When weighing a team's title chances, statisticians often point to the "Four Factors" which determine a team's success. The Four Factors, pioneered by Dean Oliver, author of Basketball on Paper, are essentially shooting, taking care of the ball, rebounding, and free throws. A team's ability to do all of these things well generally translates to its level of success. Efficiency statistics are developed using measures of these four factors, and as theghostofjh points out in his quarter-season breakdowns (and look out for his upcoming 3rd quarter report), efficiency differential is one of the truest measures of success in the NBA.

The Spurs have an excellent efficiency differential of 8.9, second in the league to OKC (11.0!). Nonetheless, I've heard fans clamor that our poor rebounding may be our demise. racm wrote a nice piece in which he weighed the consequences of the Spurs offensive rebounding woes. A lack of second chance points doesn't appear to hinder success, as OKC and Miami are also in the bottom half of the league in ORR, but on a poor shooting night in the playoffs, tip-ins and putbacks sure are a boost.