NBA Deadline Trades: Who got better / worse?
Last night I did a full team and opponent Win Score analysis of the five "playoff" teams involved in deadline trades (I left out New Jersey for now): Phoenix, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Cleveland. I wanted to assess the early impact of those trades without regard to wins and losses. Since the sample size was small, I completed adjusted each team's numbers to account for strength of schedule. So everything is schedule neutral.
Discussion of Early Returns
Based on my new data, I may need to reassess the conclusions I made in the last post... It appears the Lakers have substantially improved what was already a potent offense... Their offense is, if early returns hold, now historically good (+30%)... That changes the whole equation vis-a-vis who ought to be favored to win this season's NBA title... That said, I was surprised to learn that of all 5 teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers have improved the most. In fact, based on early returns, they have crept back into the Eastern Conference discussion... Its mostly because their defense has returned to last year's form... On the other hand, the early returns suggest Phoenix is in HUGE trouble. Shaquille has turned them from a lopsided offensive juggernaut into an extreme mediocrity. They made the trade to shore up their defense, yet by "Opponent Win Score" figures, their defense has actually gotten worse, while their once potent offense has lost a lot of its steam as well. Now they have nothing. If they don't improve fast, they are going nowhere... Dallas is the same on offense and worse on defense. I caution, though, that Jason Kidd does not seem to be putting up Jason Kidd like numbers yet... Chicago has stayed virtually the same as it was before the trade.