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You probably didn't know this (I admit we didn't exactly advertise it... at all, really), but our Simple Projection System (SPS) has been updated to produce projected stats for the upcoming 2010-11 season. That's good, because today I'm going to use those numbers tocome up with rudimentary "skill indices" for every projected player in the database, if for no other reason than to get a broad view of what each player is good at and how they fit in on their 2011 teams.
A neat article here from 48 Minutes of Hell, looking at how well the preseason predicts the regular season... As it turns out, the games going on right now aren't quite as meaningless as we like to believe.
In a major oversight on my part, I forgot to include a poll in last week's LeBron/Durant post -- but now you have a chance to vote here... If you're building an expansion team starting this season, and you can draft any player in the league, do you build your team around LeBron James or Kevin Durant?
"Kevin Durant (56 percent) was voted as the top player GMs would sign to start an NBA franchise."
You can write this off as LeBron James backlash if you want (the GMs also predicted James wouldn't win the 2011 MVP -- though I actually happen to agree there), but 68% of GMs said James was the game's best small forward right now, so I don't think that's it.
Instead, they're essentially saying that LeBron is better now, but they would prefer the total value added by the rest of Durant's career (he's age 22 this season) over the value from the rest of LeBron's career (he'll be 26 this year). Is this the rational choice? Are those extra four years going to push KD's expected rest-of-career value over James', or should you side with LeBron because of his superior track record thus far (and, hence, greater expected peak production)?
Recently I had a chance to answer some Eastern Conference-related questions for Eddy Rivera of MagicBasketball.net, a longtime friend of the BBR Blog. In the interview, we chatted about not just the Magic, but also the Heat and the Celtics. Check it out!