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2010-11 Projected NBA Standings

Posted by Neil Paine on October 25, 2010

It's that time of year again... Time to plug a ton of projected numbers into a computer, simulate the NBA schedule thousands of times, and see what kind of predictions it spits out. This year I ran three sets of 2,500 simulated seasons -- one based on statistical plus/minus (the raw version of which I posted here, but also adjusted for team using past franchise & coaching histories), one based on Win Shares (using the Simple Projection System method), and one based on a heavily regressed-to-the-mean version of last year's Simple Ratings (not so much for prediction purposes, but as an experiment to see how well the "dumbest" possible projections fare vs. complex methods). To see the individual minutes and ratings that went into these projections, click here.

Win Shares

Team OWS Rk DWS Rk Wins AvSeed Playoffs CSF CF Finals Champs
Atlanta 22.9 12th 21.2 15th 44.4 5.8 95.4% 29.9% 3.6% 0.5% 0.2%
Boston 25.5 9th 30.9 1st 56.1 2.7 100.0% 84.2% 36.8% 11.3% 5.9%
Charlotte 13.4 25th 25.4 6th 39.1 7.9 66.6% 6.6% 0.7% 0.0% 0.0%
Chicago 19.5 16th 25.0 8th 44.7 5.6 95.7% 32.7% 3.7% 0.4% 0.1%
Cleveland 22.1 13th 23.8 10th 46.0 5.1 98.2% 44.0% 4.4% 0.6% 0.2%
Dallas 25.9 8th 23.6 11th 48.3 5.5 92.5% 39.2% 12.2% 3.7% 0.5%
Denver 29.7 4th 21.9 14th 50.6 4.4 97.7% 54.4% 21.4% 7.6% 1.2%
Detroit 14.2 23rd 13.3 28th 28.6 12.5 1.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Golden State 19.3 17th 15.9 21st 35.2 11.1 3.4% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Houston 23.2 11th 20.9 16th 43.9 7.7 63.5% 13.0% 3.1% 0.7% 0.0%
Indiana 12.9 26th 17.9 18th 32.2 11.0 7.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
LA Clippers 8.4 29th 11.0 30th 20.5 14.6 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
LA Lakers 28.8 6th 29.7 3rd 57.4 1.8 99.9% 82.9% 55.4% 34.6% 11.4%
Memphis 17.6 21st 16.1 19th 34.0 11.5 2.6% 0.2% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Miami 37.1 1st 28.4 5th 64.3 1.2 100.0% 97.4% 89.6% 67.5% 53.4%
Milwaukee 17.9 20th 23.3 12th 41.5 6.9 85.3% 13.9% 1.6% 0.2% 0.0%
Minnesota 8.8 28th 13.5 27th 23.0 14.1 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New Jersey 14.7 22nd 16.1 20th 31.8 11.2 6.1% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New Orleans 24.2 10th 19.5 17th 42.7 8.3 48.8% 10.2% 2.6% 0.4% 0.0%
New York 21.1 15th 15.2 23rd 36.6 9.0 35.2% 2.3% 0.4% 0.0% 0.0%
Oklahoma City 18.4 19th 24.5 9th 42.6 8.4 46.6% 10.0% 2.3% 0.4% 0.0%
Orlando 28.9 5th 30.3 2nd 58.2 2.2 100.0% 88.6% 59.3% 19.5% 12.2%
Philadelphia 11.2 27th 13.5 26th 26.1 13.4 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Phoenix 31.8 3rd 15.5 22nd 46.2 6.5 83.0% 26.2% 9.1% 2.4% 0.4%
Portland 32.9 2nd 25.2 7th 56.5 2.1 100.0% 80.1% 54.6% 32.4% 10.2%
Sacramento 14.0 24th 13.9 24th 28.5 12.9 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
San Antonio 26.6 7th 28.4 4th 53.4 3.2 99.5% 69.6% 35.6% 17.2% 4.2%
Toronto 19.2 18th 11.7 29th 32.4 10.8 9.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Utah 21.5 14th 22.9 13th 43.7 7.7 62.5% 13.8% 3.6% 0.7% 0.0%
Washington 6.6 30th 13.6 25th 21.3 14.7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Standings:

