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NBA Miner | Changes in NBA Teams’ Style of Play in 2014-15
Changes in NBA Teams’ Style of Play in 2014-15
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Changes in Teams’ Play: Part 1

San Antonio Spurs dominated 2013-14 NBA season and eventually won the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. And then the offseason began, in where teams desperately looked for ways to improve themselves. Complete list of 2014–15 NBA off-season transactions can be found here.


9 teams changed their head coaches, many player movement occurred and drafts are done. All these transactions have impacted teams’ style of play at some degree. In these analysis series, we will look at what has really changed in terms of many (general, defensive and offensive) team stats comparing 2013-14 season averages with the average of first weeks of 2014-15 season data (15.11.2014 games are included in this one). For more details please also look at






In the above table, we compared teams’ evolutions according to pace, offensive and defensive ratings and rebound rate. The green ones indicate the positive deviation from the mean and significant improvement.  The reds signify the retrogression.


For pace, the highest difference is for Thunder. The injury plague hit them and they play without their superstars of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook since the season began. This obviously affects their game style and success. On the other hand, Celtics, Bulls and Warriors have increased their game tempo significantly.


On the offensive rating increase, we see the Cavaliers on the top with +9.81. (9.36%). With the addition of LeBron James and Kevin Love, it is not surprising anyway. Then again, Thunder is at the bottom with -9.70 and it is also not surprising either. But the interesting ones are the increase for Bulls (addition of Pau Gasol, return of Derrick Rose and rising of Jimmy Butler), Celtics and Mavericks, and the decrease for Spurs.


At defense, Twolves and Celtics are less successful comparing to last season. But Bucks (yes real), Rockets, Pelicans and Warriors are better. The improvement in defensive rating for Bucks is 11.07%, highest across all teams clearly showing the impact of Jason Kidd defensive discipline.


Lastly, on rebound rates, Kings lead the teams in the increase; and Grizzlies and Bulls lead at the opposite side. According to ESPNStatsInfo Bulls out-rebounded just once in first 9 games last year, but out-rebounded for seventh time in 10 games this season.


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