The Eighth Place Miami Heat?

That headline sounds ridiculous.  How can the Southeast Division leader be in eighth place?

Miami has the fifth best margin of victory in the NBA.  Since the Heat play in the east they face a very weak schedule.  Based upon Basketball-Reference’s ‘Simple Rating System’ Miami is the eighth best team in the NBA this season:

Rk

Team

PW

PL

MOV

SOS

SRS ▾

1

Oklahoma City Thunder

40

15

7.40

0.36

7.76

2

Indiana Pacers

40

12

8.19

-0.61

7.58

3

San Antonio Spurs

37

16

6.34

0.31

6.65

4

Los Angeles Clippers

39

16

6.36

0.21

6.57

5

Golden State Warriors

35

18

4.60

0.44

5.04

6

Portland Trail Blazers

34

19

4.15

0.70

4.85

7

Houston Rockets

34

19

4.09

0.40

4.49

8

Miami Heat

34

17

5.12

-0.84

4.27

9

Minnesota Timberwolves

33

20

3.74

0.45

4.19

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
 Generated 2/17/2014.

As I wrote in “Scattered Greatness” the Miami Heat are having an unusual but awesome season.  LeBron James is in a virtual tie with Kevin Durant for best shooter in the league.  Erik Spoelstra’s team doesn’t rebound and their interior defense is below average.

As strange as it sounds if the NBA’s eight best teams made the playoffs the Miami Heat would be fighting with Kevin Love and the Timberwolves for the last playoff spot.

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