Team Div W L Team Div W L Team Div W L
Boston E-A 56 26 Cleveland E-C 46 36 Miami E-S 64 18
New York E-A 37 45 Chicago E-C 45 37 Orlando E-S 58 24
Toronto E-A 32 50 Milwaukee E-C 41 41 Atlanta E-S 44 38
New Jersey E-A 32 50 Indiana E-C 32 50 Charlotte E-S 39 43
Philadelphia E-A 26 56 Detroit E-C 29 53 Washington E-S 21 61
Team Div W L Team Div W L Team Div W L
Portland W-N 57 25 LA Lakers W-P 57 25 San Antonio W-S 53 29
Denver W-N 51 31 Phoenix W-P 46 36 Dallas W-S 48 34
Utah W-N 44 38 Golden State W-P 35 47 Houston W-S 44 38
Oklahoma City W-N 43 39 Sacramento W-P 29 53 New Orleans W-S 43 39
Minnesota W-N 23 59 LA Clippers W-P 21 61 Memphis W-S 34 48

Playoffs:
Eastern Conference
(1) Miami def. (8) Charlotte
(4) Cleveland def. (5) Chicago
(2) Orlando def. (7) Milwaukee
(3) Boston def. (6) Atlanta

(1) Miami def. (4) Cleveland
(2) Orlando def. (3) Boston

(1) Miami def. (2) Orlando

Western Conference
(1) Lakers def. (8) Utah
(4) Denver def. (5) Dallas
(2) Portland def. (7) Houston
(3) San Antonio def. (6) Phoenix

(1) Lakers def. (4) Denver
(2) Portland def. (3) San Antonio

(1) Lakers def. (2) Portland

NBA Finals:
Miami Heat def. LA Lakers

Statistical Plus/Minus

Team OPAA Rk DPAA Rk Wins AvSeed Playoffs CSF CF Finals Champs
Atlanta 0.53 11th -0.29 16th 42.6 6.5 94.1% 16.3% 2.8% 0.1% 0.0%
Boston 1.15 9th 3.04 9th 52.3 3.4 100.0% 72.0% 21.4% 2.9% 1.2%
Charlotte -4.93 29th 5.65 1st 43.6 6.1 95.7% 23.6% 3.8% 0.2% 0.1%
Chicago -1.95 22nd 3.60 5th 46.3 5.2 98.9% 35.8% 3.6% 0.3% 0.0%
Cleveland -3.03 25th 0.43 13th 35.2 9.1 39.2% 1.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Dallas 1.06 10th 1.44 11th 47.1 6.2 88.2% 27.8% 8.1% 2.2% 0.2%
Denver 5.58 2nd -0.87 18th 52.4 3.8 99.2% 62.8% 26.5% 10.4% 1.3%
Detroit -1.11 20th -6.75 30th 22.2 14.4 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Golden State 0.23 12th 0.08 15th 41.9 8.6 46.4% 7.4% 1.8% 0.3% 0.0%
Houston -0.27 15th 0.40 14th 41.5 8.9 39.2% 6.3% 1.6% 0.4% 0.0%
Indiana -2.94 24th -1.14 19th 31.6 10.8 9.0% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
LA Clippers -5.11 30th -3.55 26th 20.1 14.7 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
LA Lakers 2.29 8th 3.40 7th 54.6 2.9 99.8% 73.2% 39.6% 19.0% 3.0%
Memphis -0.73 17th -1.22 20th 36.1 11.1 6.6% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Miami 8.71 1st 3.34 8th 67.7 1.0 100.0% 98.8% 93.6% 81.3% 71.1%
Milwaukee -0.77 18th 3.84 3rd 49.3 4.2 99.9% 61.9% 8.6% 1.4% 0.4%
Minnesota -3.29 27th -3.57 27th 23.6 14.0 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New Jersey -0.79 19th -1.92 23rd 35.0 9.3 33.3% 0.8% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New Orleans 3.56 5th -0.82 17th 47.4 6.0 89.3% 30.4% 9.4% 2.2% 0.1%
New York 0.07 13th -2.92 25th 34.2 9.7 24.7% 0.7% 0.1% 0.0% 0.0%
Oklahoma City -0.04 14th 2.10 10th 46.5 6.5 85.8% 24.7% 7.0% 1.5% 0.1%
Orlando 3.06 6th 4.17 2nd 57.8 2.2 100.0% 88.9% 66.0% 13.8% 7.9%
Philadelphia -2.33 23rd -2.38 24th 29.8 11.6 4.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Phoenix 3.72 4th -5.13 28th 36.9 10.7 8.8% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Portland 3.73 3rd 3.74 4th 57.7 1.8 100.0% 84.4% 60.0% 40.9% 10.3%
Sacramento -3.21 26th -1.66 21st 28.4 13.0 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
San Antonio 2.71 7th 3.44 6th 55.1 2.7 99.9% 75.5% 44.6% 22.8% 4.1%
Toronto -1.25 21st -5.26 29th 25.5 13.4 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Utah -0.29 16th 0.50 12th 41.2 9.0 36.6% 6.1% 1.1% 0.3% 0.1%
Washington -4.34 28th -1.68 22nd 26.3 13.0 0.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

