What it takes to win the NBA Championship

Each game of basketball in the NBA has 3 distinct phases:

(I) Offense,  (II) Defense and III) Rebounding.

Offense is what happens when a team has possession of the ball.

Defense is what happens when that team’s opponent has possession of the ball.

Rebounding is what happens when neither team has possession of the ball.

Every year since 2000-2001, each of the two teams which have reached the NBA Finals (i.e. the Champion and the Finalist) have also finished the regular season schedule with a Quality Rating (QR) of 34 or better and a Quality Index Rank (QIR) of #11 or better (when compared to all playoff teams that year).

A team’s Quality Rating (QR) is calculated by the following equation:

QR = A + B + C, where

A = Score Differential Rank (Score Differential ordered from 1-30), when Score Differential = [Points Scored Per Game] – [Opponent’s Points Scored Per Game];

B = Opponent’s Points Scored Per Game Rank (ordered from 1-30) ;

C = Rebounding Differential Rank  (Rebounding Differential ordered from 1-30), when Rebounding Differential = [Rebounds Per Game] – [Opponent’s Rebounds Per Game];

and,

Quality Index Rank (QIR) = QR ordered from 1-16.

2010-2011
Champion, Dallas Mavericks, QR = 29; QIR = #7
Finalist, Miami Heat, QR = 10; QIR = #2

2009-2010
Champion, LA Lakers, QR = 22; QIR = #6
Finalist, Boston Celtics, QR = 39; QIR = #12

2008-2009
Champion, LA Lakers, QR = 21; QIR = #6
Finalist, Orlando Magic, QR = 19; QIR = #5

2007-2008
Champion, Boston Celtics, QR = 6; QIR = #1
Finalist, Los Angeles Lakers, QR = 30; QIR = #10

2006-2007
Champion, San Antonio Spurs, QR = 12; QIR = #2
Finalist, Cleveland Cavaliers, QR = 16; QIR = #4

2005-2006
Champion,  Miami Heat, QR = 20; QIR = #3
Finalist, Dallas Mavericks, QR = 13; QIR = #2

2004-2005
Champion,  San Antonio Spurs, QR = 9; QIR = #1 (tie)
Finalist, Detroit Pistons, QR = 9; QIR = #1 (tie)

2003-2004
Champion, Detroit Pistons, QR = 8; QIR = #1
Finalist, LA Lakers, QR = 34; QIR = #7

2002-2003
Champion, San Antonio Spurs, QR = 17; QIR = #1
Finalist, New Jersey Nets, QR = 19; QIR = #4

2001-2002
Champion, LA Lakers, QR = 21; QIR = #4
Finalist, New Jersey Nets, QR = 22; QIR = #5

2000-2001
Champion, LA Lakers, QR = 34; QIR = #9
Finalist, Philadelphia 76ers, QR = 10; QIR = #1

Within any given year, measuring a team’s performance in this way - which balances Offense, Defense and Rebounding – is a simple and effective tool for determining whether or not it has a legitimate chance to win the NBA championship.

Does your favorite team have what it takes to win the NBA championship this year?

Check their QR and QIR … the answer might surprise you!

[NOTE: Updated to include the 2007-2008 season.]