FanPost

Expanding On the Road Records of the West's Elite

After reading through a fanpost about the Blazers road record against the top west team being roughly equally as bad as every other team at the top of the west, I thought I'd investigate it further.  For me, the problem hasn't seemed to be that we've just been losing, but that we've been getting regularly blown out early in non-competitive games, as opposed to keeping it close throughout, which I'd assume the other "vet" teams have done.  Along those lines, using the game flows at popcornmachine.net, I decided to waste an hour going through each western conference team's road games and look at the max lead, max deficit, and final point differential, to get an idea of whether we've been more or competitive than other team's on the road.  Here's the data, with some snap analysis.  Enjoy.

First off, before I get into anything, it's shocking how rare a top western conference team beats another one on the road.  To put it in perspective, the last time it happened was when we beat NO (CP Groin game).  That's nearly a month and a half, which is ridiculous.  Strangely, WC teams have beaten the top east teams on the road a couple times in that span, just never a west team.

And without further discussion, here's the data for each team, in order of standings, saving the Blazers for last, though.  Each row refers to one game.  And the averages are shown in the final row.


LAL:

 


Max Lead Max Deficit Final

5 15 -7

5 14 -11

4 9 -4

5 11 -1

5 9 5

21 3 13

18 6 13

23 0 7

8 12 7

9 9 7
Averages 10.3 8.8 2.9


LA as the best road record among the top teams, but even then, this was all done at the start of the season.  Each of their last 4 games has been a loss.  Still, 8.8 as an average max deficit is by far the lowest, and 10.3 is the highest max lead so it's pretty clear they've fared the best on the road.  Still, their performance in the last 4 games is pretty similar to every other team listed here.  Also, the only team with a positive point differential in these games.

 

SA:

 


Max Lead Max Deficit Final

9 10 -5

1 29 -18

6 17 -8

12 6 10

11 4 6

2 21 -14

5 13 1

9 7 -7

7 11 7

24 2 17

0 20 -19

4 12 -1
Averages 7.5 12.6666667 -2.58333

SA's been the second best WC team on the road, although being blown out a couple times depresses their numbers some.  It's happened just enough to not write these games off as flukes, but they've had far more games that they haven't fallen far behind in than anyone but LA.

 

Denver:

 


Max Lead Max Deficit Final

8 15 -12

8 6 -2

7 12 -9

9 10 -7

9 12 -12

16 0 10

0 27 -14

21 3 10

3 14 -4
Averages 9 11 -4.44444

 

Another team that started off better than they've been playing recently, Denver's dropped their last 5 on the road.  Outside of getting blown out in the one game, though, they have a pretty low average deficit, so they're in most road games.

NO:

 


Max Lead Deficit Final

2 15 -14

5 16 -4

8 15 -13

7 9 7

9 33 -26

11 7 11

1 26 -5

16 7 15

4 17 -15

14 8 4

1 18 -9

16 0 13
Averages 7.833333 14.25 -3

 

Nothing too special here.  Their road record recently is a little better than most, but they've still fallen behind big in each of their last three games.  -3 is one of the better point differentials in the group, although being down at least 15 in over half of their games is a little ugly.  Still, not nearly as bad as some other teams.

Houston:


Max Lead Max Deficit Final

7 13 -7

0 9 -9

2 14 -10

14 5 -2

19 8 12

18 29 -29

3 10 -3

14 5 10
Averages 9.625 11.625 -4.75

Houston's actually been one of the better teams on the road.  They've been in all but one game they played, and even that blowout was kind of a wonky game where they were up 18 early and just collapsed.  Even if their road record doesn't show it, probably one of the more dangerous road teams.  Without that 29 point loss, they'd be second in point differential among this group behind LA.

Utah:


Lead Deficit Final

0 22 -14

1 24 -20

0 16 -9

12 11 -7

0 20 -13

2 16 -5

3 9 -2

9 30 -25
Averages 3.375 18.5 -11.875

Here's where it gets ugly.  Not only has Utah not won a game on the road, they've been regularly blown out and out of games.  18.5 is by far the worst average deficit and -11.8 is easily the worst point differential.  Not only that, they've trailed wire to wire in 3 of their last 5 games against these teams.  Blame it on injuries or whatever, but if any fans need to be shouting about their road record, it's jazz fans.

Dallas:


Max Lead Max Deficit Final

5 22 -16

3 17 -17

16 11 -7

5 29 -28

4 17 -2

7 32 -28

1 16 -9

10 8 8

12 12 -7

12 2 10

5 10 -3

23 4 17
Averages 8.583333 15 -6.83333

Also pretty ugly.  They've been down big in each of their last 7 games, and their numbers are being largely propped up by their early season success.  They seem to be fading fast here.

Phoenix:


Max Lead Deficit Final

3 28 -26

14 8 -6

12 5 -5

2 12 -5

0 23 -15

3 18 -13

9 17 -12

6 7 4
Averages 6.125 14.75 -9.75

Nothing too special here, although notable that half of their games have been blowouts.  A couple good showings recently, though, so they could be kind of the anti-mavs in this respect.

Portland:


Max Lead Max Deficit Final

4 18 -16

1 15 -15

7 18 -4

3 15 -5

8 20 8

9 19 -14

4 8 -8

2 17 -9

2 15 -10

5 7 -5

11 7 -7

8 14 -11

0 23 -20
Averages 4.923077 15.0769231 -8.9231

And now we get to us.  In our 13 road games, it's pretty distressing that we've been down at least 14 points in all but three of our games, and at least 15 in our last 6.  We're the second-worst both average lead and average deficit, and have the 3rd worst point differential, so it's clear that we're among the worst road teams in this pseudo-round robin set up.

Also, we have a fair boost in our numbers from the CP game being turned from a blowout into a solid win thanks to Antonio Daniels, so we could be 0-13 on the road instead.


While it's clear that none of the west's elite fares well on the road against each other, it's equally clear that we're one of the worst teams at it.  Us, Utah, and Phoenix have been significantly worse than the other 6 teams, so it's clear that whatever we're doing against these teams isn't working, and that we regularly fall behind big in these games.

Aside from that, make of it what you will.

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