Standings:

Team Div W L Team Div W L Team Div W L
Boston E-A 52 30 Milwaukee E-C 49 33 Miami E-S 68 14
New Jersey E-A 35 47 Chicago E-C 46 36 Orlando E-S 58 24
New York E-A 34 48 Cleveland E-C 35 47 Charlotte E-S 44 38
Philadelphia E-A 30 52 Indiana E-C 32 50 Atlanta E-S 43 39
Toronto E-A 25 57 Detroit E-C 22 60 Washington E-S 26 56
Team Div W L Team Div W L Team Div W L
Portland W-N 58 24 LA Lakers W-P 55 27 San Antonio W-S 55 27
Denver W-N 52 30 Golden State W-P 42 40 New Orleans W-S 47 35
Oklahoma City W-N 46 36 Phoenix W-P 37 45 Dallas W-S 47 35
Utah W-N 41 41 Sacramento W-P 28 54 Houston W-S 42 40
Minnesota W-N 24 58 LA Clippers W-P 20 62 Memphis W-S 36 46

Playoffs:
Eastern Conference
(1) Miami def. (8) Cleveland
(4) Milwaukee def. (5) Chicago
(2) Orlando def. (7) Atlanta
(3) Boston def. (6) Charlotte

(1) Miami def. (4) Milwaukee
(2) Orlando def. (3) Boston

(1) Miami def. (2) Orlando

Western Conference
(1) Portland def. (8) Golden State
(4) Denver def. (5) New Orleans
(2) San Antonio def. (7) Oklahoma City
(3) Lakers def. (6) Dallas

(1) Portland def. (4) Denver
(2) San Antonio def. (3) Lakers

(1) Portland def. (2) San Antonio

NBA Finals:
Miami Heat def. Portland Trail Blazers

Simple Rating System
And just as a test, here's what we would have predicted from last year's SRS scores (in other words, any projection system that gets beaten by this will probably need a major overhaul after the season):

