Every NBA team rated over several decades

Posted to Visualization  |  Tags: ,  |  Nathan Yau

Which NBA basketball team is the greatest ever? Instead of a circular debate at the bar, Reuben Fischer-Baum and Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight used the Elo rating system to rank teams over time.

Elo ratings have a simple formula; the only inputs are the final score of each game, and where and when it was played. Teams always gain Elo points for winning. But they get more credit for upset victories and for winning by larger margins. Elo ratings are zero-sum, however. When the Houston Rockets gained 49 Elo points by winning the final three games of their Western Conference semifinal during this year’s playoffs, that meant the Los Angeles Clippers lost 49 Elo points.

This puts this season’s Warriors as the fourth best of all time.

Favorites

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.

19 Maps That Will Blow Your Mind and Change the Way You See the World. Top All-time. You Won’t Believe Your Eyes. Watch.

Many lists of maps promise to change the way you see the world, but this one actually does.

Divorce and Occupation

Some jobs tend towards higher divorce rates. Some towards lower. Salary also probably plays a role.

Reviving the Statistical Atlas of the United States with New Data

Due to budget cuts, there is no plan for an updated atlas. So I recreated the original 1870 Atlas using today’s publicly available data.