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Wayne Winston's power rankings

Indiana University professor Wayne Winston is a pioneer of plus/minus who has long advised NBA teams including the Dallas Mavericks.

I've written about him many times, and he never fails to rile people up with his unconventional findings.

But for the record, in my experience, Winston is not wacky or anything else. He's just a guy who passionately believes in adjusted plus/minus -- even when sample sizes are fairly small.

Would you have it any other way? Would you hire me as a blogger if I were tepid on blogging? Would you hire a point guard who headed into the lane thinking "I'm probably going to miss this"? A lot of people believe in their work, and while I honestly still haven't grasped exactly how to use plus/minus, I'm certain it's one part of a good, broad analysis of a team or a player. (I'm also sure that, limited though it may be, for the time being it's just about the only way to measure individual NBA defense in any meaningful way, so it simply can't be ignored.)

So, with that as a backdrop, here are Winston's most recent NBA power rankings, based on the last 30 days, which he just e-mailed over. I honestly don't know his secret sauce, but I'd put good money on it being based on margin of victory and strength of opponent -- so take this as a measure of who has been playing well against tough competition lately:

  1. Denver Nuggets

  2. Chicago Bulls

  3. Los Angeles Lakers

  4. Miami Heat

  5. Oklahoma City Thunder

  6. Dallas Mavericks

  7. Portland Trail Blazers

  8. Houston Rockets

  9. Orlando Magic

  10. San Antonio Spurs

  11. Memphis Grizzlies

  12. Philadelphia 76ers

  13. Boston Celtics

  14. New Orleans Hornets

  15. Phoenix Suns

  16. New York Knicks

  17. Atlanta Hawks

  18. Los Angeles Clippers

  19. Sacramento Kings

  20. Golden State Warriors

  21. Milwaukee Bucks

  22. Detroit Pistons

  23. Indiana Pacers

  24. Minnesota Timberwolves

  25. New Jersey Nets

  26. Utah Jazz

  27. Charlotte Bobcats

  28. Toronto Raptors

  29. Cleveland Cavaliers

  30. Washington Wizards