Team W Seed Playoffs CSF CF Finals Champs
Atlanta 49.8 3.4 99.4% 66.0% 30.4% 12.6% 6.6%
Boston 48.0 4.2 98.3% 56.0% 23.2% 9.2% 4.2%
Charlotte 43.7 6.2 89.0% 28.6% 8.4% 2.2% 0.9%
Chicago 38.1 9.0 42.2% 7.3% 1.4% 0.4% 0.1%
Cleveland 53.2 2.3 99.9% 79.3% 51.4% 27.4% 16.4%
Dallas 45.6 6.5 81.6% 32.4% 13.8% 5.2% 1.7%
Denver 48.5 4.8 93.5% 48.0% 24.3% 12.2% 4.6%
Detroit 31.9 12.3 4.2% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Golden State 34.6 11.7 3.2% 0.5% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Houston 40.9 8.9 35.4% 7.9% 2.8% 0.9% 0.2%
Indiana 35.6 10.3 19.5% 2.2% 0.4% 0.2% 0.0%
LA Clippers 29.7 13.4 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
LA Lakers 50.1 3.8 97.2% 56.4% 29.6% 15.6% 7.3%
Memphis 38.2 10.2 13.8% 2.6% 0.6% 0.1% 0.0%
Miami 44.4 5.8 90.6% 35.9% 11.3% 3.6% 1.4%
Milwaukee 43.7 6.2 88.6% 30.7% 9.7% 3.2% 0.8%
Minnesota 23.7 14.8 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New Jersey 24.2 14.7 0.1% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
New Orleans 35.9 11.1 6.4% 1.0% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
New York 33.5 11.5 8.4% 0.8% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Oklahoma City 47.5 5.3 90.6% 42.4% 19.3% 8.6% 3.8%
Orlando 54.8 1.7 100.0% 85.0% 61.6% 40.9% 26.5%
Philadelphia 34.0 11.2 11.3% 0.9% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0%
Phoenix 49.4 4.2 96.1% 53.0% 28.0% 13.8% 5.9%
Portland 46.4 6.0 85.2% 37.0% 15.6% 6.7% 1.9%
Sacramento 33.0 12.4 1.2% 0.2% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
San Antonio 50.2 3.6 97.5% 57.2% 31.1% 17.1% 8.6%
Toronto 38.3 8.9 45.0% 6.8% 1.7% 0.2% 0.0%
Utah 50.9 3.3 98.0% 61.5% 34.7% 19.8% 9.2%
Washington 31.9 12.3 3.7% 0.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%

BBR Rankings

Finally, here are the first BBR Rankings of the season:

Rank Prev Team
1 13 Miami Heat
2 3 Orlando Magic
3 12 Portland Trail Blazers
4 1 Los Angeles Lakers
5 8 San Antonio Spurs
6 2 Boston Celtics
7 10 Denver Nuggets
8 9 Dallas Mavericks
9 20 New Orleans Hornets
10 16 Chicago Bulls
11 14 Milwaukee Bucks
12 11 Oklahoma City Thunder
13 6 Utah Jazz
14 7 Atlanta Hawks
15 17 Houston Rockets
16 4 Phoenix Suns
17 15 Charlotte Bobcats
18 5 Cleveland Cavaliers
19 24 Golden State Warriors
20 23 New York Knicks
21 18 Memphis Grizzlies
22 30 New Jersey Nets
23 21 Indiana Pacers
24 27 Sacramento Kings
25 19 Toronto Raptors
26 26 Philadelphia 76ers
27 25 Detroit Pistons
28 29 Minnesota Timberwolves
29 28 Washington Wizards
30 22 Los Angeles Clippers

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33 Responses to “2010-11 Projected NBA Standings”

  1. Stuart Chuang Matthews Says:

    To me, all of these seem pretty flawed. Cleveland, OKC, Washington all seem pretty off to me. But maybe I'll eat my words!

  2. EJ Says:

    Miami Heat are more probable to win the title than the Lakers? Shows what stats know.

  3. Stuart Chuang Matthews Says:

    EJ - That one sounds about right to me.

  4. Neil Paine Says:

    Right, of all the things you can fairly take issue with about with these projections (believe me, I have my own problems with them, but hey, you work with the data you've got), you pick Miami over L.A. as your biggest complaint? Even Vegas has them as the favorites!

