Los Angeles Lakers Advanced Stats (February 2020)
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Lakers Advanced Stats: Basketball is merely a game. If the last week taught us anything, it’s that life is delicate, our time on this mortal coil is finite, and there are forces far more important than who does what on the hardcourt.

Emotions are raw for a team, city, and world mourning the tragic loss of Kobe Bryant and eight others in a Calabasas helicopter crash on January 26. The sadness isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

Still, the season rolls on. That’s exactly what Mamba would want.

LeBron James and crew returned to action for the first time since the tragedy on January 31 in a 127-119 loss to the Trailblazers. A January 28 game against the Clippers was postponed.

Things are looking up for Los Angeles on the business front. The Lakers pull into February the NBA’s second-best record at 36-11.

A look into the team’s advanced stats sheds more light into just how they are mowing over opponents.

Uses of Advanced Stats

In the big data era, advanced stats have revolutionized the way we evaluate all facets of the game.

The traditional metrics of wins, losses, and points tell only part of the story. Analyzing data explains how we arrive at these outcomes. In fact, the NBA tracks 47 advanced stats for players and teams.

Advanced stats are for more than NBA analysts on TV. They also provide a wealth of information for fans who interact with the league through fantasy basketball or NBA betting.

Advanced stats and betting trends are valuable for bettors who play any one of the dozens of different wagers available on basketball games.

Here’s where the Lakers currently stand in five-team advanced stat categories.

Offensive Rating

The Lakers head into the second frame of 2020 with a team offensive rating of 112.5. That’s good for the fourth spot in the league behind the Mavericks, Bucks, and Rockets. The offensive rating uses a formula to measure the efficiency of a team’s offensive performance normalized to 100 possessions.

Takeaway: The Lakers are making efficient use of scoring opportunities en route to posting the second-best record in the league.

Defensive Rating

Similarly, the team defensive rating measures defensive efficiency normalized to 100 possessions. A lower number is better in this category and indicates the team is holding opponents to lower scores. Los Angeles’s 105.7 is the fifth-best defensive rating in the NBA. Only the Bucks, Raptors, 76ers, and Celtics are faring better.

Takeaway: Lakers are doing fine; there are 25 teams easier to score on.

Net Rating

Net rating is a team’s defensive rating subtracted from its offensive rating. The larger the gap between the two ratings, the more dominant the team is over opponents. The Lakers own a 6.8 net rating, tied with Boston for second in the NBA. Milwaukee is first with a runaway 11.7 net.

Takeaway: No one will touch Milwaukee’s level of dominance. However, the Lakers are in battle mode approaching the home stretch.

Pace Factor

The Pace Factor is a metric measuring the number of possessions a team uses per 48 minutes. It’s useful for determining whether a team plays a fast or slow game. The higher the pace factor, the faster the team moves through possessions.

The Lakers are a mid-dwelling 14th with a pace factor of 100.76. The Bucks again take the top spot with a speedy 105.19, while the Hornets fill out the league caboose with a pace factor of 45.1

Takeaway: The Lakers aren’t exceedingly fast or slow. They are winning with a steady, measured game.

Player Impact Estimate

Player impact estimate, or PIE, crunches traditional stats such as points, rebounds, and turnovers to find a percentage of game events achieved by a single player or team. A team controlling more than 50 percent of game events on average is likely to be a winning club.

Los Angeles backs up that rule of thumb. The Lakers’ slice of team PIE is 54.7, second to only Milwaukee’s 57.4.

Takeaway: The Lakers are achieving greater than 54 percent of events during their games. That translates to outscoring and generally out-balling opponents.