John Hollinger is perhaps the leading authority on advanced statistics in the NBA. He's authored four basketball prospectuses and has served as sports editor at OregonLive.com and as the basketball editor for SI.com. Hollinger's most notable contribution is his invention of Player Efficiency Rating, a stat that combines all of a player's contributions into one number. Hollinger has been following the Thunder throughout its first-round series against Denver.
Q: What's been your impression of the Thunder this season?
A: They actually have continued improving more than I expected. I thought as big a step as they made last year, they were going to kind of need to consolidate a little bit those gains. I thought this year was actually going to be rougher than it actually ended up being. Because a lot of times when teams make a big one-year jump like the Thunder did, it's very hard to continue progressing forward. It's called the Plexiglas Principle. Most teams that make big one-year jumps actually come back to earth a little bit the next year. So for the Thunder to continue to improving their win total was very impressive.
Q: When you look at this team and compare it to how the Western Conference is shaping up, do you see the Thunder going far in the playoffs this year?
A: Yeah, I picked them to make the conference finals when these playoffs started. And now I'm wondering about that even. Honestly, of the top four seeds they've definitely looked the best in this first round.