    I mean, complain about Cleveland being rated too high in WS... complain about OKC being too low in both... complain about any team being led by a rookie, like John Wall or Blake Griffin, getting shafted (I gave all rookies a generic per-minute rate)... complain about SPM's love affair with Marcus Camby causing Portland's projection to skyrocket... etc.

    There are plenty of legit issues to raise, but Miami being favored over L.A. really isn't one of them.

  5. Anon Says:

    Yeah I just loved seeing Cleveland not only winning 46 games and the division but also winning the first round of the PLAYOFFS!

    But hey, that's why they play the games you know. Stranger things have definitely happened.

  6. Stuart Chuang Matthews Says:

    "I gave all rookies a generic per-minute rate" Well, that explains my Wizards :-) Thanks for clearing that up.

  7. Neil Paine Says:

    Re #6 - Yeah, it's because I couldn't find a significant relationship between draft position and rookie performance. All rookies might as well be assigned a generic below-average rate.

    Re #5 - I think it's funny that Miami plays Cleveland at some point in both playoff projections. Would that not be one of the most compelling early-round series of all time? Miami would be heavily favored, of course, so it may not be a long series, but the hype around the games would be surreal.

  8. Anon Says:

    That would arguably be as compelling a series than the Lakers-Celtics series in recent years. Espeically with the commerical Nike just released that' is aimed at LeBron's critics regarding "The Decision", all the ingredients would be in place for must-see-TV.

    BTW, is there a method that can give an "equivalent" for wins that a player's SPM score is worth? Or is it more practical to keep in in terms of point differential?

  9. Ryan Says:

    Can last year's actual results be posted in comparsion to the 2009-2010 projected standings? I'd like to see how historically accurate this projection has been.

  10. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #9 - Sure, here were last year's WS projection results (found here - http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=3727):

    year_id lg_id team_name team_id wins losses projW projL err
    2010 NBA Atlanta Hawks ATL 53 29 40 42 13
    2010 NBA Boston Celtics BOS 50 32 58 24 8
    2010 NBA Charlotte Bobcats CHA 44 38 37 45 7
    2010 NBA Chicago Bulls CHI 41 41 36 46 5
    2010 NBA Cleveland Cavaliers CLE 61 21 63 19 2
    2010 NBA Dallas Mavericks DAL 55 27 48 34 7
    2010 NBA Denver Nuggets DEN 53 29 47 35 6
    2010 NBA Detroit Pistons DET 27 55 38 44 11
    2010 NBA Golden State Warriors GSW 26 56 36 46 10
    2010 NBA Houston Rockets HOU 42 40 49 33 7
    2010 NBA Indiana Pacers IND 32 50 39 43 7
    2010 NBA Los Angeles Clippers LAC 29 53 23 59 6
    2010 NBA Los Angeles Lakers LAL 57 25 57 25 0
    2010 NBA Memphis Grizzlies MEM 40 42 26 56 14
    2010 NBA Miami Heat MIA 47 35 36 46 11
    2010 NBA Milwaukee Bucks MIL 46 36 31 51 15
    2010 NBA Minnesota Timberwolves MIN 15 67 30 52 15
    2010 NBA New Jersey Nets NJN 12 70 34 48 22
    2010 NBA New Orleans Hornets NOH 37 45 51 31 14
    2010 NBA New York Knickerbockers NYK 29 53 31 51 2
    2010 NBA Oklahoma City Thunder OKC 50 32 26 56 24
    2010 NBA Orlando Magic ORL 59 23 56 26 3
    2010 NBA Philadelphia 76ers PHI 27 55 36 46 9
    2010 NBA Phoenix Suns PHO 54 28 46 36 8
    2010 NBA Portland Trail Blazers POR 50 32 54 28 4
    2010 NBA Sacramento Kings SAC 25 57 20 62 5
    2010 NBA San Antonio Spurs SAS 50 32 55 27 5
    2010 NBA Toronto Raptors TOR 40 42 43 39 3
    2010 NBA Utah Jazz UTA 53 29 54 28 1
    2010 NBA Washington Wizards WAS 26 56 32 50 6

    Also, you can find last year's basic SPM projections here:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=3361

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?p=3330

    2011 is a strange year, with all the player movement... I think a lot of predictions, here and elsewhere, are going to be more inaccurate than ever before, because neither our eyes nor our numbers can really decontextualize a player's performance.

