Yesterday we had a large debate concerning John Hollinger’s PER Diem power rankings, where he listed the Miami Heat (5-2) ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (7-0). After last night’s games Hollinger released a new set of rankings. Sort of.
The Miami Heat were up 22 points on the Utah Jazz, but eventually lost in overtime, dropping their record to 5-3. The Lakers struggled slightly with the Minnesota Timberwolves, but still won the game and improved their record to 8-0, keeping them a game ahead of the undefeated New Orleans Hornets for the best record in the NBA.
This morning Hollinger released an updated version of his rankings, which kept the Heat atop the heap, this time with a 5-3 record. The Lakers, now 8-0, remained second in the PER Diem rankings. This system has always been controversial, and that is what makes it so interesting. However, Hollinger appears to have developed the only ranking system with more flaws than the infamous Bowl Championship Series in College Football.
According to Hollinger, strength of schedule is the difference between the Lakers and Heat. While it is certainly true that Los Angeles has played an easier schedule than Miami thus far, the fact that these are power rankings and scheduled to change weekly if not daily, the system still seems slightly flawed. Los Angeles has a higher margin of victory, but since they’ve played different opponents that doesn’t count for much.
And so, with the latest and even more bizarre rankings, let the debate continue.