NBA Playoff Predictions: Ranking Lakers, Heat and All 16 Playoff Teams

The thrilling 2010-11 NBA season has gripped fans like an anaconda from the starting gun, and now that the trades from the Bizzaro World are finally all said and done, the league is about to enter the month of March like the proverbial lion—ready for it’s playoff run.

Super-teams have sprouted up like weeds before spring is officially declared, as Big Threes prolifically litter the landscape from coast to coast.

The rising beasts in the East boast several super-teams including  the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and arguably, Orlando Magic. 

And the best in the West can still be found in perennial superpower favorites that include the L.A. Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and now even Oklahoma City Thunder.

All of these teams are sure to make the playoffs this year, and yet, there is room for several dragon slayers too, as the playoff format allows for 16 teams to make a desperate run for the blazing sun.

Two important statistical measures have been used to gauge the strength of each team in this ranking and they include Player Efficiency and Team PPG Differential.  The required data has been extracted from’s database. 

How do NBA coaches measure a player’s efficiency?  They use the Player Efficiency Formula as shown below, courtesy of

[(Points + Rebounds + Assists + Steals + Blocks) - (Field Goals Att. - Field Goals Made) + (Free Throws Att. - Free Throws Made) + Turnovers)]

So the guy who scores the most points is not necessarily the team’s most efficient player and as you can see from the formula, a wide array of important statistical criteria (both offensive and defensive) have been taken into account.

The other performance measure is Team PPG Differential. The higher the score the more consistent a team is at outscoring and/or defending the...

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