  11. Raj Says:

    It's nice to see someone throw a little water on the OKC parade. Did anyone on that team (as opposed to Portland or Houston) ever get hurt last year? One unfortunate break to a key player and they might not make the playoffs.

  12. Martin Says:

    Where in the hell did this insane love for Portland come from?

  13. Sylvan Says:

    More proof that Win Shares is a flawed measurement of basketball ability. Cleveland is such an outlier it is embarrassing. 46 wins? Try a quarter of that.

  14. Ian Says:

    May these projections be accurate for Portland! What a thrill that would be for me!

  15. Pageup Says:

    Celtics over Lakers in 7. Going to be another awesome final...

  16. Anon Says:

    Sylvan, the Nets won 12 games last season with alot less talent than the Cavs sans LeBron, and you think they can't win more than that?

  17. Jared Ras Says:

    Yeah, Cleveland is going to win at least 30 games, but looking at the rankings, I'm almost inclined to say that Neil ran these without subtracting James from the Cleveland roster.

    Last year's rankings were pretty terrible in a lot of ways. A third of the league was off by 10 wins or more. I distinctly remember posting on one of last year's predictions saying that the Bucks were way undervalued, and I'm glad to see the results posted again. The BBR Rankings look pretty good, except Portland over Los Angeles. However, the Win Shares, etc. ones are all over the place, and their bad track record from last year tells me to not put too much stock in them.

  18. DSMok1 Says:

    Hey, Neil! I put out my Advanced SPM projections today. An easy way for you to improve/complicate your projections would be to project the drafted players according to their pick--my research shows you can get pretty good differentiation from that. I've got my team win projections and each player's projection over at APBR.

    How exactly did you project minutes? I've puzzled over that and haven't come to a great conclusion. I projected the SPM fine, but how to do the minutes is not easy. I used a weighted mix of the player's previous year MPG, an average for starter/backup/3rd string based on the ESPN depth charts, and an average based on the player's SPM projection.

    For those interested, here are my (rough, because of the minutes issue) team projections:

    Team         Margin     Wins
    Miami         8.70     62.4
    Portland      6.26     56.3
    San Antonio   5.02     53.9
    Orlando       3.98     51.7
    Denver        3.60     50.2
    LA Lakers     2.95     48.5
    Chicago       2.69     50.3
    Atlanta       2.55     49.2
    Boston        2.38     49.0
    Utah          2.29     47.2
    New Orleans   2.02     46.3
    Oklahoma City 2.00     47.0
    Phoenix       1.30     44.6
    Dallas        0.90     43.7
    Golden State  0.39     42.1
    Houston      -0.07     41.5
    Memphis      -0.59     40.3
    Milwaukee    -1.66     38.8
    Philadelphia -2.60     35.9
    New York     -2.80     35.0
    Detroit      -2.93     35.1
    Charlotte    -2.94     35.3
    Cleveland    -3.04     35.5
    New Jersey   -3.60     33.5
    Washington   -3.75     33.1
    Indiana      -3.98     32.6
    Sacramento   -4.24     31.3
    Minnesota    -4.63     30.4
    LA Clippers  -4.84     29.6
    Toronto      -5.36     29.5
    

    It looks like I have more regression to the mean built in than the SPS. Both systems like Portland and San Antonio and Golden State as surprises.

  19. Neil Paine Says:

    Hey, nice work! I was pretty frustrated with rookies this year -- I came up with a curve that gave some differentiation based on pick, but the r-squared was basically zero. Did you manage to get some level of significance in your curves?

