Colley Rankings 12/5/2008

Last year I unveiled OTTER, an objective team ranking system. It had two parts, a pre-season predictive team aspect and a in season aspect. Unfortunately I’ve decided to put part one on hold for now. I’d like to find a better way to predict performance from season to season.

However I’m still able to publish the second part which is team rankings based on the Colley Matrix. Dr. Colley invented this method of ranking teams by looking at only the results of games. That is each game is valued by strength of opponent. This ranking has a single advantage over other systems, in that it “sees” every single game played. I’ve modified Dr. Colley’s method slightly, accounting for home field advantage.

Team Rank SOS W L
Boston 0.886 8.9 14 2
Orlando 0.879 12.3 16 4
San Antonio 0.825 9.5 15 3
Phoenix 0.803 10.1 14 4
Detroit 0.731 9.4 12 5
Utah 0.729 10.8 13 6
Dallas 0.697 9.9 12 6
New Orleans 0.694 9.9 12 6
L.A. Lakers 0.655 11.1 10 8
Houston 0.635 11.7 9 9
Golden State 0.628 10.4 9 8
Cleveland 0.622 12.6 9 10
Denver 0.603 9.1 11 7
Toronto 0.599 10 10 8
New Jersey 0.575 10.5 9 9
Milwaukee 0.574 9.3 8 8
Washington 0.555 10 8 9
Indiana 0.535 10.7 9 10
Sacramento 0.519 10.4 7 10
Atlanta 0.483 9.7 7 10
Portland 0.476 11.5 6 12
L.A. Clippers 0.439 8.9 6 10
New York 0.438 9.9 5 11
Memphis 0.436 9.8 6 11
Charlotte 0.417 8.5 6 10
Philadelphia 0.397 10 5 12
Miami 0.392 11 4 13
Chicago 0.368 8.8 4 11
Seattle 0.295 10.9 3 15
Minnesota 0.262 9.7 2 14

As for the results: early on it looks like the East has caught up to the West. Not only has the rebuilt Celtics taken the top spot over the usual suspects in the West, but the Orlando Magic is right behind them. The results are a bit shocking, since Phoenix beat Orlando twice this year, but it seems that Orlando has faced one of the toughest schedules so far. The Suns are about league average with respect to their opponent strength. Additionally from this data it seems that the Cavs have been hurt by their schedule, while the Nuggets might have received a bit of an advantage.

Liked it? Take a second to support Mike Kurylo on Patreon!

Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

32 thoughts to “Colley Rankings 12/5/2008”

  1. Hollinger is different in two ways… one is that his rankings are based (completely, I think) on point differential rather than win-loss. IMO this provides a better picture of relative team strength; wins and losses rely more on luck.

    (It also hurts the Knicks, who have the worst point differential in the league)

    Second – he weights his rankings heavily towards the most recent 10 games. He cheerfully admits that this is so the rankings will fluctuate more; it would be boring for readers to look at rankings which shifted at glacial pace.

  2. Anyone see Vecsey’s comments on the Knicks not letting Marbury know his dad had collapsed until after the game?
    I realize his father has had similar problems in the past, but I have to say that is seemed very inappropriate that the Knicks didn’t tell Marbury.
    The fact that his dad died makes is all the worse.
    I think if a family member like a dad or mom collapses during a game the player should be permitted to know and in fact encouraged to see that person if there is serious doubt about their health.
    In the end, it is basketball.
    I think it is a bit weird that no one told the guy while it was happening.

  3. That’s kind of weird in my book….

    Think I may have to watch G=Town tonight a bit, see what kind of impact a dominant defensive big man with a nice passing touch can have…

  4. By the way, Curry apparently twisted his ankle early today and may not play tonight.
    Gives us a chance to see Lee and Randolph together a lot. Wonder if Morris will get any minutes as a result.
    Would like to see Robinson get a chance at the point, but suspect Isiah will go with Jones…

  5. “I think if a family member like a dad or mom collapses during a game the player should be permitted to know and in fact encouraged to see that person if there is serious doubt about their health.”

    Maybe Antonio Davis set a precedent that the Knicks are trying to reverse– during a game players are paid to play and stadium security and medical staff are paid to make sure fans don’t get hurt. Not that it’s justified. It simply may be their policy.

  6. I like it, Mike.

    Mostly because I like Hollinger’s rankings, and your bit basically agrees with him.

