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.
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.