    As for minutes, I project games using this Ed Kupfer gem:

    http://www.sonicscentral.com/apbrmetrics/viewtopic.php?t=859

    Then I take a basic 6-3-1 weighted avg of previous 3 years' MP and try to leave that untouched for players not changing roles. For others, I eyeball it and try to get the bigs (PF/C) and non-bigs to add up to a certain arbitrary number for each team. D'Antoni teams that go small a lot kill this approach; does anyone really think Mozgov will get >1000 MP? But in general it seems to be OK. You and I both know projecting playing time sucks no matter what you do.

    It looks like we're both getting generally the same ordering for teams, which is encouraging. I know we're vaguely working from the same playbook, but we also took two very different paths between point A & point B.

  20. Neil Paine Says:

    Oh, and your results being closer to the mean is easy to explain... After running the SPM and making sure both offense & defense average zero across the league, I force the results to match the past few years' standard deviation of offensive/defensive efficiency above/below avg before feeding them into the Monte Carlo sim. I feel like this creates a more believable spread of team W-L, at least under ordinary circumstances where 3 of the league's 9 best players don't decide to play on the same team.

  21. Robert Z Says:

    Obviously this doesnt show how good Blake Griffin is

  22. Jerry Says:

    I like the WinShares prediction A LOT but i think it needs more regression to the mean. Predicting the Clippers, Washington and Minnesota to win less than 25 games is probably dangerous

  23. Mike Says:

    Wow these projections are crazy. OKC missing the playoffs? Cleveland winning Central and advancing to the 2nd round? Portland winning 57 and the Wizards and Clippers finishing worse than last year?

  24. Justin Kubatko Says:

    One of the things that Neil forgot to mention is that the Win Shares projections, which are based on a very simple method to begin with, are overly conservative for younger players. This has a big effect on a team like the Thunder. Another thing to keep in mind is that projecting playing time is extremely difficult

  25. DSMok1 Says:

    Revised my projections with a less conservative playing-time estimation. I took a weighted (and adjusted for aging) average of the last 3 years, an estimate based on projected ASPM, and an estimate based on the depth chart, and averaged the 3. This helps top-heavy teams and hurts less top-heavy teams.

    The full results:

    TM     Margin    Rest     SoS     Total     Team            Wins
    MIA    11.84    -0.11    -0.71    12.45     Miami           68.5
    POR     5.57    -0.05     0.10     5.43     Portland        54.9
    SAS     4.74     0.10     0.06     4.78     San Antonio     53.4
    ORL     3.92    -0.18    -0.29     4.04     Orlando         51.5
    ATL     3.57    -0.07    -0.36     3.85     Atlanta         51.1
    BOS     3.00     0.02    -0.42     3.44     Boston          50.0
    LAL     3.49    -0.18    -0.01     3.32     LA Lakers       49.7
    DEN     3.27    -0.11     0.01     3.14     Denver          49.3
    CHI     2.31     0.23    -0.47     3.01     Chicago         48.9
    UTA     2.78    -0.01     0.11     2.66     Utah            48.0
    OKC     2.36     0.12     0.00     2.47     Oklahoma City   47.5
    NOH     2.36     0.01     0.21     2.15     New Orleans     46.7
    DAL     1.06     0.08     0.24     0.91     Dallas          43.4
    PHO     0.45     0.01     0.27     0.19     Phoenix         41.5
    GSW     0.28    -0.17     0.14    -0.03     Golden State    40.9
    MIL    -0.78     0.21    -0.10    -0.47     Milwaukee       39.8
    HOU    -0.64    -0.04     0.12    -0.80     Houston         38.9
    MEM    -0.88     0.06     0.16    -0.98     Memphis         38.4
    CHA    -2.32     0.13    -0.01    -2.19     Charlotte       35.2
    PHI    -2.46    -0.17    -0.21    -2.41     Philadelphia    34.6
    NYK    -2.81    -0.19     0.00    -3.01     New York        33.1
    CLE    -3.51     0.24    -0.05    -3.22     Cleveland       32.5
    NJN    -3.69    -0.03    -0.08    -3.65     New Jersey      31.4
    DET    -3.78    -0.04     0.02    -3.84     Detroit         31.0
    SAC    -4.35     0.11     0.38    -4.62     Sacramento      29.0
    IND    -4.65    -0.09    -0.09    -4.65     Indiana         29.0
    WAS    -4.61     0.03     0.12    -4.70     Washington      28.8
    LAC    -5.09    -0.10     0.30    -5.49     LA Clippers     26.9
    TOR    -5.69    -0.02     0.05    -5.76     Toronto         26.3
    MIN    -5.74     0.20     0.52    -6.06     Minnesota       25.6
    
