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:
Los Angeles Lakers
Oklahoma City Thunder
Portland Trail Blazers
San Antonio Spurs
New Orleans Hornets
New York Knicks
Los Angeles Clippers
Golden State Warriors
New Jersey Nets