  7. According to the paper, Colley? method does not take margin of victory into account. This rates higher teams like the Knicks, who are 0-7 in games decided by 10 or more. It also explains how they manage to rank ahead of Memphis, who has been unlucky, 0-5 in games decided by 3 or less and outscored by only 1 point per game.
    As far as team strength, it is interesting to note that both the Knicks and Memphis play a 9-9 team tonight, on the road. The Nets, however played last night, while the Rockets are rested. The Vegas betting line differs by 3 points (Nets favored by 6.5, Rockets by 9.5 over Memphis).

    At any rate, gotta love a system that ranks St. Marys as the 2nd best college basketball team!

  8. It’s not weird because the family said not to tell Steph during the game about the chest problems because he has had this before. They were hoping it was anothe false alarm. And it is said that they didn’t learn he died until seconds after the game. Again, this is Steph’s problem, not the Knicks.

  9. “It also hurts the Knicks, who have the worst point differential in the league”

    they’re actually still ahead of Seattle and Minnesota.

    we’re number 28! we’re number 28! whooooooooo!!!!!

  10. So, I did it, I got NBA League Pass. My Christmas present to myself. I felt like I deserved it for being a knicks fan…

    And it’s totally awesome, have to say…

    Right now? Jose Calderon against Steve Nash, watching how real point guards do it….

  11. I’m checking that game out as well. The Raptors offense does not look as good with Ford on the floor, everybody stands around watching him. They need to start playing Calderon more.

  12. Yeah, I am officially on the Calderon bandwagon. (I also picked him up and am playing him in my fantasy league.) He was really effective last year according to Wins Produced. This year, he is showing what that means in increased minutes. That assist to turnover thing is ridiculous. 146-25 and counting…

    I think also he it’s a statement game for him playing against the best pure point guard in the game.

    But I am watching the Knicks right now, and they look pretty good, although Kidd isn’t playing, which helps…

  13. He’s the best passer in the League so far. This is consistent with last year, where he was clearly better than Ford. Even in his rookie year he was pretty good, that’s why I have no clue why the Raptors traded for Ford. Look at his numbers as a starter every year, they’re very good.

  14. Isn’t that just Jamal Crawford in a nutshell? Hot as hell, then decides to go behind his back through a double team, loses it, they go the other way for a bucket….

  15. Randolph is looking great operating closer to the basket…

    And I am looking good on my over on Lee’s ts% so far, no shots blocked yet either…

  16. what has robinson done that he gets almost no time? The guy steps on the court and immediately he spreads the D.

  17. “Jared Jefferies looks amazing out there tonight.”

    0-3, 3 turnovers, 3 fouls is a pretty solid game for JJ.

  18. The Knicks are doing a good job of collapsing here by themselves, but the refs sure aren’t doing us any favors.

  19. The difference in this team when Curry isn’t on the floor is defensive rotations. Did you notice how many times Lee rotated to help on Jefferson and Carter? Please, Isaiah, limit Curry’s minutes. His offense is negated and then some by his D. And keep giving Jones floor time – I like this guy!

  20. a couple of beautiful slicing bounce passes from Jamal (the one to Lee in transition should be on the year end highlight film and some impressive finishes on the break by Fred Jones. Jason Kidd is 19-2 against NY since he’s come to the Nets, but I’ll take any win against NJ, no matter who’s playing.

    the upside of having lousy starters is that missing a few can actually help, especially Steph. take your time to grieve, my man, relax at home unless Crawford gets hurt…

  21. Thanks for posting Mike.

    I think the data puts the Knicks right around where they belong. Most of the East improved more than Knicks did so far. Wouldn’t be surprised if Charlotte ends up ahead of us too….

    If you were Atlanta, would you take Stephon and Curry for Horford and AC Law?

  22. Retropkid, that can’t happen. The salaries don’t work out at all, as Curry and Marbury get paid far far more.

  23. plus why would they do that in a million years? after that, maybe you can swap Q to Cleveland for LeBron, Morris to Orlando for Dwight Howard, and Mardy Collins to NO for Chris Paul. I’d be in favor of all of those. :)

  24. wasn’t intended as a real trade, just to show Knicks don’t have any parts to deal, our vets stink and we need to re-build…and others are passing us — like Atlanta.

Comments are closed.