  26. DSMok1 Says:

    Again, Neil, I'm not artificially "expanding" the projections to match normal stdev of the league... The less conservative minutes projections just had that effect.

    I doubt all of the Miami stars' offense will come through intact (like these numbers show--it would be a historic offense rivaling Dallas in '05), but their defense may be better than the player's numbers would project.

  27. DSMok1 Says:

    Full updated projections here:

    Advanced SPM Player and Team Projections

  28. Julius Says:

    You have a new fan....how could some writers pick the Cavs as the worst team in the league? Does that mean if LeBron went to Minnesotta they would win 61 games this year?

  29. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #22,26 - The more I think about it, artificially forcing the distribution to fit past league stdevs was probably not the best idea. But it's always a double-edged sword -- regress to the mean too much, and people say "OMG, why do no teams have more than 52 wins?" Regress too little, and predictive accuracy certainly suffers.

    On a barely-related topic, here's a page with simple per-36mp projections for every veteran player who played over the past 3 years:

    http://www.basketball-reference.com/blog/?page_id=7954

    That covers guys like Yao who didn't play in 2010.

  30. DSMok1 Says:

    "Re: #22,26 - The more I think about it, artificially forcing the distribution to fit past league stdevs was probably not the best idea. But it's always a double-edged sword -- regress to the mean too much, and people say "OMG, why do no teams have more than 52 wins?" Regress too little, and predictive accuracy certainly suffers."

    Yeah, I even hear that over on APBRmetrics. Technically, it's not correct to do that, but the numbers certainly look prettier!

  31. Guy Says:

    If you just expand to match past stdevs, aren't you implicitly projecting that good teams will tend to be lucky while bad teams will tend to be unlucky?

  32. Neil Paine Says:

    Re: #31 - Interesting point. That is basically what we're implying when we regress to the mean -- that in any season, the handful of best teams have a "true" ability of 55 or so wins, and the team that comes out of that group with the best record and 60+ wins is just the one that happens to be the luckiest. Likewise, there aren't really any "true" <25 win teams, and the one that finishes 20-62 is the unluckiest. So by expanding, I'm implying a level of knowledge about future luck (in addition to skill) that can't be predicted in reality.

    In other words, we know some team is going to finish with 60+ wins, and we know some team is going to win <25. It happens every year. But which teams will those be?

    It's a lot like the annual conundrum in picking NFL playoff teams... Logic would seem to tell us not to pick most of last year's playoff teams to return the following year, because historically there's a 50% turnover rate from year to year. But while we know 6 of the 12 teams that made the playoffs last year won't be back, and 6 new teams will take their place, we have no way of knowing which teams they will be. That's why picking 100% of last year's playoff teams produces a lower error in the long run than trying to determine the 6 teams dropping out and the 6 teams moving up, even though people will look at your picks and say, "you moron, don't you know that 50% of playoff teams drop out the next year?"

    In the NBA, you minimize your RMSE by hedging your bets and having no team win more than 54 games, even though people will look at your picks and say, "you moron, don't you know there are 60-win and 60-loss teams every season?"

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