trailed by 21 points at the end of the third quarter. The win tied the shot-clock era playoff record for the largest deficit overcome at the end of the third quarter. (2002 Boston Celtics vs New Jersey Nets)

2. BYNUM RECORDS TRIPLE-DOUBLE IN WIN: Andrew Bynum recorded a triple-double (10 Pts, 13 Reb, 10 Blk) in the Los Angeles Lakers 103-88 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game One on Sunday. According to Elias, was the first triple-double by a center in an NBA playoff game since May 7, 1993, when David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs (20 points, 17 rebounds, 11 assists) did it against the Portland Trail Blazers.

3. RONDO EJECTED, CELTICS DEJECTED: Rajon Rondo was ejected for bumping a referee during the fourth quarter of the Celtics 83-74 Game One loss to the Atlanta Hawks. NEXT LEVEL: If Rondo is suspended, the Celtics offense will likely take a hit. The Celtics averaged over seven points more per 100 possessions with Rondo on the floor this season compared to when he was off the floor or out.

4. RAYS ROMP RANGERS IN SERIES: The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Rangers, 5-2, taking two of three games in their weekend series against the defending AL champions. According to Elias, the Rangers had won each of their seven previous series this season, tying them for the second-longest streak of consecutive series wins to begin a season for a team that had gone to the World Series the previous year. The 1907 Chicago Cubs won their first 11 series and the 2003 San Francisco Giants won their first seven.

5. METS WIN A CLOSE ONE: The New York Mets defeated the Colorado Rockies, 6-5 in 11 innings. According to Elias, it was the second victory in franchise history in which the Mets allowed a pair of game-tying home runs in the 8th inning or later. The other was New York's classic 19-inning, 16-13 win at the Atlanta Braves on July 4, 1985.
Stats & Info insights into this morning's top sports stories.

Derrick Rose
1. BULLS LOSE A LOT IN WIN: The NBA Playoffs began on Saturday with four games. The Chicago Bulls defeated the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-91. The win came at a heavy price. Derrick Rose suffered a torn ACL late in the fourth quarter and will miss the rest of the playoffs. The Bulls went 18-9 in the 27 regular-season games which Rose missed in 2011-12.

2. JAMES AND HEAT HAND KNICKS ANOTHER POSTSEASON LOSS: The Miami Heat defeated the New York Knicks, 100-67. LeBron James scored 23 of his 32 points in the first half to hand the Knicks their 11th consecutive playoff defeat. The NBA record for most consecutive playoff losses belongs to the Memphis Grizzlies, who lost 12 straight from 2004 to 2006.

3. DURANT CLUTCH AGAIN: The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Dallas Mavericks, 99-98. Kevin Durant hit the game-winning jumper with 1.5 seconds left in regulation. It is his fourth game-winning field goal in the final five seconds in the last two seasons (playoffs included). That is most by any player in the NBA.

4. NFL DRAFT IS OVER: The 2012 NFL Draft concluded on Saturday. 42 players were drafted from SEC schools, one more than the Big Ten for most the draft picks by conference. It’s the sixth straight year the SEC has had the most selections.

5. KEMP HITS HEROIC HOMER: Matt Kemp hit a walk-off home run to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals in 10 innings. It’s Kemp’s 11th home run this month, setting a Dodgers record for most in April. The game also featured the MLB debut of Bryce Harper. He went 1-3, with a double and RBI. Harper is the fourth teenager with an extra-base hit in his MLB debut since 1969.

6. BUSCH TAKES RICHMOND: Kyle Busch won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second. It’s his seventh runner-up finish since his last Cup Series win on June 15, 2008 at Michigan. Earnhardt Jr.’s winless streak now stands at 138 races.

Some NBA teams clutch in crunch time

April, 17, 2012
“Crunch Time” is defined as less than five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime with neither team ahead by more than five points. In these crucial situations, plus-minus is a very effective measure of team performance because scoring while keeping opponents off the board is the difference between a win and a loss. It’s not surprising that the top six teams in Crunch Time +/- this season have already locked up playoff spots (Los Angeles Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Orlando Magic, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls).

This can also shed light on just how important key players are to their franchise. For example, the Cleveland Cavaliers led the league in Crunch Time +/- three years in a row (2007-08 to 2009-10), but once LeBron James left for Miami the Cavaliers’ +/- plummeted. The Cavs averaged +113 with James during those three seasons, and +1 since.

- The Lakers have by far the best Crunch Time +/- this season (+79, the Pacers are second at +65). Pau Gasol (+78) has been their biggest star, followed closely by Andrew Bynum (+74). Kobe Bryant ranks third at +58.

- The Dallas Mavericks have had the biggest drop-off in Crunch Time performance, from a league-leading +117 last season to a paltry -16 this season.

- The Houston Rockets (+31) and Memphis Grizzlies (+28) are the best Crunch Time teams this season that have yet to lock up a playoff spot. The Los Angeles Clippers (-9) are the only playoff team with a negative +/-.

Statistical support for this story given by